Whether you’re a landlord looking for someone to manage your property or a tenant desperately looking for somewhere to rent, a letting agent is there to help. Over recent times, online letting agents have become more popular, offering what high-street agents can offer, and generally at a lower price.
Don’t know much about online letting agents? Not sure which are the best ones and how to pick? Well look no further as we have the answers right here…
Use this menu to help guide you around and get an answer ASAP:
- What are online letting agents?
- Best online letting agents
- Why do landlords use letting agents?
- How do I find a good letting agent?
- How much does a letting agent cost?
What are online letting agents?
Online letting agents do exactly what it sounds like ‘on the tin’. Online letting agents do the job a traditional letting agent does, just online. A landlord would choose to use a letting agent to manage their rental property and tenants on their behalf.
Online letting agents will find the correct tenants for the landlord, complete the referencing, make regular property inspections, rent collection and more. Essentially an online letting agent is there to make the landlord’s life a little easier.
Best online letting agents:
One of the best online letting agents you will come across is LettingaProperty.com. This letting agent is cost friendly, with their basic package starting at £39 per month.
The basic plan covers fully referencing tenants, advert on Rightmove & Zoopla, a holding deposit service, legal & eviction cover, digital tenancy agreement and ongoing rent management.
There’s also a section on their website for tenants to search through the many properties they have available to find one suitable for them.
It’s not just their services that make them one of the best online letting agents, but also their partnership with The UK Association of Letting Agents, Safe Agent, National Landlords Association, and The Property Ombudsman, showing you’re in safe hands.
OpenRent is another one of the best online letting agents which you may want to consider. Just like LettingaProperty.com, OpenRent has a few different package options for you, starting with the basic package, which is free.
Whilst OpenRent is useful for landlords, with them offering advertising on the best property portals, alongside helping draft and put in place tenancy agreements, it doesn’t offer an ongoing full management of your property.
However, OpenRent does offer help to landlords with advertising their properties and referencing tenants, skills which landlords can take forward onto other properties and tenants.
One thing that does make OpenRent one of the best online letting agents is their open and transparent nature about their fees. Also, OpenRent caters to tenants too, helping to match them with a property and landlord which they are most suited to.
Purplebricks is best known for being an online estate agent but it’s also one of the best online letting agents too. Purplebricks offer three different packages, from the very basics to a fully managed package.
Purplebricks is on the slightly pricier side of the various online letting agents, but their most complete package offers a great deal compared to some of the other ‘full’ packages amongst the other letting agents.
Upad is another one of the best online letting agents which caters to both landlords and tenants. Upad was actually named a gold winner at the ESTAS Letting Agent Landlord Awards in 2019, proving whilst using their service you’re in safe hands.
Upad also has a ‘savings calculator’ on their website, which allows you to put in your monthly rental value, your annual renewal fee and your currently monthly or tenant find fee to see how much you would be saving by using Upad.
Just like other online letting agents, Upad offers multiple different packages, so you can choose one which meets your needs. They also have a package where you don’t need to pay a penny until you have been successful.
Upad puts you slightly more in control, with an online management dashboard and giving you the opportunity to meet the tenants for yourself – something you may need to keep in mind if you live some distance from your rental property.
99Home are one of the UK’s fastest growing online letting agents, allowing you to find tenants from just £29. 99Home are also a member of The Property Ombudsman Redress Scheme, endorsed by the Office of Fair Trading.
At 99Home there’s a package to meet everyone’s needs, with the top package being part management. 99Home also has a ‘no let no fee’ option, meaning until your property has been let out, you won’t need to pay anything.
99Home also allows you to add in features which you feel you need that aren’t automatically included in your chosen package. For example, in the most expensive package, you will get an advert on Zoopla but can pay an additional £20 to have an advert on Rightmove too.
Howsy is another one of the online letting agents who caters to both landlords and tenants, with their pricing for their packages being competitive, with fixed monthly fees, meaning no sudden price increases.
Howsy offers an online dashboard for both landlords and tenants, allowing them to manage appointments, viewings, referencing and repairs at the touch of a button. Howsy also offers 24/7 live chat and customer support, so your problems will never go unnoticed and uncared for.
Howsy offers two different packages for landlords, with one of the packages offering guaranteed rent. This means if the tenants fail to pay their rent within 5 working days, then Howsy will pay you the rent themselves.
