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More Private Rented Tenants than Social in England

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Landlords will be interested to hear that there are now more tenants in private rented sector housing than there is in social housing for the first time since the nineteen sixties.  These figures were revealed by The English Housing Survey, which went on to show that in the 2011-2012 yearly period private sector tenants increased to 3.84 million, whilst social housing tenants was just lower at 3.8 million.

The survey was published by the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) who stated that: “Owner occupation remained the largest tenure group with 14.4 million households, compromising around two-thirds (65%) of all households.  There has been a downward trend in the proportion of owner-occupiers since the peak of 71% in 2003 but the proportion in 2011-2012 was very similar to that in 2010-11.”

Meanwhile, the chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Simon Rubinsohn said: “The figures provide further evidence of the shift away from owner-occupation in favour of the rental sector.  Provisional data for the last financial year puts the proportion of households in their own property at the lowest point since 1987.  Meanwhile, an increasing proportion of the population is turning to the private rented sector for shelter with the latest figures showing this form of tenure overtaking the social rented sector last year.”

However, chief executive of the housing charity Shelter, Campbell Robb was not happy with the findings and said: “This historic shift in our housing market is bad news for anyone struggling to find a decent and affordable home.  With the security of home ownership or social renting harder to find than ever, more and more families have no choice but to live with the insecurity and expense of private renting.  As saving for a home of their own becomes increasingly out of reach, many have no choice but to live in rented homes for years on end.”

Private sector landlords may be happy to hear that the private rented sector is looking to remain profitable for the upcoming future; however the increase in tenants also means that more demands are being made on landlords to provide affordable yet high quality housing.  This means that many landlords are now investing more heavily in landlord insurance policies so that they can claim easily if there are damages to their properties or if they need any legal advice.

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