A surge in foreign workers and the value-for-money on property in the Mansfield area has seen an increase in applications for shared housing, a property expert has said.
In recent weeks, three applications have been submitted to Mansfield District Council to convert large properties into multiple-occupation homes - rentable bedrooms with shared bathroom and kitchen facilities.
This includes the recently-closed Boothy’s social club on West Hill Drive, plus recent planning applications to open an eight-bedroom shared property on Chesterfield Road North and a seven-bedroom property on Corporation Road.
Decisions are yet to be made by town planners.
Neil Temple, director of Mansfield-based estate agents, David Blount Ltd, said the latest applications are the tip of the iceberg.
“We noticed a real increase in demand for these during 2015,” he said.
“It was because the area was identified nationally as offering good value for money, both in terms of the initial purchase price and the subsequent return on investment.
“Demand for the rooms has also been strong, not only for people who are eligible for housing benefit but also from working people.
“The migrant population has also contributed significantly to the demand for single rooms.
“You tend to find concentrations of these properties in certain areas, normally close to the town centre.
But while the properties offer short-term solutions for workers, they are not always popular in established residential areas with fears they could attract anti-social behaviour.
However, Mr Temple added: “We haven’t found this to be the case but it does rely on professional management of the properties, either by a reputable letting agent or by the owners themselves.”