In a move described as the biggest in its history, property rental company Linley & Simpson is set to create around 30 jobs with the roll-out of a new home sales operation which has been piloted at its new Saltaire branch.

The independent agency started as a dedicated lettings operation 16 years ago and has since rented out more than 35,000 homes from its network of offices, including Ilkley and Horsforth, and has grown into Yorkshire’s leading lettings specialist with ten offices and 100 staff.

The company added Saltaire to its network in October through the acquisition of the Move2 agency on Bingley Road which was designated as the launchpad for the new residential sales business.

Linley & Simpson will phase in the residential sales service across all of its branches over the next year.

The new operation will be spearheaded by chartered surveyor Mark Christopher, who has more than 30 years’ experience in multi-site branch management with both regional independent agencies and corporate estate agents.

Will Linley, the company’s founding director, said: “This breaks new ground for us – and forms the biggest development and investment in our history.

“Under Mark’s leadership, this forms a natural progression for the company and is one which will complement, rather than compete with, our letting specialism.

"We remain committed to expanding our letting business by building on the four acquisitions we made last year.

“Our offices cover all the most popular places to live in Yorkshire and are well placed to take advantage of the rise in sales activity that we expect 2014 and beyond will bring.

"With returning customer confidence, increased buyer activity and initiatives such as the Help to Buy scheme, we believe now is the time to enter the sales marketplace for the first time.”

The next phase of the sales business roll-out will include the Ilkley and Horsforth branches.

Mr Christopher, the new head of residential sales, said: “We have been researching the potential of developing a residential sales niche for some time.

“We are determined to build on the success of this pilot and are confident that the strength of the Linley & Simpson brand, coupled with the pool of talent we are recruiting into the new department, will quickly establish us in the Yorkshire residential sales market.

“It also enables us to meet the needs of the growing number of landlords and private customers who are asking us to deal with their own property sales.”