Official Statistics English Private Landlord Survey 2021: main report Published 26 May 2022

Introduction and main findings

1. The English Private Landlord Survey (EPLS) is a national survey of landlords and letting agents[footnote 1] who own and/or manage privately rented properties in England. It was commissioned by the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

2. The aim of the EPLS is to inform government understanding of the characteristics and experiences of landlords and how they acquire, let, manage and maintain privately rented accommodation. Similar surveys of private landlords were carried out by the department in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2010 and 2018[footnote 2].

3. The private rented sector is characterised by diversity and looks very different now than it did more than a decade ago. The number of households in the sector rose by 45% between 2008-09 and 2020-21, from 3.1 million to 4.4 million households[footnote 3]. The private rented sector is now the second largest tenure in England, and is home to 19% of all households, compared to 14% in 2008-09, when it was smaller than the social rented sector. The private rented sector contains a wide range of different sub-markets, serving a wide range of different types of households across all incomes, including an increasing number of families. In 2020-21, 30% of households in the private rented sector included dependent children (1.3 million households). There are high rates of turnover in the private rented sector, with the number of house moves significantly higher than in the owner occupied and social rented sectors, both within the sector and between it and the other sectors.

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