List Of The Best Online Letting Agents

Online Letting Agents, the efficiently cheap way of Letting your property!

Online Letting Agent Vs High Street Letting Agent

Tens of thousands of landlords around the country have ditched their local high street letting agent for alternative online solutions, and here’s just a few of the reasons why…

  • Find tenants for absolutely free without an agent (no catch or gimmick)
  • Save thousands of pounds on agency fees
  • Viewings arranged and managed online to suit your schedule
  • Flexible options to take as much or as little control of the lettings process as you want
  • Advertise on the biggest UK property portals, including Rightmove and Zoopla
  • Quick & easy process (have enquiries coming in as quickly as 24 hours)

Find out all you need to know about Online Letting Agents, including the best options available to you…

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List of the Best Online Letting Agents for Landlords

There are a buttload of online agents out there, and more and more are opening up shop every day, but here’s a list of online letting agencies that I personally recommend, because I’ve either used them myself to find tenants, or because they have received awesome feedback from the landlord community.

The prices and details below are for “Tenant-find” services. If you want a “Managed” solution from an online agent (yup, they offer that, too), you may want to hop down to the managed services section.

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Please note, I try my best to keep the information of each agent up-to-date, but you should read the T&C’s from the agents’ website for the most up-to-date information.

Other Popular Services

Just in case you require a couple of other competitive quotes for popular letting services…

Table of contents:

What is an Online letting agent?

They’re letting agents that don’t have a high-street presence (i.e. a local branch you can walk into), instead they operate from one centralised office, and make their services available via their website. Ultimately, that means they have much lower overheads compared to high-street agents, which is precisely why they’re the able to offer much cheaper solutions for finding tenants. Like, massively cheaper.

An online letting agent’s goal is fundamentally the same as any regular high-street letting agent, which is to generate as many leads from prospective tenants as possible in order to fulfil a vacant tenancy for a landlord. They achieve this by marketing a rental property across several (if not hundreds) of the biggest UK property portals, which are all crawling with prospective tenants looking for their next home.

Quick fact: a staggering 92% of tenants search online for their next rental property on websites like Rightmove and Zoopla. So getting your website listed on those websites is paramount to finding tenants efficiently.

In order to get listed, you simply need to pay a small fixed-fee, and then upload your BTL property details onto the online agent’s website. The online agent will then distribute your property’s details across different property portals, including Rightmove, which means your property will appear in Rightmove’s search results.

When a prospective tenants makes an enquiry through one of the property portals, the landlord will receive it directly, and then, typically, schedule and conduct the viewings with them. The final step is for the landlord to choose the most suitable applicant.

Some online letting agents do offer ‘hosted viewing’ services for an additional fee (£300 on average) – so you don’t necessarily have to take the viewings – but *most* landlords that use online letting agents take the viewings themselves, because that’s how they’re able to make the biggest savings. The basic tenant-find service is definitely the value proposition when it comes to online agents.

The most reputable (and recommendable) online letting agents have a fully-dedicated support team which can be easily contacted via phone and/or email, so you’re not just dealing with a dormant website and automated responses- you actually are dealing with real people.

Online letting agents originally only catered for landlords that wanted a simple “tenant-find” service, and NOT a fully managed service.

If you opt for a “tenant-find” service from an online agent, which is approx £50 on average, you can typically expect the following service:

  1. Property listed on the biggest UK portals, including Rightmove and Zoopla, to generate enquiries from prospective tenants
  2. A range of forms and documents, including Tenancy agreement templates
  3. Support from an account manager in case you have any questions
  4. Tenant referencing service

Over the years online agents have evolved by offering comprehensive services, which you’d typically expect from high-street agents and their fully managed packages, such as rent collection and maintenance management. So if you’re looking to benefit from online agency prices, while wanting a managed service, you may want to skip down to the online letting agents that offer managed services section.

What are the differences between a high-street letting agent and online letting agent?

These days, in terms of services, online letting agents can offer most of the services high-street agents can. For example, online letting agents can offer ‘hosted viewings’, ‘professional photography’ services, ‘Rent collection’ services etc., essentially all the services you’d expected from a useful high-street agent.

However, they differ in the following ways (in my opinion):

  • Shop-front / Face-to-face service
    High-street agents can offer a face-to-face service. So, for example, if you get really pissed off with their service, you can storm into their shop and throw a glorious and public tantrum for the world to see.

