The head of a lettings agency says there are up to 60 enquiries for every rental property he lists - and those enquiries typically all come on day one.
Jeremy Miller, director at Millerson in Cornwall, has told the Cornwall Live news website that demand for rental properties in the county was far outstripping supply, with up to a third of enquiries coming from as far afield as Bristol and London.
“There is currently a colossal demand for rental properties and added to that is the fact there is not a lot of rental properties coming to the market. Part of that at the moment is that tenants know that they have protection from eviction as they normally would” he believes.
Miller adds that the working from home habit means people move further, even for rented accommodation.
“Since May last year at the end of the first lockdown, there’s been an incredible demand for rental properties from both people living locally and nationally" he adds.
“The rental market is very strong at the moment. One of my colleagues put a property in St Austell on the market to rent and by the time they’d returned to their desk they had 68 emails before the property came off the market again within hours.
"This, in turn, is increasing the prices of properties going to rent, because there's so much demand for what is available people are often willing to pay more."
The situation is worsened by landlords selling up, deterred by existing taxes and the threat of Capital Gains Tax change.
Miller says the government is making an enemy of small-time property investors due to heavy legislation and punitive taxation making it more difficult for small landlords to operate.