The housing market has not shown any significant signs that a sustained, long-term recovery is set to take hold in the foreseeable future, and it appears that homeowners having difficulty selling their properties are now putting them on the lettings market in a bid to utilise their assets.

The latest figures gathered by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) have revealed that 47 per cent of the organisation's members saw an increase in rental properties coming onto the market because their owners were unable to sell - an 18 per cent rise compared to last year.

"The rise in this figure suggests that homeowners struggling to sell their homes due to the sluggish market are increasingly looking to the private rented sector to utilise their property in the short term," said ARLA's operations manager, Ian Potter.

This trend could result in an increase in the number of first-time landlords in the market and thus ARLA has released a number of tips to those who are new to the lettings game - especially considering short-term tenancies can sometimes be more problematic than their long-term counterparts.

Notifying mortgage providers and insurance companies is highlighted as essential given that the terms of a homeowner's deals could need amending if their property will be going onto the lettings market.

Indeed, ensuring that their assets will be properly protected could prove vital for people still hoping to sell, so landlord insurance cover may become a necessity if tenants are going to be moving in.

Laying out a payment plan is also pointed out as a good idea, as well as arranging for the proper transfer of rent - card transactions are considered to represent a high risk that many may not be comfortable with taking on.

"It is important to be wary of the potential pitfalls when renting out a property short-term," Mr Hyatt added.