Websites Where Landlords Can Find Tenants For FREE

How to find tenants for free

Can landlords REEEEEEALLY find tenants “effectively” on the free tenant-marketing services & websites available? Operative word being “effectively”

In a word: yup!

It’s entirely possible [and easy] to efficiently find tenants for free…

The thing is, it’s already dirt cheap for landlords to find tenants thanks to online letting agents (approx £50). For all intents and purposes, that’s a bargain. So how much cheaper do you want to go?

The reality is, no matter how cheap, there’s still always an unsavoury itch that pushes us to find a better deal. I don’t know if it’s just a Brit thing – that inherently makes us cheap bastards – but the one thing we crave more than a bargain is bettering a bargain.

There’ll be no judgement from me, because I like a bargain as much as the next guy who looks for loose change in-between the sofa seats in Star Bucks.

Now, generally speaking, I’m a firm believer in ‘getting what you pay for’, so I realise that ‘free’ rarely equates to great value, but instead, flimsy tut that falls apart a mile down the road after leaving the showroom. So, I try to stay clear of endorsing “free” or “cheap” crap when it doesn’t make sense (i.e. when you’re likely to end-up paying through the ass in the long-run). That’s why I often share premium tenant-find services, which aren’t necessarily the cheapest (i.e. free), but definitely provide the service and value you’d expect, plus more.

But there are exceptions, and incredibly, there are plenty of FREE landlord services out there that aren’t totally useless. I know from experience they work; they can generate enquiries from quality tenants very quickly… in return for ZERO financial investment…

Free websites to find new tenants for your BTL Property

You’ve probably heard of the websites below, but maybe you’ve never utilised them before. So perhaps they’re worth bearing in mind next time you’re on the prowl…

Free marketing websites for Landlords (to find tenants)
ServiceNotes / IncludesPrice
Notes / Includes

Advertise on Rightmove & Zoopla for Free

  • Pros
  • 5 day free trial (no obligations to continue after)
  • Rightmove listing
  • Zoopla listing
  • Prime Location listing
  • No hidden fees, no credit card details required to start trial
  • Plenty of additional services available at very reasonably prices (e.g. tenant referencing, EPCs, Professional photography etc.)
  • Cons
  • After trial ends, to continue advertising it costs £39 for new customers and £49 for returning customers for 3 months service (still totally reasonable).
Description / More details

OpenRent have been causing havoc in the online lettings world for quite some time now, and for all the right reasons- their marvellous 5 day free trial, which remarkably includes advertising your property on Rightmove, Zoopla & Prime Location. Yup, all for free! And that certainly explains why they’re currently the UK’s largest online letting agent, with almost 3,000 properties up for let [at the time of writing this blog post].

I know, I know! Free “trials” always sound sketchy as hell, because there’s a looming fear of the legal small-print keeping us locked in and screwing us over. But there really isn’t a catch; no hidden fees and no credit card details required to get going.

If you wish to continue advertising after the trial ends, then you will be subject to a fee (at which point you’ll need to reach for your credit card). For 3 months additional service, it will cost £39 for new customers and £49 for returning customers (still totally reasonable). Otherwise, your advert will be automatically pulled from the portals.

“5 days?!? is that really enough to have any impact, it takes me longer to clear my bowels?”

I managed it (to find suitable applicants with in 5 days, that is), and unsurprisingly, because I know how potent advertising on Rightmove & Zoopla can be! But even if you don’t, at least you’ll get a taste of the service they provide, at which point you can determine whether you want to continue.

If you haven’t given them a spin yet, I can only recommend that you do. I’ve used them a few times, and I know thousands of you also have.

For more details, read my OpenRent review, along with a bunch of feedback from other real landlords who have used their service.

