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Who Lives in the Private Rented Sector?

In the context of the growth of private renting in the UK, this research examines the characteristics of households living in the sector. Using statistical analysis, the research identifies key sub-sectors of the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and discusses the different needs that these groups have. Understanding and responding to the diversity of households within the PRS is vital if the sector is going to meet people’s growing needs

The UK private rented sector is growing rapidly: over the last ten years it has grown by 1.5 million households. By 2009/10 it accommodated around 4 million households, or 15 per cent of the population.

The characteristics of the sector are also changing, with more households living in the sector for longer and increasing numbers of households with children (in 2009/10, one in six families lived in the private rented sector).

The first section of the report outlines the characteristics of the private rented sector, its growth and the drivers affecting its change.

The analysis then turns to the characteristics of households living in the sector, before using cluster analysis to identify key sub-sectors in terms of household types. The trends in these characteristics and sub-sectors are tracked over the last ten years.

Finally, the implications of the research are discussed in terms of the needs of the different sub-sectors and how the PRS can adapt to meet these more effectively.

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