A recent two-year mortgage payment holiday announced by the government should be extended to cover buy-to-let investors, industry experts have said.

The homeowner mortgage support scheme is designed to help out property owners who are behind on their payments, but does not include those on buy-to-let deals.

However, with more than 70 per cent of landlords expecting to suffer from rental arrears in 2009, the National Landlords Association (NLA) has called for them to be offered "the same breathing space".

Simon Gordon, head of communications at the NLA, said that smaller landlords who rely heavily on rental income to cover their monthly mortgage payments could quickly be left facing "disaster"if tenants failed to pay up on time.

He added that if the intention of the plans is to keep people from losing their homes then it "makes no sense"for buy-to-let mortgages to be exempt from the ruling.

Extending the scheme to cover landlords would "give them a chance to offer any struggling tenants a similar period of time to get their finances in order", he suggested, preventing the home from being repossessed.

Buy-to-let investors on tracker mortgages received a boost last week after the Bank of England's monetary policy committee announced a base rate cut of one per cent.ADNFCR-2002-ID-18921928-ADNFCR

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