Free Trial

No Obligations
Try Free Trial
Notes / Includes

Advertise on Gumtree for Free

  • Pros
  • 100% free – Ads will be live for 60 days. Once the ad’s run-time is up, you’ll receive an email notice that your ad is about to expire. You can apply a “Bump Up” at any time to reset its clock.
  • Gumtree listing
  • Very popular classified website
  • Various packages available to “Make your ad stand out” for extra exposure
  • Cons
  • Additional services not available, so you will need to go elsewhere if you require them (e.g. tenant referencing, EPCs, Professional photography etc.)
  • Notorious for scam enquiries (so make sure you reference applicants carefully)
  • “Make your ad stand out” fees only available when posting ad (not before), and fees start from £23.99 for 7 days
Description / More details

You’ve heard of ’em. You probably bought your towels and mattress from there, just like I did.

Gumtree is the most popular classified website in the UK, attracting tens of millions of unique visitors every month, many of which are on the prowl for a rentable home.

I’ve had huge success with Gumtree in the past – and so have many other landlords – so I know it works! While it’s completely free to list on Gumtree for private landlords, they do offer a bunch of chargeable upgrades to make your ad stand out more. I’ve never personally made the upgrades and I did just fine.

My only word of warning the murky waters are infested with sharks! Gumtree is notorious for generating leads from scammers and tenants on benefits (I’m not saying the latter is necessarily a bad thing, so please don’t bust my chops)- and while it’s ALWAYS imperative to conduct thorough tenant referencing– it’s especially important when processing Gumtree applicants! You’ve been warned.

Visit Website
Notes / Includes

Advertise on Facebook Marketplace for Free

  • Pros
  • 100% free
  • Facebook Marketplace listing
  • Very popular classified section on Facebook
  • Cons
  • Exposes personal details because listing is associated with your personal Facebook account (so might be better to use TheHouseShop’s free service if you want to be listed on Facebook Marketplace and keep your personal details hidden)
  • Notorious for scam enquiries (so make sure you reference applicants carefully)
  • Additional services not available, so you will need to go elsewhere if you require them (e.g. tenant referencing, EPCs, Professional photography etc.)
Description / More details

Unsurprisingly, Facebook Marketplace has become massively popular among Facebook users (which is pretty much everyone on the planet with an internet connection).

Facebook Marketplace is very similar to Gumtree, it’s an online marketplace where [Facebook] users can advertise items for sale.

Since its launch, Facebook has been slowly opening up the types of items you can shift on their platform, from clothing to toys. In late 2018 they opened it up to the UK rental market, allowing landlords to advertise their vacant properties to the Facebook community.

Again, similar to Gumtree, while Facebook can generate a TONNE of enquiries, the quality of leads can often be questionable, so it’s important to ensure you rigorously vet all prospective applicants, and be wary of scams.

I’ve written a guide for Landlords advertising on Facebook Marketplace which I highly recommend reading if you’re interested in using the platform to generate tenant enquiries.

Visit Website
Notes / Includes

Advertise on SpareRoom for Free

  • Pros
  • 100% free
  • Spareroom listing
  • Best place to list for HMOs, shared accommodation and lodgers
  • Very popular classified website specifically for renters & landlords
  • Reasonable fees for “Bold Ads” for extra exposure (from £10.99 for 1 week)
  • Cons
  • Not as useful for Single-let rentals (but still worth using because it’s free)
  • Additional services not available, so you will need to go elsewhere if you require them (e.g. tenant referencing, EPCs, Professional photography etc.)
Description / More details

SpareRoom is another huge website.

There’s a common misconception about SpareRoom – one that is completely understandable given their name – which is that they only advertise spare “rooms” They actually allow landlords to market so much more. Yup, entire properties.

That said, SpareRoom will probably best serve landlords with individual rooms to let (e.g. HMOs, shared accommodation and lodgers) because that’s what most people are looking for on there, but it’s still worth listing entire properties for let simply because of how much traffic they receive. Even if only 10% of their traffic is looking for an entire property, that’s still a whole heap of people.

