People who are having difficulty getting mortgage finance are increasingly turning towards the rental market.

This is the view of Steven Hilton of the National Landlords Association, who said rental demand in the UK is currently very high.

He stated that problems in the housing market are also having the knock-on effect of creating many "accidental"landlords.

These people, he said, cannot sell their homes and are therefore letting them out in order to make the most productive use of them.

However, Mr Hilton warned that this could potentially lead to problems among first-time rental investors.

"Inexperienced landlords who take a short-term view to letting their properties could find themselves out of their depth,"he commented.

Mr Hilton added that they must be familiar with the various rules and regulations they must adhere to or risk facing "stiff penalties".

The comments come after HM Revenue &Customs revealed that the number of property sales in the UK have gone down by 53 per cent in the past year.

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