    With an online letting agent, you’re limited to communicating via phone and/or email, so the biggest threat in your arsenal is a string of devastatingly scathing words, like, “you’re a real nasty piece of work, sir!”

    That said, I don’t want to downplay the value of personal face-to-face service. I totally get it, including the comfort it can provide. And for some landlords, not being able to get that with an online agent is a deal-breaker. At first thing, I had similar feelings, but after taking a leap of faith, I *personally* realised that I don’t need the personal touch as much as I thought, especially when taking into consideration how much extra it costs.

  • Price
    This is where high-street agents and online agents become drastically alien from one another.

    When you start looking at the pricing differences you almost have to wonder if they’re selling the same commodity (they essentially are!).

    High-street agents have massive overheads in comparison to online agents, so they NEED to charge more for their services, and believe me, that they do! That’s a fact. Those fabulous multi-coloured Mini Coopers don’t pay for themselves.

    High street agents generally base their fees on the percentage of rental income achieved over a one year duration. For example, if you receive a rental income of £1,000pcm, they might charge you 10% of of the annual rent (£1,000 x 12 = £12,000) to find you tenants, which would cost £1,200. That’s a horrendous amount of money.

    From my experience, ALL online letting agents work on a fixed-fee basis (i.e. the £45 price on the tin is what you pay, unless you opt in for add-on services e.g. gas safety certificate, EPC, professional photography etc), so there are no hidden fees or sneaky extras that sneak in, which are notorious of the traditional high-street agent.

    You do the math… and then tell me online agents aren’t worth a punt (if you’re not a believer yet, that is).

  • Enquiry management
    Unless you opt for a fully-managed solution (more on that further down the page), handling enquiries is generally a service online letting agents don’t provide.

    High-street agents, on the other hand, include enquiry management and a viewing service with all their packages (of course, you’ll pay through the ass for the privilege).

  • Local knowledge
    High-street agents are able to benefit from local knowledge and using it to their advantage, while online agents can’t do that since they operate out of a head office (usually slap bang in the centre of a metropolitan city).

    I’m going to be completely honest, I actually don’t know what “local knowledge” brings to the table and why high-street agents insist it’s an edge, because from my experience most prospective tenants are looking to move in the same local area they’re already living in.

    Moreover, I think benefiting from “local knowledge” was a thing before the internet, when we couldn’t research local schools, transport links and crime rates for any tiny village from anywhere on the planet.

    The more I think about it, the more it seems like it’s a redundant feature that’s simply thrown around to win points, but really has no value anymore.

    However, in the event that I’m mistaken, and “local knowledge” is actually still a real thing with real benefits, I’ve added it to the list.

Fixed-fee full management letting services

Ok, so the table above shows the prices and details for “Tenant-find” services, which are more geared towards landlords that have the shear will and courage to deal directly with tenants’ and take full control of the management. And yes, while I have stipulated that I believe that’s where the best value is, I also do appreciate that some landlords, simply, can’t be assed with all the fuss and therefore want more from an agent.

Fortunately, and as said, some of the agents listed do offer more comprehensive ‘managed’ packages along with the same one-off fixed fee goodness, which are suitable for landlords that want to benefit from the online bargain prices.

It doesn’t matter if your rental property demands £5,000 PCM or £100 PCM, the online full management letting services listed below will charge the same low fixed fee, unlike traditional high-street letting agents that charge a percentage of the rental income.

So if a fully managed service is more your bag, I would personally recommend the agents and packages listed below! The best part about them (besides from the low-cost monthly fixed fees)? Unlike with high-street agents, you won’t be tied into any lengthy contracts, because they all operate on a month-by-month contract…

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Require any of the following?

Please note, I try my best to keep the information of each agent up-to-date, but you should read the T&C’s from the agents’ website for the most up-to-date information.

Online letting agents & Consumer protection

Putting aside the fact that I don’t think tenants or landlords don’t have enough protection when dealing with any type of letting agent, I do want to make it clear that both online and highstreet letting agents must be a member of a redness scheme. If they’re not, they’re operating illegally and you should avoid them at all costs.

Essentially, every agent must be regulated in order to maintain consumer protection, and more notably, you don’t get any more or less consumer protection rights whether you use an online or high-street agent.

If you experience any problems with an agent, the scheme should be your first port of call to lodge an official complaint.

It should be clearly stated on the agent’s website or shop-front (if you’re using an high-street agent) which scheme(s) they are a member of.