Visit Website

Anyone had any luck/experiences with any of the above? I’d be interested to hear your feedback!

Right, so can anyone recommend any others? I’m all ears!

Absolutely no Guarantee

For the sake of sparing my ass from prosecution, I do want to make it clear that by no means am I implying that these services will guarantee a successful campaign.

Actually, I would never imply any service – free or otherwise – is guaranteed. I’m simply saying these websites are free, and they could easily find you tenants without having to spend a nugget. But for the sake of spending 5mins on each site to setup an advert, I don’t think there’s any harm in it, even if nothing comes from it.

Should you advertise on all the free websites listed?

It’s really up to you! If you want to stand the best possible chance of finding tenants as quickly as possible without dropping a dime, then logic dictates that you should list on all of them to maximise your exposure.

However, I do appreciate that listing on all may add up to more admin/hassle than you care to entertain. So if you want to be selective, I’d definitely recommend using OpenRent … coupled with…errr… probably Gumtree. Or maybe Facebook Marketplace. Oh, Lord help me, it’s a toss-up.

If you’re a live-in landlord looking for a tenant (technically a ‘lodger’ then, most likely) or looking to let a room-only, then I’d highly recommend shoving somewhere in your marketing arsenal.

Tenant Referencing

Earlier on I said it’s particularly important to reference Gumtree applicants due to their reputation, but really, I can’t stress enough how important it is to conduct thorough referencing no matter how or where you source your leads from.

You should ALWAYS thoroughly reference every tenant applicant, but that’s especially important when you’re going it alone, without a letting agent. So please, before accepting any applicant, please read through the tenant referencing guide.

Other methods of finding tenants for free

While I believe listing vacancies on tenant-finding websites (like the one’s listed above) is the most effective means of finding a tenant in this digital age, and generally the only method you ought to need, there are a couple of other techniques that you may want to also try in conjunction:

  • Social Media / Facebook – This has actually worked for me a couple of times in the past.

    All I did was take 2 minutes to compose and share a Facebook post to my friends, which mentioned I had a property available for rent in the local area (I also mentioned a few of the specifics).

    Both times I managed to generate enquiries – there’s usually always a friend of a friend that’s in the market. Facebook is usually very effective if your BTL is located in your local area, because friends and family are usually in the same area.

    Of course, this is not advised for those that are unwilling to let to friends, which is totally understandable for the obvious reasons.

  • Local shop advert boards – Oh, hello 1928.

    I know, I know! Why don’t I just strap a note to a pigeon?

    But surprisingly, adverts on local shops still work, especially in small villages and towns.

    There’s actually a pretty active board at my local cornershop which has a random bunch of all sorts advertised. It’s worth a try.

When or why should you try any of the above methods? There’s actually no reason why you shouldn’t use them from the start, the only reason I typically don’t is because I tend to find tenants without having to.

However, if you’re trying to find tenants in a particularly small area (i.e. a remote village where everyone is everyone’s cousin) or on the flip-side, where competition is particularly fierce, you may find great benefit in using ALL the methods at your disposal – which includes all of the above.

Don’t forget… to only remove your advert/stop marketing once you have secured a tenant!

Unless you want to get swamped with enquiries even after you’ve found a new tenant, don’t forget to remove your advert from all the marketing services you’ve used.

However, more crucially, don’t remove your adverts until you have secured a tenant, which means the tenant has 1) paid a deposit & first months rent 2) signed a tenancy agreement 3) passed the referencing 4) moved into the premises.

Many landlords make the fatal mistake of removing all their adverts as soon as a successful applicant confirms they want the property. That can be a costly mistake, because many deals fall through!

Happy hunting!

On a final note, if you have any other suggestions on awesome resources for finding tenants for free, please let me know – I may whack it into the list. But please, don’t spam me with your personal junk projects to gain exposure :)

And, if you happen to use any of the services listed above off the back of this blog post, please let me know how you get on.

