8 August 2014

A YORKSHIRE residential letting agency has dubbed it the Ex-Factor the latest reason for a surge in demand for homes to rent.

Linley & Simpson has this month seen the number of live applicants on its database searching for properties to let rise to more than 3,200, the highest total in its 12-year history.

With available stock running at the 400-mark, this equates to an average of eight tenants chasing each property.

Nick Simpson

The company cites a rising number of relationship breakdowns as a major reason for this situation alongside the continuing difficulties in buying a property and securing a mortgage in the current economic climate.

Director Nick Simpson said: It's a noticeable trend and one which, sadly, our staff are dealing with more and more often as they do their best to find a solution for the parties concerned.

We call it the Ex-Factor and it seems to peak at this time of year. Many couples in relationship difficulties have tended to stay together for the sake of their children during the long summer holidays, and start of the new school term.

But with those pressures now behind them, they are deciding that now is the time to split up and try to move on which ultimately leads to one of them moving out.

In most cases it is about trying to help one of them find a new home to rent, but in some cases it can also involve letting out the property they shared.

However, the companys network of offices which include York, Harrogate, Wetherby, Ilkley, Wakefield and three in Leeds also pinpoint a number of more positive factors for the record rise in rental demand.

A surge in the number of overseas students sponsored by their Government notably from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar - choosing Leeds in particular as a place to study and live has also buoyed the market.

So too has the number of new graduates taking the first step on the career ladder after leaving university in the summer.

The growing popularity of rent-to-buy schemes, which give people struggling to buy a property an opportunity to save for a deposit, is attracting more applicants.

Mr Simpson added: We should also not lose sight of the fact that the number of new couples looking to move in together also forms a large element of our client base, so our staff are well versed in dealing with both ends of the relationship spectrum.

The key issue now facing the market is trying to meet this demand and we are constantly working with landlords to increase our stock levels and explore ways in which they can expand their portfolio.

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