It is a good time for private landlords to invest in the buy-to-let market, according to Ian Potter, operations manager of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla).

Following Arla research that suggested the sector is changing for the better, Mr Potter offered landlord advice to people considering renting out their bricks and mortar.

He said that people should only become private landlords if they can afford to do so and do not overstretch themselves financially.

In further landlord advice, the operations manager suggested that would-be private landlords should ensure they "have done sufficient market research in the area".

"One of the questions that they should be asking when they are looking for information and speaking to different people in the area they are considering is: 'Are you getting a lot of other people doing the same thing?',"Mr Potter explained.

Some 8.2 per cent of Arla members recently claimed that landlords are currently buying more properties, which compares to the 3.5 per cent who said likewise in the final quarter of 2008.

Written by Mark Garner

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