Private landlords might have to consider using property software or seek advice on upgrading their properties to secure tenancy agreements in an increasingly competitive rental market, it has been suggested.

Figures published by home finder website Findaproperty.com showed that average rental asking prices were down 4.8 per cent year-on-year this month.

The rental market has been flooded with both frustrated sellers offering to rent their homes and would-be buyers turning to residential lettings after failing to get a mortgage.

However, professional landlords have taken advantage by snapping up bargains while house prices are low - the average portfolio size increased from 12.1 to 13.2 in the third quarter of 2008, according to buy-to-let lender Paragon Mortgages.

Andrew Smith, head of research at Findaproperty.com, noted that some landlords are investing in weekly cleaners or offering extra services to make their homes more appealing.

"According to some of our member agents, tenants are becoming more demanding as the market swings in their favour,"he said.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19047972-ADNFCR

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