Top tips for using an Online letting agent to find tenants

  • Photos matter. A lot!
    I’m not in the business of telling anyone how to spend their money, but I can’t stress enough how important good quality, well-lit photographs are when it comes to maximising interest.

    If you don’t have any and don’t have the equipment to get any (an iPhone doesn’t count), including a professional photography package is usually a wise investment with positive ROI.

  • Don’t start the search too early
    It’s ill-advised to start using an online letting agent to advertise your upcoming vacancy several months before it’s available, because the likelihood of any arrangements falling through will be sky high.

    The rental market moves quickly so the landscape can look dramatically different in a matter of months, which includes rates and available stock.

    I usually don’t start advertising 6 – 8 weeks before availability.

  • Don’t prematurely stop advertising

    A tenancy is not guaranteed or secured until:

    • Deposit is paid
    • First month’s rent is paid upfront
    • Contracts are signed
    • Tenant moves in

    I personally don’t pull the plug on any marketing until those boxes are ticked.

    The problem with prematurely terminating my listings is that I may need to pay for another marketing package to get relisted again.

  • Get listed on Rightmove & Zoopla
    Rightmove & Zoopla are by far the most popular property portals in the UK, so between them they are more likely to give you the biggest bang for your buck by attracting the most eyeballs and generating the most enquiries.

    Almost every online letting agent will offer pathways to advertise your rental property on Rightmove & Zoopla either as part of their core packages or as optional add-ons. So regardless of which online agent you decide to choose, I can only recommend ensuring you are listed on Rightmove and Zoopla.

  • Include key details of the terms of the tenancy
    To avoid wasting everyone’s time, make sure the key terms of the tenancy are on all of your listings, including (but not limited to):
    • Length of tenancy
    • Monthly rate
    • Bills included/excluded
    • Furnished/Unfurnished
    • Deposit amount
  • Know your market first
    Before signing up to a marketing package, I recommend researching the local competition on Rightmove & Zoopla. This will allow you to know what you’re up against. You can use this information to get a competitive edge. For example, if your property is being listed in an area with high supply, you can slightly lower your asking price.
  • Better tenant referencing is essential
    All online letting agents will either include a tenant referencing service with their packages or give you the option to include it as an add-on. Thoroughly tenant referencing is a must, and it can save you from a lot of heartache, not to mention a boatload of cash.

    However, while the services offered by online agents are good for credit checks and providing an overall financial screenshot of an applicant, there’s plenty more due diligence that can be done (and should be done, I’d argue) to tighten the margin for error. Here’s my full guide on how to thoroughly screen tenants.

  • Tenancy agreement contracts
    A lot of online agents will offer boilerplate tenancy agreements for you to use, so I implore you to properly read and understand them before use, ensuring they’re suitable for your circumstances!
  • Respond to enquiries promptly
    As already mentioned, the rental market is fast moving, so it’s important to reply to applicants promptly and maintain regular communication. Otherwise they’ll just move on.
  • Update photos/details if you’re experiencing little interest
    If you’re experiencing an enquiry drought then don’t be afraid to experiment with your listings e.g. update photos, alter the ordering of your photos (especially the primary/profile photo), make your description more appealing etc.

    (side note: this only works on the basis that you’re not trying to flog a turd or even worse, an overpriced turd, in which case, you need to address the fundamental issue(s), because short of completely misleading people with false details, no amount of tweaking is going to save you).

Which is the best online letting agent?

I wish I could give you a definitive answer, but I can’t.

In short, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the agents I have listed (that’s based on the assumption you know exactly what you’re getting with an online agent), which is why they made my short list. They all check the following boxes (which I think are all important factors):

  • Good ratings on impartial review platforms (e.g. TrustPilot)
  • Advertise on Rightmove & Zoopla
  • Fixed prices (so you know exactly how much you will pay)
  • Reputable
  • UK based support
  • Responsive (whenever I reach out to them for information)
  • Registered company on Companies House
  • Member of a redress scheme (e.g. Property Ombudsman, Trading Standards etc.)

I have used several of the online agents to find tenants in the past (and continue to use them when required), and the reality is, they all delivered exactly what they said they would: they marketed my property on the biggest property portals in the UK, generated a shitload of enquiries, which resulted in finding tenants quickly, all for a very reasonable fixed-fee (with no hidden costs). Essentially, they did exactly what I wanted and expected.

