Countrywide Residential Lettings (CRL) has acquired Specialist Lettings Management (SLM), a letting agencies in the north of England.

CRL, a subsidiary of Countrywide, the UK’s largest estate agency and property services business, has expanded the number of its branches to 204 with the takeover.

SLM has nine branches in Lincoln, Doncaster, Hull, Stockton on Tees, Sunderland, Brighouse, Bolton, Blackpool and Southport.

It also operates two regional leasehold block management centres covering Yorkshire and Merseyside and employs more than 50 lettings staff.

‘SLM is known in the North as a professional and successful lettings operation, which is overseen by a hugely experienced senior management team,’ said John Hards, managing director of CRL.

‘SLM’s network of offices are an excellent strategic fit with CRL and their branch locations sit well within our current network.’

He said CRL was looking to expand its number of branches to 231 by the end of the year, and to double the size of the business by 2011.

The current senior SLM staff will continue to manage the business under its founding managing director, Roger Henshaw.