Landlords should not rush into the business without being fully aware of their legal obligations, a report advises.

According to consumer website Which?, many UK residents may be tempted into letting their house because they are struggling to sell.

But such a move should not be seen as "easy cash", it claims.

Failing to read up and adhere to rental laws could see landlords facing fines, financial difficulties or even imprisonment.

"Being a landlord comes with many responsibilities and obligations, and failure to comply with these could result in problems for landlord and tenant alike,"said Kate Faulkner, author of Renting and Letting, a Which? essential guide.

Those looking to let should ensure that all legislation is met, as well as declaring any extra income to the taxman.

Maintaining the property, including all appliances, heating, electricity and plumbing is also vital, the report states.

Landlords received a similar warning earlier this week when a report by the Daily Telegraph urged property owners to become "more organised"to keep on top of legislation.ADNFCR-2002-ID-18914681-ADNFCR

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