In a fast-changing market, it’s the professional landlords who are winning out, says Ashely Clements, of London letting agents Horton and Garton.

With new legislation and legal standards coming in, accidental or part-time landlords are struggling to keep up with what’s become a “full time job”.

In an interview with The London Economic, Mr Clements continues: “The private rental sector has grown at lighting speed in recent years.

"In the affluent West London neighbourhoods of Hammersmith, Chiswick and Shepherds Bush, many owners have seen their properties grow in value. With significant equity in their properties, they decide to retain and let them when they move on.

“Our challenge within the letting agency is to help professionalise these landlords by providing them with accurate and up-to-date advice on ever-changing legislation.”

Alex Huntley, Head of Operations at Simple Landlords Insurance, added: “We’re certainly seeing that it’s the smaller and accidental landlords who are struggling most to keep up with the changes and challenges the sector faces.

“Getting good information, keeping on top of the latest developments, and getting good advice is more important than ever. The good news for those who use lettings agents to do so, is the new mandatory Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme, which guarantees tenants’ deposits and rentals collected by agents.”

Mr Clements said many landlords were not aware of the Client Money Protection (CMP) changes, but that they “should help expose and expel both rogue landlords and letting agents.”

In the interview he also identified a growing demand in London from both tenants and landlords for longer tenancy agreements, and called on the government to be mindful of pushing landlords out of the marketplace. "Should a flood of landlords list their properties for sale,” he warned, “this may have a negative impact on house prices within certain areas of London and drive up the cost of renting.”

If you want to keep up to date on the latest news, views and sector developments, keep an eye on the Simple Landlords Hub.