In my opinion, as long as you use an online agent that will list your BTL on Rightmove and Zoopla, you stand a good chance of efficiently achieving your goal (presuming that is to generate enquiries from prospective tenants).

But no, not all online agents are made equal!

Online agents can differ from one another in terms of the extra services they have available, so that can definitely play a factor in your decision. For example, while Visum and OpenRent are GREAT for basic tenant-find services, which will assist with getting your property listed on Rightmove in order to generate enquiries, other online agents like LettingAProperty offer much more comprehensive managed-services, which includes rent collection and home maintenance and emergency cover. So the agent which is best for you can often be determined by the level of service you’re looking for, because some of them might not be able to meet your demands. After applying your filters, you could be left with a few options, and in that case, I can only recommend considering the price and pursuit further due diligence (i.e. read through some independent reviews). Hopefully one will stand out from the crowd.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that one of the biggest advantages of using an online agent’s tenant-find service is that you won’t be locked into any contractual agreements that will prevent you from deactivating your listing if you’re dissatisfied with their service. You can’t typically say the same about high-street agents – most of them enforce a contractual agreement that’s hard to break free from without paying hefty fees.

Ignore the cynics. Online letting agents are awesome

I read an amusing article last week over at ‘Estate Agent Today’ about angry high-street letting agents bitching about online letting agents.

Essentially, we have a bunch of high-street letting agents complaining that Online Letting Agents (e.g. LettingAproperty, OpenRent) shouldn’t be able to advertise their properties on Rightmove. I don’t really understand the argument. I’m not even sure there is a problem, beyond the fact that high-street letting agents aren’t able to compete with the low prices online letting agents are charging. But that’s tough shit. They should either change their business model so they can compete; focus on building their “fully-managed” package….or roll over and die.

The consumer (landlord) should be able to choose whether they want the service of a virtual or high-street letting agent. Despite common misconception, neither service is better than the other and they shouldn’t be compared, because they’re different services all together, designed for different types of landlords.

So, comments like this, “Some landlords will always be prepared to cut corners and avoid paying a good letting agent. In my experience, many live to regret it” are the remarks muttered by a petulant child. If I don’t need the extras that come with a high-street agent, why the hell should I bloody pay for one? It’s genuinely not a case of “cutting corners”, it’s a case of assessing my needs, and choosing a service that will meet them. Simple.

Now, of course, there isn’t a shortage of negative experiences with online letting agents (just like with anything, to be fair). But honestly, I think a vast majority of them come from landlords that expected a premium one-to-one service, or an experience that closer simulates that of a traditional high-street agent. That’s not going to happen, which is why it’s important to understand why online agents are significantly cheaper and the pros and cons of their service before using one, that way expectations are likely to be realistic.

Do I have to take my own viewings if I use an online letting agent?

Nope, some online letting agents offer the option to include “hosted viewings”, however, in my opinion, that beats the purpose of using an online agent. The biggest saving is made by taking your own viewings when using an online agent.

If you decide to conduct the viewings (because it’s a buttload cheaper than upgrading to a ‘hosted viewing’ service), you may have concerns over your ability to ‘sell’ your property; you may not have the gift of the gab or be a natural salesman, or you may just be incredibly shy around strangers. Understandable.

While I won’t be able to cure any anxiety issues you may have about taking your own viewings, I do want to make the following points, which may make the situation a little less daunting:

  • The reality is, if someone falls in love with a property during the viewing, they’ll probably make an offer as long you come across as relatively friendly and reasonable. There’s not much ‘selling’ required; the product is in front of them, they can see what’s on offer.
  • In today’s climate, where demand for rental properties is massively out-striping supply, tenancies are flying off the shelf. Point being, during a booming market, you really don’t need to push a hard sale – the selling happens in cruise control.
  • I’ve recently written an in-depth blog post on why it is so much better and safer for landlords to take their viewings! If that doesn’t reassure you, I don’t know what will!
  • If you think it will help, get someone you can trust to assist you with the viewings.

So I wouldn’t over worry if you’re concerned about the ‘selling’ aspect; the sales pitch will mostly boil down to showing prospective tenants around, and answering a few questions about the property and tenancy agreement.

Are online letting agents suitable for new or first-time landlords?

Lordy, if I was given a donut for every time I’ve been asked this question, I’d be one very rotund individual.

Don’t hate me for this, but… *it depends*

I know, I know, that’s about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

But sadly, it’s the truth.

