Rental arrears is a problem many private landlords will face amid the ongoing impact of the credit crunch, it has been claimed.

Sara-Ann Burgess from insurance firm Burgesses explained that many tenants currently in employment could lose their jobs over the next few months.

"This is not scaremongering - it's a reality,"she said.

Payment protection insurance and rental guarantee cover could be options worth considering by private landlords looking to safeguard their rental income, Ms Burgess suggested.

Her comments come after research by buy-to-let specialist Paragon Mortgages found that more tenants were bailing out of rental properties after falling behind on rent payments.

"Tenants leaving a property without paying rent is a more common occurrence than people think,"commented John Heron, the lender's managing director.

In addition, data published by the National Landlords Association last month showed that 74 per cent of calls to the body's telephone advice lines were from private landlords enquiring about procedures to follow when faced with tenants behind on their rent payments.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19070567-ADNFCR

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