Crest Nicholson is planning an ambitious new strategy to become one of Britain’s largest residential landlords. Financial Times

The developer is in talks to set up a joint venture with an estate management partner that would see it become a landlord of its own property for the first time.

The venture could also buy properties from other sellers and developers, although it would primarily buy from Crest businesses.

The business could eventually be spun off into a real estate investment trust if there proved to be tax advantages.

The decision comes as pressure is mounting on the government to modify the existing legislation on real estate investment trusts to make it easier for them to own large amounts of residential property.

So far, there are no residential Reits and only one listed residential landlord company, Grainger.