Landlord insurance customers are seeing some of the best returns in history on their investments at the moment, thanks to the recession.

While the 2008 property crash saw house prices tumble, those who invested in buy-to-let have seen their money go a lot farther, according to research conducted by Castle Trust.

The published findings showed that the number of Brits who had gone into the private rented sector had risen in the last four years by 23 per cent up until the end of 2012, thanks to a decrease in the affordability of houses.

Lenders have notoriously made it far more difficult for people to purchase a property, with the average first-time buyer now needing to come forward with a deposit of 20 to 25 per cent when they are looking to take out a mortgage on their initial step onto the ownership ladder.

This has meant that more people have moved out of the family home and into the rental sector rather than buying, and this demand has also meant that landlords have been able to report significant increases in their income across the past four years.

The average cost of renting per household has risen by a full £572 in the space of four years between 2008 and 2012.

Sean Oldfield, chief executive officer of Castle Trust, said: "Despite mortgage rates being well below their historic average, renting is booming as homeownership becomes more and more of a distant dream. Mortgage payments represent a significant proportion of a household's monthly spending and many people do not see the viability of owning a home."

It was also reported recently that landlords could see high demand even beyond the financial issues that plague much of the UK, with a report from Upad stating that as many as 30 per cent of people who live in rented properties do so because they want to. They say they simply like the convenience, and the ability to move without having to find a buyer, on top of the landlord paying for repairs and maintenance.