Landlords advised to seek legal advice

It is vital that landlords understand their legal rights and protect themselves financially in the current economic climate, according to Moneysupermarket, the price comparison website.

Steve Sweeney, head of home and motor insurance at the firm, urged landlords to make sure they are aware of all appropriate information when it comes to protecting themselves financially.

"The right insurance cover could prove "essential" for 'reluctant' landlords looking to rent out their properties until the housing market picks up", Mr Sweeney said.

He continued: "It is important to have a good contract in place and to know where each party stands should the ‘tenant and landlord' relationship fall sour.

"If things go badly wrong and legal proceedings commence, the associated cost can be hefty."

Rental debt has also become an important issue since the onset of the economic downturn.

A survey by the National Landlords Association at the end of March found that one in three landlords had experienced tenants who were in arrears on rent payments.

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