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If you rent through a private landlord - where did you find them?

(25 Posts)
shamelessmailhack Fri 27-May-16 19:20:39

And would you recommend going this route?

I've had to move several times in the last few years, and frankly dealing with letting agents is awful! It's hundreds each time just to get credit checks etc done. Most of them practically hang up the phone on me when I tell them I have a cat. I feel that a private landlord might be a bit more flexible and hopefully offer a longer term let.

However, having looked at Gumtree and had a Google I can't seem to find any properties that are being let directly. So if you've found a property without an agent how did you do it? Any sites to recommend?

KP86 Fri 27-May-16 19:28:18

gingerbreadmanm Fri 27-May-16 19:31:36

Found ours on zoopla and one prior to that was a family member.

Ll we have now is great straight on the ball if we need anythinf and never hear from her otherwise.

Family member was a pisstake and did nothing at all to deal with the damp we had to live with (apart frm brought some damp bags and a window vac that did nothing at all). Also thought they were doing us a favour with rent. Weve been left a year. Its still empty.

You need to be careful. Any chance of getting a council or housing association property? Probs best bet.

MaccaPaccaismyNemesis Fri 27-May-16 19:39:46

We rent from friends which is mutually beneficial. Was a bit awkward mixing business and pleasure but we've navigated through it. We are good tenants who pay rent on time and look after the house. We want to stay forever but we are aware at the end of our long tenancy we might have to move but that is the peril of renting your home.

CrazyDuchess Fri 27-May-16 19:46:01

Gumtree - I advertised myself and my landlord found me

OnTheMildSide Fri 27-May-16 19:51:35

I think it was gumtree. You have to check constantly though. Only used a letting agent once and they were a nightmare. Have always been lucky with private landlords. Been in my current property 6 years now and my landlord is great. Barely see him from one year to the next, anything needs fixed or replaced it's done immediately (so far I've had new windows/fire/washing machine and garden fence). No inspections and can decorate how I like. Plus my neighbours are lovely. I feel very fortunate.

shamelessmailhack Fri 27-May-16 23:11:37

Thanks for the hints. Guess I'll just keep checking Gumtree a lot and maybe put an advert up to advertise myself!

Sadly I don't think the council will be able to help us at all. I'd love a council place, even just for a few years while we saved up, but we live in the south east and don't have anything that would make us a priority.

Mirandawest Fri 27-May-16 23:14:03

We found ours on gumtree. Wasn't really looking and randomly found it.

MiniMover Fri 27-May-16 23:15:09

Don't they advertise through estate agencies. We sold a house last year which we had lived in before kids. We had been renting it out for 11yrs. Always through the local estate agent. It would never have occurred to me to advertise it anywhere else. confused

MiniMover Fri 27-May-16 23:19:23

Likewise when we moved down here from up north 5yrs ago, we initially rented. We found the rental through an agency on rightmove. I understand that some people are renting through the council or a HA but other than that, are they not all just with local agencies?

bakingcupcakes Fri 27-May-16 23:19:33

Both times I've privately rented I got them from the small ads in the local paper. The first flat I had for 6 years, the house I'm in now I've had for 12 months. Using Gumtree never occurred to me!

TeaMeBasil Fri 27-May-16 23:22:57

Gumtree for me too, almost didn't bother looking at the property because the ad didn't list any photos but it was close to where I wanted to live & good rent so I went along anyway - turned out he just couldn't suss how to load pics on his new phone - the place was perfect for me.

Good rent, good landlord (never see him & fixes everything) I'm very lucky. Definitely try gumtree but keep right on top of it, it moves fast.

MiniMover Fri 27-May-16 23:22:58

Sorry... I seem to have just completely misread your op. I wasn't being goady, just dozy. Please ignore my post.

UpsiLondoes Fri 27-May-16 23:23:18

Gumtree. But I wouldn't rent from one who still didn't run a proper credit / reference check from a third party specialist on me (they only cost about £40-50 and yup, same ones estate agents use and then charge you £200+ in fees). Reason being if the LL isn't finding and vetting his tenants properly, he may not be maintaining the property properly. Or be clueless as to what he's doing, might decide to sell in year or two, etc.

