The Data Observatory

The NRLA Data Observatory is a collection of official and other well-established data sources which when combined, provide a narrative of the Private Rented Sector (PRS). The NRLA tracks approximately 45 key data sets which are updated monthly, quarterly and annually. A selection of these appear in these pages.

Our Deep Insight blog provides a regular extension of the analysis which appears here, as well as those datasets which are not published in the Data Observatory section of this website.

The blog pages also features blog posts from other organisations and academics to provide insight on the PRS. Here you can also find more in-depth summaries of our regular reports and surveys.

Housing standards

Safety hazards

Chart 1: Proportion of English households with CAT 1 hazards

The 29 HHSRS hazards are classified as Category 1 if a hazard represents a serious and an immediate risk to a person’s health and safety.

  • The proportion of PRS dwellings with a Cat 1 hazard has reduced by almost two-thirds (62%) between 2008 and 2020. 
  • In 2008, almost one-third (30.8%) of households in the PRS had at least one HHSRS Cat I hazard. In 2020, this proportion had fallen to just 11.7%. 
  • This means that almost eight out of nine households in the PRS is now CAT1 hazard-free.
  • This reduction is now much higher than that of owner-occupied households over the same period. The proportion of owner-occupied households with these hazards fell 57% over the same period.

Energy efficiency - EPC rating

Chart 2: Analysis of energy efficient homes by tenure

The chart above shows the proportion of households in each tenure whos property has achieved an EPC rating of A-C. These are the most energy efficient properties.

The proportion of PRS properties in this highest tier has grown five-fold since 2007. In 2020, over 40% of properties in the PRS were rated A-C. 

The proportion of households with this high-level of energy efficiency remains near-identical to those who are owner occupiers.

The same English Housing Survey shows that in 2020, over 40% (44.6%) of property in the PRS was built before 1945. In comparison just 15.4% of social housing renters lived in property built before the end of WWII.  The level of investment in the PRS required to continue the excellent work done by landlords over the last fifteen years is therefore substantial.