Finding Tenants Without a Letting Agent
When trying to find a tenant for your property, most often people will approach an estate agent, who provide a tenant finding service or a fully managed service (rent collection, property management etc), however, these services can typically cost you 6-8% of the monthly rent for the former and the latter option can be up to 15%, with London agents charging even more.
If you’re looking to make the most out of your rental income, you may be interested in finding tenants without an estate agent. This means you can save the aforementioned fees, although you will then need to make arrangements for the tenant’s deposit (in the correct protected deposit scheme) and contracts (tenancy agreement). If you’re happy to proceed, what are your options?
Most of your options for a quick and easy tenant search revolve around the internet, with the most popular options being Ministryofrooms, SpareRoom and OpenRent.
MInistryofrooms offer free listings to all its users with options to buy low cost credits/Bolt’Ons if you want to make your advert stand out. SpareRoom has a free plan, where you can list your property and reply to a certain number of messages but upgrading to the paid plan gives you premium features for your ad, such as ‘Bold Ads’ which claim to give you double the enquiries and free users will be able to contact you without waiting for 7 days. Similarly, with OpenRent a free plan is available but upgrading to their paid subscription will grant you access to other mediums, including Zoopla, Rightmove and 100+ other property partners.
In terms of free options online, you’ll find that you will be severely limited. One of the best options if your budget is really tight could be Facebook Marketplace. You may be more used to selling a second hand TV on Facebook’s Marketplace but every day more and more houses are being listed for both rent and sale. The benefits of selling via this medium include no commission or subscription fees but you will not be exposed to the kind of market you would be with a specialist rental service. Another added benefit, and one not exclusive to Facebook’s Marketplace, is the ability to post your property in Facebook Groups, which often have several thousand members who are looking to rent properties. Friends can tag each other in posts when they know someone who is looking for a room, and groups often focus on a specific geographic area.
Whatever option you decide to pursue when finding tenants without an estate agent, you should always meet the tenants in person and perform a credit check, ideally getting a reference from a previous landlord, this will ensure that you’ll have less headaches down the line!