Considering that the reports of high demand and low supply in the private rented sector continue to dominate headlines, many aspiring landlords are being drawn to the lettings game by the lure of impressive profits and an increasing number of prospective tenants looking for a home.

But while there are strong returns to be had from investing in properties to let, the process can be long and complicated for people who have no previous experience of the workings of the buy-to-let market.

So in order to avoid making potentially costly mistakes and forgetting the wide variety of legal regulations governing the sector, one expert explains that first-time landlords should always enlist the services of a lettings agent.

"There are a lot of rogue tenants out there and we can protect landlords from that. We can control those issues," said Julie Twist, managing director at Julie Twist Properties.

"It is not just about problems with tenants; there is a lot of legislation that landlords have to comply with as well as health and safety issues.

"There are a lot of issues that new landlords have to be aware of. They should always use a lettings agent."

From tenancy deposit schemes to fire risk assessments and regular maintenance work, landlords need to stay on top of their tenancies and ensure everything runs smoothly - and this is something that a lettings agent can help with.

What's more, with agreements and inventories being vital to avoiding financial losses, it's important that investors are fully aware of their responsibilities and the ways in which they can protect their interests.

And in order to prevent having to foot extensive repair bills or pay for costly maintenance work that could leave owners in the red, landlord insurance policies are an effective means of covering such expenses while letting agents take care of the legal documents.