The increasing number of people who have had to rent out their homes to meet rising mortgage payments has contributed to an increase in calls to the Free Legal Advice Centre.

In its annual report for last year, FLAC says there was an increase in the number of calls coming from what it describes as "accidental" landlords.

The centre says that these landlords do not understand their rights or responsibilities because they rent out their properties in a hurry to meet their mortgage repayments.

The report also reveals that over 25,000 people contacted its phone lines and centres last year.

FLAC says that family issues, employment problems and money worries continue to dominate the agenda, making up about half of all its inquiries.

The organisation welcomed the passage of the Personal Insolvency legislation last year, which aims to give people an opportunity to resolve their indebtednesses.