Private landlords could be benefitting from an influx in rental demand from Britons who cannot afford to buy a house in the current economic climate, research has suggested.

A street poll by Adfero found that 58 per cent of people would opt to rent at the moment compared to 42 per cent who would look to buy a property.

Laura, from Leeds, said: "There's no way I could afford to take on a mortgage at the moment, as much as I would like to."

Adam, also from the north-east city, added: "Maybe someday [I will purchase a house], but not right now. Rent is all I can afford."

However, while private landlords could be finding it easier to secure tenancy agreements at present, experts have warned them to be wary of the financial pressures some tenants could be facing.

The National Landlords Association reported that 71 per cent of private landlords expect rental arrears to rise during 2009.

Credit and background checks of prospective tenants are some of the letting services landlords could use to safeguard their rental income during the current economic climate.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19055059-ADNFCR

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