It would seem that the number of people who want to become private landlords is significantly higher than the number of buy-to-let mortgages being offered by lenders.

New research from price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com has found that enquiries for buy-to-let home loans have increased by almost 50 per cent between August 2008 and August 2009.

Meanwhile, the availability of such products - which are needed before tenancy agreements can be arranged and landlord-tenancy criteria can be established - has diminished by more than 70 per cent.

These figures echo comments made by Property Hawk website editor Chris Horne in recent months, who has regularly commented on the high demand for mortgages among would-be landlords and the short supply from lenders.

Hannah-Mercedes Skenfield, mortgage channel manager at Moneysupermarket.com, said: "We could potentially have a ticking buy-to-let time bomb on our hands - the need for rental housing is increasing, but there may not be enough landlords available to cater for this demand."

Written by Mark Garner
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