For landlord insurance customers across the country, the most important thing when it comes to their properties is making sure that they are always bringing in a steady income, which means being able to always have a tenant in their home.

However, for those who do not keep up with the latest market trends and buy houses that are suitable for those demanding them most, periods of vacancy can mount up and leave them with a shortfall on their investment return.

For example, while young professionals were once the biggest proportion of the market by a long way for landlords, this has now changed, and some 51 per cent of landlords say that they let houses to families - a demographic which would previously have bought more often than they rented.

And now Prudential has noted another shift in areas of demand, with more older people having to sell their homes and move into rented properties.

The company said that 42 per cent of over-55s in private rented homes were former homeowners who had sold their properties because they had financial issues that needed resolved.

Some 40 per cent of this group did so because they wanted to pay off long-standing debt, while 19 per cent had separations and divorces to deal with and nine per cent simply wanted more money for their retirement.

Stan Russell, a retirement expert at Prudential, said: "Renting in retirement can make financial sense and accessing property wealth to boost retirement income is a genuine solution for many. Our research shows that many retired renters are perfectly happy with this arrangement."

What it means for buy-to-let owners though, is that they might want to consider looking at new options with regards to what they are putting on the market. Flats in city centres might be great for the high-flying young professional, but the chances of an older resident wanting to live in one will be minimal, so they will want to turn towards small houses, bungalows and ground-floor flats as an alternative.