A group of landlords this week lost a legal challenge over changes to buy-to-let rules.

They had argued that a new system, set to take effect next year, was tantamount to a tax on tenants, since it would significantly increase the financial burden on buy-to-let investors.

Under the rules, buy-to-let costs will no longer be a claimable business expense.

The new system would apply to individuals whose rental properties are in their own name, with companies that own buy-to-let properties and the landlords of holiday homes unaffected.

The group had gone to the High Court in the hope of securing a judicial review, but the Judge, Mr Justice Dingemans, refused permission for the challenge to proceed.

The campaigners have a week to appeal the ruling, although it is unclear if they will do so.

Axe the Tenant Tax, a campaign group which has railed against the upcoming change in the rules, has criticised the court’s decision and argues the policy will have disastrous consequences for the housing market.

“Hard-working, responsible landlords will have their pension plans in ruins,” said a spokesman.

Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association (NLA), was also concerned.

“This decision is ultimately disappointing not just for landlords, but for the tenants who will see their rents rise as a consequence of the changes to landlord taxation.”