Online letting agents are as cool as high street based letting agents and this is going to be the trend for the next few years.
I would say it is not that straightforward.
As a landlord, I will have my own reservations and nervousness handing over a property for rental without even being able to see an agent.
The word trend has few phases hidden in it. Any new trend is not going to be embraced on day one.
It goes through a period of uncertainty, followed by a learning phase and then a steady-state before it goes mainstream into the market.
Online letting agents are no different. This certainly is moving towards those phases with tenants increasingly relying on online search to find properties to live in.
This post is an effort to look at who are those 15+ players who are set up to take this trend ahead.
The Key Services By Online Letting Agents
Every letting agent has the minimum services they are bound to offer landlords and tenants be it online or offline.
What we have been looking for within online letting agents spaces is to have a minimum of the below-listed services.
- Free valuation
- Property advertising on websites like Rightmove and Zoopla
- Finding and vetting tenants
- Tenancy agreements and associated documentation
- Deposit registration
- Rent collection and rent protection
- Legal cover and Eviction notices
- Compliance checks reminders
- Access to tradesmen for property maintenance
It is a bit tricky to choose letting agents unless you have a good criteria to shortlist their services. Here is a 12 point checklist to choose your letting agent that could be of help.
15 Best Online Letting Agents To Let Your Property
1) The Online Letting Agents
The Online Letting Agents, love it when the brand name is exactly what I am searching for. The company comes with four different packages for landlords to manage their properties.
- Tenant Find
- Part Managed
- Full Managed
The current costs are charged at 3.5% for Part managed package and capped at £50 whilst the Full managed package costs about 5% and capped at £85.
Tenant Find service is charged at £129 including advertising the property on Rightmove.
Services from this online letting agent includes property advertisement and management, premium listings, landlord certificates, inventory services and tenancy admin.
Zero deposits is a good optional perk available which makes it easier for tenants with low upfront costs and protection to landlord for up to 6 week rent.
Trust Pilot Score: 4.9 out of 5.0 and across close to 1000 reviews.
Howsy is a contender for me if I have to move into Online letting agents space. Alongside provision of what appears to be a good property management proposition, it does have an eye on expansion plans too.
Whilst most business were struggling within last year or so, Howsy has bought uPad which was another online letting agency.
- Renter Find
- Howsy Fully Managed
- Howsy Protect
£59 for Fully Managed and £128 for Protect packages respectively if the property is outside of London.
If the property is within London then the prices vary to £89 and £169 for Fully Managed and Protect packages respectively.
While Howsy Fully Managed suits most of us as landlords, Howsy Protect offers rent guarantee cover and also appliances protection for up to 2 appliances, home emergency and boiler cover.
Nothing like having all covers under one roof.
As a small differentiator, Howsy claims to provide tenant guarantee cover including lawyer, court, bailiff fee plus the locksmith when things go wrong.
That certainly helps, doesn’t it?
Trust Pilot Score: 4.4 out of 5 across close to 1500 reviews.
An interesting proposition for sure this one meeting the need to advertise your property as a landlord with a separate service to rent your property.
What stands out is there is a free service which landlords can use to advertise their property on OpenRent website and with no charges on services like listing / enquiry organiser / tenant screening.
- Light Advertising (Free)
- Ultimate Advertising (Other portals like Zoopla…)
- Rent Now
Light advertising package is completely free for 3 months and Ultimate advertising package is priced at affordable £29 with 100+ sites in scope for advertising as applicable.
Rent Now is priced at £49 with both advertising, initial tenancy creation.
Light advertising package is free but only to advertise on OpenRent website for a period of 3 months. However, it also gives some free services like enquiry booking, tenant referencing system etc.
Ultimate advertising gives access to wider public website like Zoopla, Rightmove and 100+ others.
Rent Now comes with both advertising, initial tenancy creation and associated processes.
Additionally, it offers optional extras like tenant referencing and monthly ongoing rent collection service.
Trust Pilot Score: 4.2 out of 5 across close to 2119 reviews.
4) Purple Bricks
Given as much popular Purple Bricks is as a brand, I thought this probably would rate in top three go to letting agents atleast.
Doesn’t sound like it with just about minimum services and what appears from research are higher costs than most.
We cannot get any clue into their prices from their website on what charges are applicable on any of their letting packages.
From a reviews point of view, property sales sound to be doing better than lettings.
- Tenant Find
- Let & Rent Collect
- Fully Managed
Cost: £99 per month to £120 per month
Valuation, floor plans and photos, property advertising, manage lettings online, tenant referencing and tenancy agreements.
Advanced packages also includes compliance notifications, rent collection, maintenance reporting and rental and legal cover.