39 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Sell House Fast 12th May, 2009 @ 10:08

Thanks for the great list. Using a letting agent can be an unnecessary drain on budget.

Guest Avatar
Gail Nelson 12th May, 2009 @ 10:30

I have used Houseladder with some success. Another is Netrent but not used enough to comment on.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th May, 2009 @ 10:33

Thanks Gail. I remember landing on Houseladder before- seems quite popular.

I'll add those to the list.

Thanks a lot :)

Guest Avatar
sycorax 13th May, 2009 @ 07:26

Really liked your web pages- I have found myself as a btl landlady this year, got stung by an agent for 1K's worth of fees, tenant left in first 6 months - why? He had failed to check how much of her sales job was basic - her commission wasn't coming in, so she couldn't afford it.I mean, isn't checking their jobs and affordability kinda what you pay the agent for? I've heard nothing back from the agent, no follow up with winding down this tenancy - guess I'll do it myself. ANYWAY - when faced with having to get a new, reliable tenant fast, I did read your pages and advertised in most of those web portals. The problem with Gumtree is it doesn't really cater so well for outer London properties - had a lot of enquiries but lots of students and I wasn't ready for all that. In the end, I realised something loads of us have forgotten - if you want an older, career-established professional, they may prefr to flat-hunt the old fashionned way - local paper ads. Which is where I got my new tenant from, and she's lovely. I'd also reccommend the university if you can handle renting to students, and the human resources or local notice boards of big local employers, as I nearly got someone that way. Frankly, I think lots of landlords are managing the whole lot themselves, why pay more to a prat?!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 13th May, 2009 @ 08:34

Hey Sycorax,

From my experience, agents don't worry about the "aftercare" of their landlords. Once you pay their fee, they become as helpful as a chocolate teapot.

I completely agree with you, using the traditional avenues like shop windows and local newspapers still generates huge interest. Those meduims should definitely not be underestimated. I still use local newspapers to advertise vacancies and they usually generate a lot of interest.

I'm really pleased you managed to find a great tenant without the use of a letting agent.

Kind regards

Guest Avatar
Matt (Houserefer) 13th May, 2009 @ 09:01

Hi. I am one of the founders of Houserefer which you have very kindly listed in your "Free places to list your BTL Property".
The site is new and is completely free to list, as we created it to try and boost the market in any way we could.
It was designed to be straightforward and 'Google-esque' in its format with no clutter. It is a new site and we would welcome constructive criticism, ideas and recommendations for improvements
We do not allow businesses to advertise (to keep clutter to a minimum) and therefore have no bias or influence.
The amount of properties (as you mention) is low at this early stage, but is increasing quickly. SurreyLets are one company who were keen to list their properties with us. I hope your bloggers find it useful. There are some great features on the site.
Many thanks

Guest Avatar
sycorax 13th May, 2009 @ 16:59

Thanks for your support, Landlord!
I have to say that there are a lot of people out there at the mo who are frantically trying to suss out landlord dutues, and your site was very reassuring. I think as long as you know that there will be weirdo and annoying tenants at some point, it may be less stressful. Sadly I am renting at a loss till 2011, so after this summer we will try very hard to overpay the mortgage. I think a lot of btl landlords may do this as the best remortgage rates are for the ltv rates of 75% or less, aren't they?
I am just finding my way here - loved the page with the dagger on it about the annoying cow of a tenant - been there with my first let, thank God she's gone!
I doubt I will ever use a letting agent again - useless twunts if you ask me - and what exactly DO thery have to be so smug about?!

I will keep you posted on how my delightful 'agent' handles deposit returns, etc.

Best wishes
Sycorax (I'm not a Shakespearean witch - well...not really.....)

Guest Avatar
Gail Nelson 13th May, 2009 @ 17:20

I think there are good and bad agents just as there are good and bad tenants and good and bad landlords! Good agents hate the bad ones as much as the landlords do.

