Despite the high yields that can be had in the lettings game, Malcolm Harrison, a spokesman for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, advises prospective landlords to be careful with their budgets if they want to reap the rewards of the buy-to-let sector.

As Mr Harrison explains, balancing the books appropriately and keeping a close check on your finances is key if you want to avoid any nasty surprises that can spring up in the form of maintenance work or arise from poorly managed portfolios.

"You have got to take into account all of the costs that are going to come up," he said. "You have got to make sure that the tenant has taken over the utilities properly.

"You have got to also have some money for maintenance because any property, no matter how well looked after and managed, is going to get problems."

Whether it's smaller aspects such as replacing any broken plaster or larger projects that can involve everything from installing a new boiler to giving walls a damp course, anyone new to the lettings game has to budget for such factors appropriately if they are going to enjoy the profits that can be had.

"Despite all this talk of high rents, it is not a way to instant riches," Mr Harrison adds.

Indeed, managing a portfolio is much like running a business, and the process will initially involve a substantial outlay as landlords make their first investments.

So just as any entrepreneur would weigh up the risks and forecast profit margins, investors in the buy-to-let sector have to do the same.

But as well as keeping money aside for any unforeseen incidents that could carry a substantial cost being a sensible approach, landlord insurance policies are also an effective means of covering extensive repair bills that may result from having to fix any damage to properties - another important consideration for aspiring landlords.