Landlords have been advised to make sure they are prepared in the event of tenants defaulting on their monthly payments.

Judienne Wood, lettings director at Kinleigh Folkard &Hayward, said the economic downturn could lead to more tenants having financial difficulties.

Therefore, she has recommended that landlords anticipate this eventuality by taking out appropriate insurance cover.

However, Ms Wood added that rental investors could be reassured by a number of positive factors in the market, such as continuing demand for housing among students.

"The student lettings market is recession-proof and so landlords considering investing should target university areas,"she commented.

Ms Wood highlighted London as a place where demand for student lodgings is particularly high, especially in areas such as Peckham, New Cross and Tooting.

This comes after Aaron Turner of Look4aProperty.com said it is difficult to forecast how soon the economy will start to pick up.

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