The private rented sector - and therefore private landlords - plays an important role in the housing industry, according to the operations manager at of the UK's professional letting bodies.

Ian Potter from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla) said that many agents have been looking to rental property to boost their business during the downturn in the sales market.

Indeed, this part of the property industry apparently grew 17 per cent between 2007 and 2008, and is set to continue increasing in popularity in the coming years.

Mr Potter remarked: "The private rented sector is a vital part of the choice of tenure required in a mixed economy and the private rented sector has done much to improve standards of housing stock."

His comments come after the editor of landlordZONE, an online information source for landlords, suggested becoming a landlord can be a lucrative move.

Tom Entwistle said that private landlords who choose buy-to-let homes correctly can find their investment makes for an "excellent long-term strategy".

Written by Mark Garner

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