TeaMeBasil Fri 27-May-16 23:23:43

Oh and a deposit as usual but no rip off agency fees.

IgnoreMeEveryOtherReindeerDoes Fri 27-May-16 23:30:33

Ask the council they have a list of private landlords some properties maybe right shit holes as they think anyone on benefits don't mind living in shitholes as rent paid for by council but there might be some ok ones as some list that they don't take those on full HB. So worth a try asking your local council or even sheltered accommodation.

Ive moved about alot and estate agent fees are eye watering even when I paid 6months upfront once. I've always refused to pay £150-£200 for contract renewal and carried on with roll on roll off agreement.

IgnoreMeEveryOtherReindeerDoes Fri 27-May-16 23:32:44

Also facebook local pages put a wanted request out.

mmmuffins Fri 27-May-16 23:38:02

I worked for a university and they had a listing of private rentals available, found one through that. I found another through a housing website specific to my city at the time (Cambridge). I used to keep an eye on Openrent (though the right house never came up).

shamelessmailhack Sat 28-May-16 01:04:11

Some really good ideas thanks!

I'm not on housing benefits. I'm a private tenant. I don't mind getting referenced etc but it's so expensive through agencies it's a joke. Last time I moved I rented from the same letting agents and they charged us £200 each for the process. Even though it'd been done the year before. Grr.

The current agency we are with are also terrible communicators and have managed to shit stir between us and the LL before. I'd rather deal direct than keep having to play Chinese whispers.

Quodlibet Mon 30-May-16 21:27:07

We advertised ourselves as tenants on Gumtree and had 6 or 7 offers from nice landlords who were equally sick of how useless and expensive most agents are. We found a brilliant flat at way below the 'market' rent and were really happy there for about 5 years.

BurningTheToast Mon 30-May-16 22:18:25

We use a letting agent to market the property, vetting, tenancy agreement, inventory etc but we do the viewings ourselves as I like to meet prospective tenants and we manage it ourselves once the tenants are in. I could do all the other bits myself but life's hectic enough and it's handy to have someone making sure that all the boxes are ticked, at least initially.

In one property I have lovely tenants who came for six months and the tenancy has not become periodic. They're planning to stay until September then it depends on jobs. If they want to stay beyond that then I'd be delighted.

My point is that although letting agents can be hellish, landlords are often quite nice and if you can meet them they're probably easier to deal with than the agents. So don't worry too much about finding a landlord directly. Just view a lot of properties and don't be afraid to say that you'd like to meet the landlord and have a chat re longer term plans or whatever. Unless you're in an area where there's a massive shortage of housing, you're interviewing them as much as they are you. At least, I always try to make sure that prospective tenants have confidence in us!

And I'm negotiable on cats.

Hope you find somewhere lovely with a similarly lovely landlord.

DownstairsMixUp Mon 30-May-16 22:27:42

Gumtree to. Been here five years never met him but he repairs quick and not one rent rise (though we always pay on time and fix what we can and let him know and have improved house)

shamelessmailhack Tue 31-May-16 12:20:20

Gumtree ad is up. Hopefully get some responses soon. DS is starting reception in September and school place stuff is all up in the air until we find somewhere. So stressed.

I'm glad to hear some people have had long tenancies. This will be our third move in three years and I'm beyond sick of it now. It's because we live in an area that used to be a bit rough, but has been massively gentrified and is full of ex-Londoners. Prices have doubled in five years, and I guess you can't blame the LLs for wanting to cash out while things are good. sad

I agree that meeting the LL in advance would be good. I'll definitely ask next time. Current LL lives abroad though, so its all been very anonymous!

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Tue 31-May-16 12:34:16

As up above look on They do the admin and contract side but you also deal driectly with the landlord. Referencing is only £20 per applicant.

Their adverts go up on their own site, Gumtree, Rightmove and Zoopla too.

InsufficientlyCaffeinated Tue 31-May-16 12:39:35

Mine was through a letting agent but he only used the agent for advertising. Did all viewings himself, paid for the referencing & now manages it himself. Only contact we had with agent was booking a viewing & feedback afterwards. Once we said we wanted to rent it, was passed on to landlord.

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