Landlords could see fewer letting agencies available to manage properties after research found a 16 per cent drop in UK estate agency offices than last year.

It was revealed by the Local Data Company on December 14th that between October 2008 and 2009, 142 estate and letting agency offices closed down.

Ed Mead, director at Douglas &Gordon estate agents, said the statistics are misleading because about 40 per cent of estate agents have lost their jobs.

He added that people may expect about 50 per cent of estate agents to close down, but they have not done because premises are not a major cost.

"Offices where you would have previously seen five people working in them now have one man and a dog …What people have done is slashed and burned in terms of people,"he claimed.

However he believed that those estate agencies which have been on recruitment drives may now be in a strong position.

It is the independent firms which have "held on"as the chains have cut their staffing numbers Mr Mead stated.

Written by John WeeksADNFCR-2002-ID-19511970-ADNFCR

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