One of the main pieces of advice given to aspiring landlords is that they should not blindly jump into the buy-to-let sector, as there are a wide variety of factors to consider if they are to make their business venture profitable.

Ranging from securing a mortgage and starting a portfolio to drawing up tenancy agreements and completing inventories - not to mention the legal regulations governing the lettings process - the checklist can sometimes seem endless, and knowing where to start is difficult.

Yet the good news is that the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has done part of a landlord's job for them, as their latest figures have revealed the most profitable regions in the country when it comes to the returns investors enjoy on their assets.

According to the statistics, the north-west tops the table, as it offered landlords yields of 6.2 per cent during the third quarter - up from 5.4 per cent in Q4 of 2011.

In contrast, despite the high demand for rental accommodation in the areas, central London and the south-west languish at the bottom of the standings, providing returns of 4.5 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively.

"Our data shows that the north-west is presently showing the highest return on rental investment," said Ian Potter, managing director of ARLA.

But despite returns being the highest in the north, the average capital value of rented properties is highest in London and the south-east, giving investors food for thought as they decide which of the factors is most important to their business plan. 

"Overall the level of achievable rents has risen a little this quarter, reversing the previous downward trend which began last August," Mr Potter added.

However investors choose to respond to the figures, landlord insurance policies will be vital to protecting themselves against losses that can result from damage to property.