So, first, let’s clarify, this question seems only relevant if we’re talking about a “tenant-find” service, and if they’re suitable for fresh off-the-boat landlords.

As I’ve mentioned, using an online “tenant-find” service over a high-street one is how landlords can save a tonne on agency fees, and it’s the value proposition provided by online agents, and why it appeals to so many landlords. I’ve personally saved several thousands of pounds over the years by using them.

To be honest, I think the suitability depends more on what kind of landlord *you* want to be, rather than how long (or little) you have been a landlord for.

What I mean by that is, if you’re able and prepared to be “hands-on” (i.e. willing to take viewings, communicate with tenants professionally, manage maintenance issues and keep on top of regulatory compliance), then I’d say you’re exactly the type of landlord that should be using a cost-effective online tenant-find solution.

If you want to take a backseat role and you’re willing to pay a premium for someone else to do the leg-work and hold your hand through compliance, then you’re probably better suited to using a high-street agent.

Yes, experienced landlords are likely to find it easier transitioning to an online letting agent because they’ll be more familiar with how things work, particularly their legal obligations.

However, over the years, I have personally received positive feedback from a significant number of first-time landlords that used an online agent from the offset, and many of them were amazed at how easy the process was (and how much money they saved). But these are the same landlords that took the time to do their due diligence and research.

I think most new landlords are concerned about complying with their legal obligations (e.g. health and safety, EPCs etc). Basically, they’re not entirely sure what they need to do, and that’s why they’re hesitant to use an online agent over a face-to-face high-street agent, who can walk them through the process.

Completely understandable.

What I will say is that there are plenty of resources available to help new landlords find their feet, least of all my blog. Case in point, my free eBook for new landlords, which I recommend downloading if you haven’t done so already, because it covers A-Z of becoming a landlord, and I think after reading it, you will have a better idea of whether you want to use an online agent or opt for a traditional high-street agent. Moreover, I have made available a library of helpful documents for landlords, including checklists, which provide guidance notes on compliance (for landlords in England).

Secondly, most online agents provide support and also have a library of guides available that will be able to assist with compliance.

Bottom line, the answer will depend on what kind of landlord you want to be. But if you’re totally petrified of cocking up legal compliance, then for the sake of your mental health, using a high-street agent to help get you through your first ride might be a wise decision and money well spent 🙂

Lastly (and this is a piece of reality many landlords neglect), it doesn’t matter if you use an online or high-street agent, it will always be the landlord’s responsibility to meet their legal obligations. For that reason, I would personally never completely rely on a letting agent for legal compliance. Moreover, experience has taught me that many of them don’t know their arse from their elbow when it comes to legal matters anyways.

You can ALWAYS use both an online agent and high-street agent

When people talk about online agents and high-street agents, I always get the impression they think it’s an either/or situation. That’s definitely not the case. Actually, I’ve probably given that impression myself, but I’m about to set the record straight.

For anyone that’s reluctant about using an online agent, but wants to give it a whirl by ditching a high-street agent and their fees, I would recommend doing the following…

Use an online letting agent- invest £45 (or so) into their service, and see if you can bag yourself a tenant, but at the same time use a high-street agent to find tenants. May the best greaseball method win.

Most high-street agents don’t charge unless you actually USE the tenant they source (but double check that with your agent, and get it in writing to be safe!We’re dealing with agents here. Enough said, right?). If the high-street agent sources the tenant, then the worst case scenario is that you invested an extra £45, which isn’t a big loss in the grand scheme of things. Alternatively, you just saved yourself a few hundred quid, and finally recognise how awesome online letting agents are. Congratulations.

But let me expand on how you can still use both online and high-street agents together. If you manage to find a tenant through an online agent, and take on the fully-managed role, but then realise taking on the responsibility isn’t suited to your lifestyle, then you can easily just approach an agent to take over the management. It really isn’t a case of either/or as far as I’m concerned.

Still adamant on using a high-street agent? Then cut a deal!

You’re not convinced by the whole online letting agent thing.

That’s cool, I can dig it.

In that case: it’s always worth mentioning to your high-street agent that you’re looking into online agents because they’re so much more cost-efficient and offer the same services. Once you drop that bomb, many agents have been obliged to lower their initial rates.

Needless to say, online agents’ low prices have been causing havoc for high-street agents, and I don’t see it getting any easier for them.


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