Private landlords have been advised to play safe and purchase rent protection insurance.

Michael Portman, managing director of Let Insurance Services, warned landlords to take out the cover even if they believe they have a good tenant.

He said that even when tenant credit checks are made successfully, there is still a chance that the tenant could suffer unemployment and be unable to pay landlords.

"It's a gamble for the landlords as to whether their tenants are going to pay the rent,"he stated.

A study released by the National Landlords Association last month found that most landlords (71 per cent) think rental arrears will go up in 2009.

Of those polled, 37 per cent said they were already having trouble with current tenants and only one per cent think that rental arrears will decrease this year.

HomeLet also said last month that it paid out £2.7 million in rent guarantee claims in 2008 and predicted that it will pay more this year.ADNFCR-2002-ID-18956660-ADNFCR

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