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If you were looking to rent a flat, where would you look for ads?

(30 Posts)
CoffeeChocolateWine Wed 04-Jan-17 18:29:15

Not sure if this is the right place to post, but I'm after some advice. My husband and I own a flat in London which we have rented out for the past 6 years. Our most recent tenants have just moved out after 2.5 years so we are looking for some new tenants and we want to do in privately, like we always have, rather than use an agent.

Last time we advertised, we used Gumtree and got lots of interest and did lots of viewings, had multiple offers and let it out pretty quickly. This time, we've put our ad on Gumtree again - and it's in quite a prominent position so not slipping down the listings - and hardly had any interest at all. It's very early days...only been up for 3 days, but during that time I've had 2 enquiries, compared with about 6-8 phone calls a day last time.

So I just wanted to ask, if you were looking to rent out a flat without using an agent, where would you look for adverts? Should we be advertising somewhere else other than Gumtree, or could it be that the time of year is quieter than the summer (when we let it last time). We had thought that maybe the New Year would be a good time to let (New Year, new start and all that!) but perhaps not.

Any insight or advice would be appreciated as we need to let it pretty quickly.


Hellmouth Wed 04-Jan-17 18:33:21 you can list it as a whole property, or suitable for buddying up.

fruitbrewhaha Wed 04-Jan-17 18:35:28

It's a funny time of year, I'd give it a week or so.

19lottie82 Wed 04-Jan-17 21:59:46

I have a flat that I rent out. I manage it myself but always pay a letting agent to arrange the marketing / checks / contracts, if I need to find new tenants and they use Rightmove.

I'd never advertise on gumtree it's just a magnet for undesirables!

YelloDraw Wed 04-Jan-17 22:04:02


Gumtree has an air of dodge about jt

19lottie82 Wed 04-Jan-17 22:06:17

I could be wrong but I don't think landlords can use RM directly? It has to be via an agency.

CannotEvenDeal Wed 04-Jan-17 22:08:47

I would never, ever rent from gumtree!

I don't think private individuals can use Rightmove though...

jaffajiffy Wed 04-Jan-17 22:09:17

I think Rightmove for a whole flat. Spareroom for a room. We rent out a flat and used OpenRent which is hugely fair to tenants and advertises on Rightmove. We found great tenants and there's no letting fee!

BratFarrarsPony Wed 04-Jan-17 22:10:45

I must say that gumtree seems a bit dodgy.
I answered a couple of ads for accommodation there and they were both patently scams.
After that I did not bother with it again.
Local paper?

Blondie1984 Wed 04-Jan-17 22:11:15

I would use spareroom and Gumtree
Do you mind me asking what part of London it's in and how many bedrooms?

PinkSwimGoggles Wed 04-Jan-17 22:13:20

proper estate agent + right move.

I would never rent from someone who has an add on gumtree/facebook/shop window. screams of 'hobby landlord' or scrupelous slumlord to me.

yummycake123 Wed 04-Jan-17 22:15:06

What's wrong with Gumtree? I rented a few years ago in west London and found a lovely 1 bed flat through Gumtree. I didn't want to go through an agency as their fees were outrageous, and the ad was from a private landlord. I rented that flat for 4 years and it was great.
Most privately rented flats are on Gumtree or local forums (we have local Facebook pages where we live, and lots of people advertise their property there for example); rentals through agencies are usually on rightmove or zoopla...

Spam88 Wed 04-Jan-17 22:15:10

Ooh gosh it would never have even crossed my mind to look on gumtree for a rental property.

I've always primarily used Rightmove.

SusannahD Wed 04-Jan-17 22:16:08

Right move or local estate agent

smerlin Wed 04-Jan-17 22:27:49

Local community website for the main area I've rented in or spare room if you don't want to appoint an estate agent.

CoffeeChocolateWine Thu 05-Jan-17 17:03:39

Thanks for replying. I had no idea people viewed Gumtree like that...we've always used it to let our flat, and admittedly we have had a few slightly dodgy characters view the flat, but have always selected lovely tenants who have been no trouble whatsoever. I can't use Rightmove if I wish to let privately. I don't want to use an agent...mainly because of the fees, but also because we've never had to before and we've been letting the flat for about 6 years now. So an agent would definitely be a Plan B.

Blondie, will message you.

CoffeeChocolateWine Thu 05-Jan-17 17:12:21

Will have a look at Openrent, thanks jaffa.

TurquoiseDress Fri 06-Jan-17 01:14:27

I'd use a letting agent & Rightmove

Never personally used Gumtree, but friends have and the reviews are very mixed indeed.

I wouldn't look for a flat to rent on gumtree

NotCitrus Fri 06-Jan-17 07:02:56

I both rent out and have found tenants who have advertised themselves on Gumtree. It's true that Gumtree will also cover the bottom end of the market, but also lots of perfectly respectable flats that are cheaper than similar on Rightmove (there are agents who will put a flat on RM for you and can vet tenants, for tiny fees).

Generally flats only rent on RM if they are done up perfectly, and go to 'perfect' tenants in high earning jobs. Sharers, people with pets, places with dated but functional decor and furnishings are looking at/advertised on Gumtree. I have a trio of PhD students for example (guaranteed but low income), and a tenant who advertised herself and her dog, wanting to stay local.

Scams exist on both...

Mandolinoparadiso Fri 06-Jan-17 07:15:20

I've had exactly the same experience. I've been letting out my flat in London for seven years and have always advertised on Gumtree and had loads of interest and have consistently found lovely and reliable professional tenants. But the most recent tenants left a few weeks ago and I've had almost no interest from the Gumtree ad, so I've been letting it out on Airbnb over Christmas and New Year and plan to put it on Gumtree again in late January.

Trills Fri 06-Jan-17 07:20:26

Generally flats only rent on RM if they are done up perfectly,

Hahahahahahahaha. No.

They are on Rightmove if they are being let via agents. That is all.

Gumtree does feel a bit scary, but I have successfully found a flat to live in through there. You do have to try hard to make yourselves look real and not like a scam.

Trills Fri 06-Jan-17 07:21:22

Maybe there's been an increase in scams lately and so people are more nervous?

My experience of renting through Gumtree, I started renting that flat 2 years ago, and even then I was very sceptical at first.

Aftertheraincomesthesun Fri 06-Jan-17 07:29:31

Go through an agent. Worth the fee for them to vet applicants and reference them. Also take out tenant insurance through the agency to insure rent.

19lottie82 Fri 06-Jan-17 09:22:24

Go through an agent. Worth the fee for them to vet applicants and reference them.

I agree with this 100%. I think Countrywide charged me 1/2 a months rent, to market the property, vet the tenants and put all the contracts in to place.

They offered to do the viewings too but I wanted to do them myself as I wasn't keen on renting out my flat to someone I'd never met.

. Also take out tenant insurance through the agency to insure rent.

Don't think I agree with this though, it's expensive and seems to have a lot of exclusions. Not really worth it IMO, but some people may like the security.

Aftertheraincomesthesun Fri 06-Jan-17 09:37:56

After being knocked for £5000 for a tenant I always take tenant insurance. It has been worth its weight

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