Private landlords have been advised to consider their building insurance policies in light of the possible damage that can emerge from unoccupied properties.

Homeowners can fall victim to problems like vermin if their properties are left unoccupied, warned Peter Staddon, head of technical services at the British Insurance Brokers' Association.

It comes after research by the Association of Residential Letting Agents last month found that nine out of ten landlords were inactive in the private rented sector.

There has also been increased competition for tenancy agreements after many would-be homebuyers have switched to renting after failing to get a mortgage amid tighter lending criteria in 2008.

Landlords with unoccupied properties might benefit from Mr Staddon's advice to review their insurance cover options and ensure that their homes are clean, as bits of food left around could potentially attract rodents.

"Look for things that could cause you potential losses then speak to your insurance company for further advice,"he said.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19007991-ADNFCR

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