Rental Impasse
January 3, 2013 7:33 AM   Subscribe

What are best ways to advertise a rental flat in London without using an estate agent?

Is it gumtree? What strategies do you have any strategies for making it stand out?
posted by Brian Lux to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not in London, but I've used quite a lot to find rental flats. As a former renter, I would say a good ad would contain lots of pictures (not from funny angles or using fish-eye lenses to make the flat seem 4 times bigger than it really is), and plenty of info about your policies (pets, smoking, etc) and the flat's facilities (parking, garden, etc).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:42 AM on January 3, 2013

I found mine through SpareRoom and it worked excellently. I have no experience of the letting side, though I've heard good things.

On preview: rightmove had a lot more listings but also seemed to have a lot more spam. YMMV.
posted by katrielalex at 7:43 AM on January 3, 2013

On second thoughts, I'm not entirely sure if you can actually use (place ads on) Rightmove if you're not an estate agent?

SpareRoom is good too.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:45 AM on January 3, 2013

Oh, also, are you advertising for someone to share a flat that already has people living in it, or for someone to rent an entire flat themselves? (You should also make this distinction clear in the ad: I remember often finding really good "studio" listings until I realised that they were just a room in a massive house with a microwave in the corner.)

If the latter, the ad should focus on the quality of the flat,the furnishings, the lighting, the building, etc etc. If the former, on the other hand, a good listing has a lot of details about the person you're living with that aren't just "fun and easygoing". At least a couple paragraphs, including interests, how sociable you expect to be, how much you are looking for a new friend as opposed to a roommate, etc etc.
posted by katrielalex at 7:49 AM on January 3, 2013

I always thought was for Estate Agents too.

SpareRoom looks good, thanks katriealex, they seem to allow you to post whole flats, which is what I'm doing.
posted by Brian Lux at 8:04 AM on January 3, 2013

SpareRoom and Gumtree are what I would check, as a London renter. (and also RightMove, even though I hate, hate, hate, estate agents with the passion of a thousand fiery suns.)

Agree with EndsOfInvention about the pics, I can't even count the number of times I've opened an ad and immediately closed it when the only picture is one they clearly scraped from Google Streetview.
posted by atrazine at 9:05 AM on January 3, 2013

I got my London rental from a private landlord off Gumtree.

Yes, good photos, inside and outside, preferably of all rooms, but especially the bathroom and kitchen. If I see only one or two, I wonder what's being left out (hello, flat with big hole in the living room wall).

I understand it's good to specify that you don't want agents to contact you either unless you do, of course.
posted by tavegyl at 12:38 AM on January 4, 2013

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