Renting property can be confusing. Whether you’re looking for a flatmate to rent with, trying to find the best area for you or wanting to advertise a spare room, knowing where to look and advertise is essential. To help you out, we’ve made a list of the best renting websites in the UK and written up some information on each website, allowing you to decide which best meets your needs.
We’ve also answered some burning questions around rental websites and renting in general. Whatever it is you’re looking for; we’ve got the answers for you…
If you want to know about one website in particular or an answer to a question, use this menu to help you find it:
- Best renting websites UK:
- Where is the cheapest rent in UK?
- Is it cheaper to rent or buy UK?
- Is it a waste of money to rent?
- What is a good rental yield in UK?
- What is best rental yield in UK?
Best renting websites UK:
Rightmove is not only one of the best renting websites in the UK but is also the UK’s largest property portal, covering the majority of houses on the market. Rightmove allows you to browse by drawing your desired area on a map or by nearby tube and rail stations. You’re also able to check the all-important average internet speed as it’s displayed in the details of each property. Another factor that makes Rightmove a great rental website is it has a ‘renter advice’ area, assisting those who are new to renting with helpful tips and tricks.
When searching, Rightmove allows you to apply filters, such as price range, property type and how recently the property was added to the site. You’re also able to tick a box to see properties which are ‘let agreed’. On the property listings, both the cost per calendar month and per week are available, allowing you to quickly work out if the property is within your budget. If you’re a student, Rightmove has an area where you’re able to search through student accommodation exclusively, a feature not all rental websites have.
Zoopla is one of the best rental websites as, not only does it show you available properties to rent, but also displays the number of available properties and the average asking rent of an area. Another helpful feature of Zoopla is that it provides you with the estimated cost of monthly bills and tells you the distance from nearby train stations.
Another feature which makes Zoopla one of the best renting websites in the UK, is you’re able to type keywords in to filter your search. For example, if you type in ‘garden’ and ‘garage’, Zoopla will only display rental properties with both a garage and a garden.
Similarly to Rightmove, you’re able to draw on a map your desired area. However, Zoopla also has a feature allowing you to search for properties within a certain travel time from an area. For example, you could type in the address of where you work and search for properties within a 10-minute travel time radius. That’ll come in handy when you want an extra 5 minutes in bed on a morning!
Open Rent is of benefit to both tenants and landlords. Landlords are able to advertise their properties for free, which differentiates it from other rental websites. Tenants can feel confident in the knowledge that Open Rent will protect both their deposit and rent, and that there will be no admin fees. Unlike other house rental websites, Open Rent has an ‘affordability calculator’ allowing tenants to type in their annual household income and receive an estimate of how much monthly rent they can afford.
Open Rent’s search filters allow tenants to look for the perfect place based on area, budget, travel time and even has a filter to search through pet-friendly properties only, meaning you can rest assured that your ‘furry friend’ can move with you!
Find a Hood
Find a Hood is slightly different to the other best renting websites, as it finds you an area which is best suited to you. Tenants are able to take part in an activity, rating factors on a scale from 1-10 depending on how important the tenant sees them. Examples of the factors are similar age group; area of low crime rate and how good investment is in an area. Alongside this activity, the tenant will also fill in a quick questionnaire about themselves, so Find a Hood can match the rating criteria to your demographic.
Once you have been matched to an area, Find a Hood breaks down the area’s statistics and will show available properties to rent in this area.
SpareRoom is a rental website allowing free advertisements to both those who are looking for somewhere to rent and those who have a ‘spare room’ and are looking for a ‘lodger’. They claim to be the busiest website of its kind, stating every 3 minutes someone finds a flatmate on their website.
SpareRoom gives you the ability to apply filters to you search, for example bills included in rent, a vegetarian household or if you only want to rent the room on weekends you’re able to include that in your search too! SpareRoom also has an event called ‘Speed Flatmating’, but we’re going to talk about that in more detail later, so make sure you keep reading!
MoveBubble is an app, available on both Android and Apple, catered towards the needs of tenants. The app is different to other rental websites as it allows tenants to scroll through and follow their favourite properties, in a similar style to Instagram. Landlords are able to post pictures and videos, allowing tenants to view the properties in more detail.
Similar to some of the other best renting websites, MoveBubble has a ‘renter hub’ giving tenants helpful, especially useful to those ‘first time renters.’ However, a downside of MoveBubble compared to other rental websites is it currently only covers properties in London and Manchester.
RooomGo,formerly known as EasyRoomate, allows users to either post a room or search for a room available to rent. If you’re looking for a room, you’re able to create a profile with details about yourself, such as the maximum rent you can pay and the nearest date you’re able to begin renting. You’re also able to receive alerts for room matches and make viewing requests on properties.
If you’re wanting to advertise a room, similar to other rental websites, you’re able to do so for free, with the option to pay and become a premium member should you wish to do so. All you have to do is enter the address of the property, fill out some details about the property and post!
Ideal Flatmate is different to other rental websites as it’s main aim is to help tenants find other tenants, who have a room available. Users participate in a compatibility test and will match with other users who they’re most similar to ‘on paper’. Matched users are then able to send messages to each other over Ideal Flatmate for free.
