One of the emerging trends in the property market in recent years has been the growing popularity of the private rented sector - and Belvoir Lettings claims this will continue throughout the coming year.

With mortgage availability strained, house prices unaffordable for many and saving a deposit an increasingly difficult challenge given the high cost of living, it appears that Brits are now happier to settle for a home in rented accommodation.

And as this becomes a more typical choice for a growing number of people, Belvoir Lettings CEO Dorian Gonsalves believes that the cultural shift is not likely to reverse.

"An analysis of data from Belvoir offices confirms that there has been a change in cultural attitudes towards renting property in the UK and that this change is likely to be permanent," he said.

But while the trend for living in the private rented sector is expected to endure in 2013, Mr Gonsalves added that landlords will have a number of external market factors to consider if they want to ensure their long-term investments remain profitable.

"From a landlord perspective, inflation and the ability to increase rents in line with inflation is an important factor over the lifetime of an investment," he commented.

With aspects such as unemployment, the cost of living and wage growth all related to the extent to which landlords can increase their rent prices, it appears that investors are going to have to keep a close eye on the wider economy to take full advantage of the cultural shift.

Yet as well as monitoring market conditions, there are other ways in which they can protect their budgets through measures such as landlord insurance policies.

These can provide investors with a suitable financial safeguard that removes the risk that unexpected costs such as essential repair work compromise their profits.