You are also offered a renter find and screening service at a one-off cost of £149. This service includes advertising your property on all the top property portals, referencing tenants and credit checks – everything a landlord will need to put their mind at rest!
The Online Letting Agents
The Online Letting Agents are one of the best rated online letting agents, with 4.9 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. Once again, similar to the other letting agents, The Online Letting Agents have several different packages you can choose from.
The Online Letting Agents was established by a group of frustrated landlords, with the mission of providing an affordable, high-quality alternative to expensive high-street letting agents. Their extremely positive Trustpilot rating argues they are successfully completing their mission.
Alongside your chosen package, you also have the opportunity to add in additional extras, such as premium listings, professional photos and floorplans, and more. The Online Letting Agents also have price caps on their fees, meaning you won’t have to pay an extortionate amount for your chosen services.
RentMyHome.co.uk is another one of the best online letting agents, with them offering 3 different packages, at varying prices.
Their most basic package allows you to advertise on Rightmove and Zoopla for 60 days, with an online personal dashboard. On the other end of the scale, the fully managed package offers complete peace of mind, with everything included from monthly rental collections to management of maintenance works.
Alongside great packages on offer, RentMyHome.co.uk state that they could find you your perfect tenants in as little as 7 days, all whilst being a fraction of the cost of high-street letting agents.
Why do landlords use letting agents?
A landlord will use a letting agent as it essentially makes their life easier. An online letting agent will manage your property for you, with them being able to do this from a distance, so you don’t need to worry about finding one in a close proximity from the property.
A landlord may also choose to use a letting agent if it’s their first property, as there are different skills a landlord can learn from a letting agent if they’ve never done this before. For example, as a new landlord you can learn how to reference tenants and how to properly advertise properties.
How do I find a good letting agent?
We know we’ve just given you LOTS of information on the best online letting agents and you’re probably wondering just HOW to choose one. Well, wonder no more and read our top tips for choosing one from the many online letting agents which is best suited to you:
- Check their insurance – You can never be too careful when it comes to someone else handling your money and property! Check if the letting agent has professional indemnity insurance and to what extent they are insured. This insurance will cover the agent in the event they are sued. Not only this, but it also shows as a business they think and care for everything
- Check if their services match your needs – Arguably one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing an online letting agent is checking their services match up to what you need. Some agents will offer more packages with more features than others, so just make sure you’re clear on what you’re being offered
- Look at their accreditation – Whilst letting agents don’t have to be regulated by law, those who are proactively joining schemes show they’re reputable and take care in the important role of managing your property
- See what checks they make – Sadly, although tenants will be referenced and screened, there will always be a horror story of a tenant who doesn’t look after your property. Because of this, it’s a good idea for you to have a look at what checks and inspections the letting agent will make throughout the time they’re managing your property
- Compare the fees – An important part of choosing your letting agent is ensuring you can afford to pay their prices. Make sure you check for any additional fees which you may come up against, alongside what their fee payment structure is like
- Look at their marketing strategies – Marketing your property is one of the key parts of getting it tenanted, so ensure you’re happy with how they will market and advertise your property before you make a decision
- Take a look at their policies – If you’re choosing a full management package, we recommend checking what their policies are on repairs, maintenance and rent collection. Some agents will collect the first months rent only, whilst others may not help with maintenance or repairs whatsoever
- Check out their reviews – Before you get your heart set on a specific letting agent, it’s always a good idea to double check their reviews. You don’t want to be drawn in by their promises only to read the reviews and find their actions are the complete opposite
How much does a letting agent cost?
As you will have seen earlier in our descriptions, the different online letting agents will have differing prices and costs. Most of the agents will have a one-off fee for a ‘let only’ service. For a full property management service, the fees, as you may expect, will be more, with some equivalent to around 12 to 20% of the monthly rent.
Some online letting agents will charge a higher start-up fee and then a lower commission rate whereas others will do it the other way round. Most of the time, a lot of letting agents will end up costing a similar price.
Well that’s everything you need to know about online letting agents, including which are the best ones and our tips on how to pick one. Do you have any questions? Or maybe some insight to give? Whatever it is, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Millie is a perfectionist with a passion for property and writing articles. You’ll find her researching the latest housing trends and the newest up and coming areas worth investing in. Read more about Millie here.