Interest rates are down and rents are on the up - according to a recent RICS survey. So for landlords it looks to be getting easier at last.

But it's not all green shoots in the sector: some tenants are still facing financial pressures, which are leading to increased rental arrears.

Research conducted by the National Landlords Association (NLA) reveals nearly three quarters of landlords have experienced rental arrears. Worryingly, 43% of these occurred in the last 12 months.

In a bid to combat the problem NLA has launched Rent Guarantee Insurance which offers a way for landlords to minimise the risk from loss of rent.

Should problems arise during the tenancy, the cover also provides legal expenses and a dedicated 24-hour advisory service. Available to all residential property landlords, NLA Rent Guarantee Insurance offers much needed piece of mind.

David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, said: "Landlords may not realise they can protect themselves against rental arrears, but our research clearly shows there is a need to safeguard your rental income. Unfortunately we aren't out the woods with the economy just yet, and thanks to redundancy and unemployment some tenants are struggling to pay their rent.

"While it is wise to take out insurance, landlords should not forget the importance of also taking full references and making checks at the outset of a tenancy. Keep in touch with your tenants too. If they feel they can come to you if they are facing difficulties, you may be able to come to an arrangement before rental arrears become more serious."


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