New landlords have been advised to arrange their tenancy agreement details before they find someone to rent the property.

Estate agent network email4property.co.uk has indicated that any restrictions need to be decided prior to a tenant being located.

In landlord advice that will be particularly pertinent to newcomers to the industry, it said: "Try not to be too tough - if you exclude smokers, pets, students, small children and short-term lets, you will narrow the market for your property considerably."

Steve Lees, head of marketing at email4property.co.uk, suggested that there have been a number of accidental landlords appearing on the property scene in recent months - a trend he thinks will continue in the coming year.

This echoes findings from groups such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents and Gumtree.com, which also revealed that a lot of people in the UK have decided to rent out their homes, as opposed to selling them in the current market.

Written by Sarah Field
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