A good agent can be a godsend in difficult times or if you are too far away from your btl. We look to other landlords for recommendations.

If you have a btl in Gloucester then I can recommend a fantastic agent. An agent that gives the WOW factor in customer service.

Guest Avatar
Jas 8th June, 2009 @ 17:59

Just thought i'd let you know that is not free to list from what I found.

Guest Avatar
Gail 7th September, 2009 @ 12:39

another for the list -
looks well used and efficient

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 7th September, 2009 @ 13:05

Hey Gail,
That website isn't free, is it? I've just had a look around, and from what i can tell, they charge a flat fee.

Kind regards

Guest Avatar
Gail 7th September, 2009 @ 13:54

Hi Landlord

Just tried it out and you can advertise for free. Any photo you upload will not show on the search results list but you can view it in the more details section. Maybe we can persuade them to change this option?

Want to see my house?

see you


The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 7th September, 2009 @ 21:40

Oh Gail, you're loaded :)
I'm going to try it out and add it to the list.

Many thanks for the tip!

Guest Avatar
Karen Taylor 17th September, 2009 @ 14:01

I'm looking to rent my house, so I found this information very helpful. Thanks for the tips!

Guest Avatar
Alex 21st September, 2009 @ 11:44


You ased if there were other property to let portals out there.

I have been busy creating this one, it's still fledgling, but functional and free, it's also got a decent page rank.



Guest Avatar
Ben Davies 7th October, 2009 @ 15:06

Check out where landlords can advertise on,, + more for only £29!


Guest Avatar
Charles 26th May, 2010 @ 12:49

A new website offers free advertising to landlords but has limited space it claims.Please try if you want to advertise for free.(limited offer)

I tried this and it seems to work fine but you have to type their URL in the address bar as it is not ranked by Google. I presume it is not optimised.


Guest Avatar
alex 26th May, 2010 @ 16:37

I use, it's free and very good.


Guest Avatar
Steve 10th July, 2010 @ 09:25

Dear Landlord,
There's a new site for London and the South East that could be added to this list - LetPropertyRentProperty - the first 100 Landlords to sign up get free advertising on some leading portals.

Guest Avatar
Nic 24th July, 2010 @ 23:54

I am a letting agent based in Scotland and take offence to the 'generalised' comments made about letting agents and their lack of care.

I have an established client base of in excess of 300 clients, many of which have come through recommendations and referrals from existing/previous clients. Judging by the number of questions on this site, there are a number of Landlords letting property without taking into account all of their statutory requirements and as such are at risk of extortionate fines or being prohibited from letting altogether, not to mention the risks and unfair terms being imposed on tenants.

You wouldn't operate on yourself, therefore leave the letting to the professionals!!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 25th July, 2010 @ 10:19

Amusing that you compared surgery to letting. Last i checked, you don't need to be "qualified" to be a letting agent.

Guest Avatar
Tricia Roxanne 4th August, 2010 @ 22:02

Read all the diatrabe about unhelpful letting agents. Some of us do take our work seriously, as for qualified, I have a second job as a welfare benefits legal advisor and hold a professional diploma in law and specialise in landlord and tenant law. But no, I am not a member of ARLA, this in response to Nic. The law is my job so I am unlikely to breach it in the course of my role as letting agent. Some of us also have professional ethics, and a good of my time is dealing with tenant disrepair issues (against landlords) and defending possession proceedings. But I can also initiate them. I believe in fair play, fair charging for work and service, and I do not think I do overcharge. Some of us have morals and take our responsibilities seriously so give us a break. I also help tenants with their personal finance problems and offer benefit advice, and would not dream of offering a rental property unless I had established affordibility first. Having said all of that, I have just started out, but for the record, I despise charlatan letting agents myself,as do most ethical operators. Website under construction. See facebook Distinct Property Management.