There’s also a ‘buddy up’ feature, allowing users to find a compatible flatmate to then search for a property together. Ideal Flatmate claims to have over 3000 properties uploaded every month, meaning there will be something for everyone!
Gumtree is one of the best renting websites in the UK, as when searching for properties available you’re able to type in exactly what you want, for example ‘1 bedroom private flat’. Users are also able to apply filters, such as amount of rent per week, type of property, and can filter the ads to only urgent ads or ads with pictures.
Gumtree is more than just a rental website, as you’re able to search for all sorts of items available to buy or rent. This means you could find yourself a rental property and furnishings for it, all in one place!
RoomMates allows users to search for either a flatmate or for an available room. The rental website mainly focuses on London and allows users to specify which zone they would like to live in. The search filters also allow you to specify what your preferred demographic is to live with, for example students, professionals, etc.
RoomMates also has a feature called SMART agent, which works 24/7 to find you a perfect match and will notify you when a match is found. Users are also able to chat with their matches through RoomMates and there’s a blog with articles full of useful tips for renters.
Rentify is different to other rental websites, as it generally aims to help both tenants and landlords once a property has been found. For tenants, becoming a member of Rentify allows them to boost their credit rating with every rent payment and also have all their monthly bills combined into one easy payment system. For landlords, Rentify cover the maintenance and insurance costs and will pay the rent should the property be empty, or if the tenant fails to pay.
Rentify currently only covers London and if you want to see the properties available, you will be taken through to Rightmove.
Speed Flatmating is an event organised by the rental website ‘SpareRoom’ – we told you we’d come back to this! The events, which are held across London, allow you to meet and mingle with potential flatmates face to face, allowing you to get to know them before deciding to live with them. You can either meet people who have a room available or those who want to find a flatmate before looking for somewhere to live.
The tagline for their events is ‘it’s not where you live, it’s who you live with’ highlighting the importance they put on making sure you find your perfect roommate!
Nestoria is a house rental website with a difference. It’s a search engine which allows users to view listings from other property portals, all in one place. On Nestoria, you’re able to search a specific location and can apply filters to sort properties by relevance, freshness and property type. If you see a listing you’re interested in, you can click on the listing and Nestoria will take you to the site of the original listing to give you more information and contact details.
Where is the cheapest rent in UK?
If you’re looking for somewhere to rent, but don’t have a big budget then don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. We have a list of the 20 cheapest postcodes to rent in and their average rent per calendar month:
|Postcode||City/Town||Average rent pcm (£)|
Statistics are from Roundrent.
Is It cheaper to rent or buy UK?
Generally speaking, rent can look initially cheaper as the monthly rent is often lower than mortgage repayment costs and the deposit required for renting is less than the initial costs of buying a house. However, depending on how long you want to live in a property, buying the property may work out to be cheaper in the longer term. This calculator will help you to work out whether it’s cheaper to rent or buy on your desired property.
Is it a waste of money to rent?
Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to this question, as it’s down to personal opinion. A lot of people tend to think of rent as ‘dead money’ and the UK is generally quite focused on the idea of house ownership. BUT it’s important to remember this ‘standard’ was set when there was a smaller gap between earnings and average house price and saving for deposit only took 1 year, whereas now it could take 10!
There are, however, upsides to renting. For example, renting allows tenants the freedom to leave a property when they choose and not have to wait around, trying to sell a property. Renting a property also means you’re able to avoid maintenance costs, as if anything is to break it’s up to the landlord to get it sorted. Another upside to renting, is it allows individuals freedom and independence before they may be able to get it if buying AND it allows a lifestyle that they may not be able to otherwise afford. For example, in London those who rent will be able to live closer to the centre compared to if they were to try buy a house.
What is a good rental yield in UK?
Rental yield is the return you make, or expect to make, on a property you own or are thinking of purchasing. Landlords and investors use rental yield to monitor the value of their property investment portfolios.
To work out rental yield, you need to know the purchase price of property, or current market value, and the annual rental income you expect to receive.
Divide the annual rental income by the property value/purchase price and then multiply by 100 to get the rental yield as a percentage.
If that sounds a little complicated, here’s an example to help break it down:
Annual rental income=£8400
8400/150000=0.056 x 100= 5.6% yield
As a general rule of thumb, 7% rental yield or higher is considered very good. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that what is considered a good rental yield will be different for different areas of the UK.
Where is best rental yield in UK?
According to totally money, properties in Liverpool postcode L1 ranks the highest at 10%. Five other Liverpool postcodes made it into the top 25 with rental yields ranging from 7.13% to 8.67%. Falkirk postcode FK3 is 2nd with 9.51% and Glasgow with postcode G52 ranks 3rd with 8.71%. Like Liverpool, Glasgow also made it into the top 25 multiple times, with various postcodes. If you want to see the full list, you can read it here.
Whether you’re looking for a property, flatmate or a lodger for your spare room, there’s something for everyone on our list! Do you have a website to add or extra insight to give? Maybe you have another question you’d like to ask? No matter what it is, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!