Trust Pilot Score: 4.6 out of 5 across 82000 reviews. These reviews are for mix of both sales and lettings.
Urban is an online letting agent offering a fully managed service letting properties for landlords besides tenant find service.
The majority of reviews on trust pilot appear encouraging although there are one-off reviews expressing concerns. But, I guess no company can avoid that.
- Tenant Finder
- Tenant Finder Premium
- Full Management
The Tenant finder package is priced at £99 and the Tenant finder premium is priced at £299. There is a catch though that this does not include tenant referencing.
£69 is charged additionally per tenant if the service is required by the landlord.
This however comes with a great guarantee that if the tenant does not pay any months rent within the first 12 month period, Urban will be responsible to evict the tenant for free.
Unlike other online letting agents, Urban keeps it simple and offers full management at £45 per month.
Advert listing on Zoopla, Rightmove and Prime Location websites for your property, Right to rent verification, tenancy agreements and deposit registrations are part of tenant-find service.
The full management includes additionally the contracts, repair management, rent collections, regular inspections and renewals.
The full management is provided by Howsy listed above.
Trust Pilot Score: 4.6 out of 5 across 727 reviews.
6) Rent My Home
Rentmyhome.co.uk is one of those online letting agents who offer a bit of flexibility in being able to pick and choose the services you need.
Offering looks crisp with a good number of team members and partners to support clients are not bad either on their ratings.
- DIY Find
- Essential Find
- Fully Managed
DIY Find package starts from £99 with Essential Find costing about £299. The fully managed service is charged at 6% + VAT on the rental income each month.
This is where the flexibility of pick and choose comes into play.
While DIY services advertising and valuing your property, Essential Find will include property viewings, offers and AST documentation.
Fully managed goes into management mode with all the essentials like compliance, deposit protection and rent collection.
The good thing though is you can pick each of the services individually like advertise on one portal, check-in/check-out, photos, inventory, renewals, compliance and like, priced just for that task.
Trust Pilot Score: 4.5 out of 5 across 321 reviews.
Rentoo is exactly the trend I was talking about moving into online space. It offers a monthly subscription-based model for letting your properties.
This is pretty much a platform providing features for you to advertise your property on their platform, find tenants, store your documentation and manage your property portfolio.
It’s a bit of work for you as a landlord but if you are willing to manage yourself then this provides the system for you.
- Rentoo Start
- Retnoo Plus
Rentoo Start is a free service for you to advertise the property, book and manage viewings and even load the contracts. However, a 4% charge is applicable if you find a tenant via Rentoo listed tenant leads.
Rentoo Plus (coming soon) enhances that experience by enabling you to manage properties online via its platform. It costs £39 per month.
The platform provides features to advertise on its website, find tenants, draft contracts, store all documentation in one place.
It also includes online compliance assessments, manages inventory items, deposit protection and other services.
This evolving platform also has a marketplace where you can pick the already vetted tradesmen to action gas safety, PAT tests, EPCs and like services.
Trust Pilot Score: Not Applicable. This is an evolving platform and no reviews found yet.
LettingaProperty.com is an online letting agency where you get a mix of both being able to choose your lettings package and also being able to bundle up services as needed.
- Find A Tenant
Find A Tenant is a tenant find only service priced at £149 one-off payment. The basic package £39 per month, the Essential package costs £59 a month and the Complete package goes up to £99 a month.
Note: All three plans i.e. basic, essential and complete package excludes £149 pounds that is payable additionally for tenant-find service.
Advertising property, tenant referencing, rent collection, tenancy agreements and legal/eviction cover are included within all three packages.
While essential and complete packages also include rent protection, health and safety cover and property legal disputes. The complete package additionally includes renewals and re-advertising of the property as permitted.
Trust Pilot Score: Not Applicable. While we could not find the company on Trustpilot, Google reviews 4.9 out of 5 across 300+ reviews which is very encouraging.
This is certainly a step up in terms of how the lettings are to be handled compared to others. A tech revolution within lettings space representing the modern-day renter and landlord.
movebubble likes to call itself a community marketplace within rental space than an online letting agency.
A platform that offers virtual viewings to a list of already vetted tenants working for reliable corporates mostly. The same platform brings together agents or direct landlords to close on tenancy deals making life easier.
Unfortunately, the costs are invisible to the public eye, unless registered as landlord or agent and are formally set up. The limitless Monks team are in process of being set up and the costs should be updated as soon as this is done.
Whilst this is more classed as an app for renters, it certainly builds that much-needed relationship between landlords and renters or agents and renters.
Besides landlords being able to do their own video viewings and being able to chat with renters, the renters can view the endless list of properties and choose one by paying the registration fee of £49 to move in.
The app also is equipped with great communication features to chat to family members or friends and for renters to make offers on properties they like.
