The importance of measures such as effective and detailed landlord insurance policies was emphasised by the National Landlords Association (NLA), in advice released by the organisation last month.

With the potential risk that house prices could experience a downward trend over the coming year, many might consider letting as a more favourable alternative to selling their property, with average rental yields now at 6.7 per cent according to the NLA's latest figures. 

Consequently, as a means to assist prospective landlords, the organisation compiled a short set of guidelines to aid those looking to get into the letting market.

Among these were proper tenancy agreements to guarantee clear dates in terms of regularity - and levels - of rental payments, as well as necessary deposit details.

Furthermore, putting together an extensive inventory was also highlighted as one of the more important steps to take when starting out in the lettings market, as this enhances the protection landlords have in the face of any tenant disputes.

Insurance for landlords was another of the important requirements on the list of tips for homeowners considering renting their property.

David Salusbury, chairman of the NLA, said: "Prospective landlords will need to remember they are effectively starting a small business." Clearly, the decision to let is not one that should be taken lightly, and a large number of legal requirements also need to be met in doing so.

Ensuring the safety of appliances, providing tenants with gas certificates and making adequate provisions when it comes to essentials such as fire alarms are all imperative, as failure to comply with the law could leave landlords exposed.

The NLA's guidelines serve as a good starting point for anyone considering renting their property as a more attractive option than selling up completely, and could save any unexpected problems emerging in the future.