Between 2008 and 2011 the proportion of UK citizens renting private accommodation grew from 10 per cent to 15 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistic’s latest mass survey.

The findings were part of The General Lifestyle Survey, which also discovered that in that period the percentage of people owning a house with a mortgage dropped from 40 per cent to 35 per cent.

The survey demonstrates the difficulties faced by the housing market since the economic crisis of 2008; the number of households successfully acquiring a mortgage has dropped dramatically. But as many of our landlords building insurance clients will have seen, this has created opportunities for some property owners to expand their portfolios, and has encouraged others to enter the rental business for the first time.

But while providing one of the necessities of life is seen by many as an important contribution to society, others argue that landlords are less regulated than ever before.

Others might also point out that while the proportion of those renting is high, it is still substantially below the 20% seen in the 1970s. There was a recorded drop of rented accommodation from 20% in 1971 to 7% in 1992, from which point it ranged between 9% and 11% until the 2008 crisis.

Other findings of The General Lifestyle Survey

The survey also shed light on a number of other facets of UK life. In 1971, when the survey first started gathering data, only 37 per cent of households had central heating. By 2000, that figure stood at 92%. The study also suggested that the number of one parent families has risen by a factor of three from 1971 to 2011, although the proportion steadied since 1998.

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