Trust Pilot Score: 4.1 out of 5.
A simple portal where landlords can list their properties for free and pick and choose the services they need.
For someone who wants to self manage their property without letting agents in between, this could be a good fit.
Just pick and choose the services you need as a landlord besides advertising your properties for free.
Yes, you got that right.
Free to advertise on Rightmove and Zoopla. For everything else, there is a fixed fee avoiding any confusion.
It costs just about £100 to advertise, tenant referencing, tenant deposit, custom tenancy agreement and an inventory check-in/check-out.
It will be unfair if I don’t point out that the advert on Rightmove/Zoopla, holding deposit, rental security all come for free.
Here is a link that points to the pick and choose service for reference.
Property advertising, professional photography, EPC and Gas safety, tenant referencing and deposit protection from a letting and tenant onboarding point of view.
Additionally, rent collection, access to tradespeople, property performance statistics and insurance covers.
All services from one place isn’t a bad idea.
Trust Pilot Score: 4.1 out of 5 across 12 reviews.
This flexible and fast-growing online letting agency enables landlords to choose the services they need and starts their service package from as low as £29 if you ignore the free valuation service.
The Express package starts at £29 whilst the Standard costs about £149. The Silver package is the highest costing about £499. The silver package may sound costly but this also guarantees no let then no fee commitment.
The free service includes a property valuation and listing of properties on the 99home portal with SMS alerts.
The express package includes tenant referencing, contract documentation and deposit registration and first-month rent collection.
The standard package includes professional photography of property and video tours in addition to everything available to the standard package.
Add on Rent standing order and collection plus offer negotiation as part of the Silver package.
99home also offers all such services listed above and more as optional picks as fixed costs if a landlord wants to pick and choose to manage costs.
Trust Pilot Score: 4.9 out of 5 across 800+ reviews.
Visum is both an online lettings and estate agency selling and letting properties since 2004 and covers just about what a landlord needs from a services point of view.
The basic package starts from £59 while the Plus which is their most popular package costs £199. The premium package goes at £449.
Property listing for 3 months to find a tenant is pretty much what is included in the basic package.
The next best i.e. Plus package additionally includes tenancy paperwork, enquires handling and a free eviction notice.
The premium package adds on top premium listing on Rightmove, professional photos of property, EPC and floor plans.
Trust Pilot Score: 4.8 out of 5 across 76 reviews.
13) I Am The Agent
I Am The Agent (IATA) is considered one of the economical online letting agents with a variety of services on offer.
The services start from £1 gradually moving to higher costs based on services on offer and for once all prices inclusive of VAT.
- IATA Basic
- IATA Speedy
- IATA Essential
- The Whole Shebang
The Basic is the one that costs £1 while the Speedy costs £89. Essential package at £149 and The Whole Shebang package at £269.
The basic package includes advertising the property on the IATA portal for 6 months with full support and handling tenant enquiries.
The speedy package extends the basic with advertising on Rightmove and other websites, 24/7 online website, real-time tenant vetting and enquiries.
The other two services include uploading photos, performance reviews, tenancy agreements and documentation plus a dedicated property manager to support.
Trust Pilot Score: 4.8 out of 5 across 170+ reviews.
apropos is a full-blown app platform that makes it easier to let your property online. The app is equipped with rich features including property inventory, property marketing, property accounts, tenancy information and others.
This service is evolving still and sound relatively new with not all areas fully supported just yet. Hopefully, their business will spread throughout the UK in the coming months/years.
£200 as setup cost for the property and then a further £110 plus VAT charged monthly for an example property with £1000 rent.
The app also displays the statistics on a number of property viewings, pageviews, viewings booked, reporting of faults, income and expenses across property and portfolios and more.
It has the ability to store all details of tenants, landlords, property and all others required to be maintained for compliance or information reference purposes.
The app also stores information on compliance documents and dates so they are always in check and reminded when due.
Trust Pilot Score: 4.3 out of 5 across 40+ reviews.
There is something that feels very simple with Portico by just looking at their website offering just about what I need as a landlord.
Your property advertising starts from just £1 per week and scales into the rest of the services with a fixed cost against each service.
- Essential Package
- Comprehensive Package
- Concierge Package
While the property advertising starts from £1 per week, each service required by the landlord is costed as per below costs whilst landlords can choose their services.
- Property Advertising – £1 per week
- Tenant Referencing – £20 per tenant
- Tenancy Agreement – £20
- Deposit Registration – £20
- Rent Collection – £10 per month
- Rent Guarantee – £20 per month
Property advertising, tenant referencing, deposit protection, rent collection and guarantee, property management with in house tradesmen and more.
Trust Pilot Score: 4.5 out of 5 across 670+ reviews.