Guest Avatar
janine galbraith 16th January, 2011 @ 19:52

i have just used a letting website
it is free and very tastefully done, but is still real easy to use. they offer lots of packages and info about property renting. i will use again when the time comes.


Guest Avatar
Darren 16th July, 2011 @ 16:30

The best totally free site I came across is -

It's run by volunteers for the community and is 100% totally free

Other sites listed here pretend to be free but are not!

Guest Avatar
Hans Hoekstra 22nd September, 2011 @ 09:25

just tried FreeLetting - website not found !

Guest Avatar
Ken 23rd November, 2011 @ 20:36

I use and I list it in all my private ads so clients can view the property

Guest Avatar
Rob 30th December, 2011 @ 18:19

I've recently started using and I found it pretty good.

Guest Avatar
Jenna Parson 26th March, 2012 @ 22:56

We are a group of individuals that only want to rent from private landlords, so estate agents please don't contact us. Most of us are in full time employment, have a good credit history, some of us also qualify for housing benefit too.

Kindly view our details here

Guest Avatar
NoAgent4Me 19th December, 2013 @ 21:33

new free property classifieds, no agents, no online agents, just private landlords and sellers only.

Just launched, early days.

Guest Avatar
Dave 8th June, 2014 @ 19:27

I like Loot and LetALife! I have seen several site are broken several times.

Guest Avatar
Paul 2nd July, 2014 @ 15:46

You can advertise for free on open rent:

It's like a better version of gumtree, and you can pay for more exposure (if you need to).

Guest Avatar
Mark 17th July, 2014 @ 16:45

Best way to get the services of dss accepted properties and the dss accepted housing plans which most of tenants find easy in getting reasonably priced accommodations and landlords too do not have to worry about tenants & the payments anymore. Some property dealing companies work well than others and is one of them.

Guest Avatar
January 1st April, 2015 @ 21:10

I'm new to this game and have already been stung once. I've just met some prospective tenants and my gut reaction was a definite no. But then I began to feel I was being too judgemental. Should I trust my gut instincts?

Guest Avatar
Property Direct UK 23rd June, 2015 @ 09:11


Property Direct UK is a fast growing private property listings website. (UK ONLY).

Get 2 months FREE advertising right now!

We connect people who are looking to buy, rent or sell private property directly without having to use an estate agent.

We advertise houses, flats and commercial properties across the UK.

Guest Avatar
Andrew 11th August, 2016 @ 19:09

Any advice for Scotland online listings or more specifically Aberdeen? I have been told that Rightmove is not effective up here.


The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 11th August, 2016 @ 19:14

You could try Gumtree? It's pretty popular all over the UK.

Guest Avatar
Dolores 17th October, 2016 @ 07:45

I found the above informative, it's sooo hard to find good landlords, I have rented my flat for 6 years, and my landlords are very good, but they have now told me my rent will increase by £450.00 which will bring them in line with other rents, I can't afford the increase, I'm 73 and a very good tenet with references, but landlords seem not to like age, pity


Guest Avatar
Rajinder Nijjhar 4th August, 2017 @ 07:36

I have four properties in a nice Lancashire mining village called Bickershaw, WN2 4AB and have used many letting Agents. Some, 20% are honest whilst most are dishonest and cheat you. Housing Associations were terrible favouring the tenants against the landlords. So, I manage my own now with the help of RLA. I have four properties and want to sell the lot or one by one. Two are getting empty soon. I am trying to get some tenants from openrent, Loot, etc. Any suggestions for advertising please? I will try the local Newspaper as well.

Any good letting Agents in Wigan, Leigh, Hindly, etc. areas?

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 4th August, 2017 @ 11:58

Hi @ Rajinder,

I've used OpenRent a few times and always found tenants quickly. I always heart good things about them from other landlords too.

They're currently offering a no obligation 5 day free trial, so I think it's well worth giving them a try. More details here.

















Your personal information will *never* be sold or shared to a 3rd party. By submitting your details, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

I want more info on...