Despite the current economic climate, many private landlords could be adding to their portfolios while house prices are low.

Indeed, cash-ready buy-to-let mortgage borrowers have a good chance to purchase new homes after the value of a typical property fell by 17.6 per cent during the last year, according to figures released by Nationwide.

However, amid rising competition in the private rented sector as more reluctant landlords enter the market, investors have been urged to choose their properties carefully.

According to mortgage lender Birmingham Midshires, a division of the Bank of Scotland, landlords need to consider which types of properties they would be able to market effectively.

Homes close to good amenities and schools might appeal to young families, the bank noted.

"Young professionals look for modern properties, with easy upkeep and good transport links,"it added.

The advice comes after a study by the Halifax found that the average private landlord would regard a female medical professional aged 36 to 45 as their ideal tenant.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19054627-ADNFCR

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