Investors considering entering the private rented sector have been reminded that buy-to-let should be seen as a long-term investment rather than a quick way to make money.

Nick Blamford, managing director of independent financial advice firm Informed Choice, told the Times that people who take out buy-to-let mortgages are unlikely to achieve positive returns over a period of less than five years.

"If interest rates start to rise again, you may be paying more on your mortgage while bank savings make money again,"he added.

The advice comes as high levels of tenant demand and growing rental yields are said to be encouraging investors to consider buy-to-let after interest rate cuts from the Bank of England have dented returns on other savings vehicles.

However, private landlords already appearing to be heeding Mr Blamford's advice, as a survey by the Association of Residential Letting Agents last month showed that the average lifetime of a property investment was expected to be 16.3 years.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19036630-ADNFCR

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