Private landlords need to have a realistic approach to rents, an expert has said.

Carter Brown, partner of Torbay Property Management, told the Herald Express that rental numbers in the region have increased.

He said that landlords need to "remain realistic about rents"in order to stay afloat, as property numbers slightly outweigh tenant demand.

But Mr Brown did say that the market is "strong"as long as landlords take a practical approach.

The newspaper reported that more people are renting as buyers become scarce, as a result of the faltering housing market and the credit crunch.

Liz Rollason of the Teignbridge Letting Company told the publication that there are not enough tenants to occupy all the three and four-bedroom properties that are available and said "saturation point"for such homes has been reached.

In November, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reported that rents had dropped for the first time in more than five years.

Its residential lettings survey for 2008's third quarter found that more people who wanted to buy and sell were having to go to the rental market.ADNFCR-2002-ID-18956647-ADNFCR

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