As demand for rented accommodation grows among the UK population, the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has reported that the number of first-time landlords is increasing as investors look to profit.

And to help anyone planning to enter the lettings market, ARLA has released a number of guidelines to assist people in making the right decisions.

Insurance for landlords is listed as one of the important things to consider, with buildings and contents protection highlighted as being particularly vital to potential investors.

The organisation's report also details that 55 per cent of lettings agents believe there are currently not enough rental properties on the market to meet demand, indicating that profitability could be set to increase as competition to secure tenancies intensifies.

Ian Potter, operations manager at ARLA, said: "Making sure that your investment pays off takes hard work and commitment, but can be rewarding in the long term."

In addition to landlords insurance, the tips to ensure that anyone about to get into the lettings game is successful include making property an attractive option for prospective tenants, as well as complying with the government's health and safety regulations; failure to do so can lead to stiff penalties.

Detailed inventories are also pointed out as a good means for investors to avoid any disputes, and this represents another way in which anyone new to letting a property can increase the extent to which they are protected against any unexpected issues.

As the rental market grows and many people remain unable to climb the property ladder due to the relatively high level of prices compared to average income, it is not surprising that more first-time landlords are coming forward in a bid to benefit from the rising demand in the rental sector.

ARLA's report shows that there is a clear motive for investment in UK property, and that a number of factors should be considered to help people get the most out of the lettings market.