The private rented sector (PRS) in the UK and Ireland has grown substantially in recent years as it has become harder to access social housing and home ownership.
As with affordable housing, in the UK the PRS is devolved and so regulation differs depending on your location. As the sector grows, its role within the wider housing market is also changing. Traditionally the PRS was often seen as mainly providing a short term home for groups such as students and young professionals, who might later move on to either owner occupation or social renting. These groups are still present in the sector but, as both social housing and owner-occupation have become harder to access, the PRS now also houses a growing number of people for the long term.
As approaches to preventing and responding to homelessness change, the PRS is also now housing a growing number of households in the lowest income groups, including some with complex needs. These households might traditionally have been housed by social landlords, but increasingly many are now renting privately.
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