In years gone by, it may have been the case that landlords who had their home left empty for a period of time would trust people living in neighbouring properties to keep an eye out and inform them of any security issues, but new research has shown that they now barely even trust those around them.

There are any number of reasons that a house can be empty for a period of time, including such issues as the void between tenants, a time when it needs renovating or if it has become damaged in any way.

However, landlord insurance through these periods is now more important than ever, with the neighbourhood watch spirit of old gone.

According to findings published by the Yorkshire Building Society, only 46 per cent of people in the UK trust those who live around them, with 28 per cent of owners adding that they specifically do not trust their neighbours.

In addition to this, it was discovered that some 26 per cent of people do not even know those who live next door, lowering the chance that they would feel safe about asking them to keep an eye on an empty property.

Chris Pilling, Yorkshire Building Society's chief executive, said: "The UK has always been very proud of its community spirit but it seems neighbourliness is not as prevalent as we might think."

Prof Karen Pine, of the University of Hertfordshire's School of Psychology, said: "Social mobility is increasing and fewer people are being raised in and living in close-knit communities.

"This means people are increasingly less likely to form strong bonds with the people who live near them."

When houses are empty, there is always a risk of issues such as burglary, fire and flooding, and all of these need to be insured against in order to ensure that a landlord, who will quite often live a distance away, does not lose out financially in the long run.