I Found Tenants With Gumtree Again – But Should Landlords Use Gumtree?

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Yup, another blog post on how effective Gumtree has been for me when looking for new tenants.

But despite my success stories, Gumtree is often a topic of debate among landlords, particularly because the platform is rampant with scammers. So is Gumtree actually a good solution to find tenants?

By no means do I consider Gumtree to be the most effective solution of finding tenants, paid or otherwise- nope, not even when compared to the other free options available (I’ll talk more about those shortly). But, I can’t argue with the fact that Gumtree does fundamentally work, and perhaps that’s why a ridiculous amount of landlords and tenants flock to the website every day. Along with the fact it’s completely free and consequently infinitely cheaper than high-street letting agents, of course.

My faithful (and patient) subscribers’ will already be aware of the fact that I’ve recently been on the hunt for a shiny new tenant to take residence in my soon-to-be vacant BTL property, and that usually means, with some hesitation, Gumtree is among the arsenal of marketing tools I utilise.

Other free tenant-find websites I used with Gumtree (which I recommend using)!

This time round – as part of my tenant-find campaign – Gumtree joined the ranks of the following free tenant-finding solutions:

  • OpenRent
    Hands down the best online tenant-find platform for landlords, there’s no doubt in my mind about that.

    In case you’ve been living under a rock, OpenRent is an awesome online letting agent, empowering landlords to market their properties on the grand stages of the UK’s property portals, including Rightmove and Zoopla. In my opinion, there isn’t a more effective way to generate leads.

    Via this promo link you can access a no-strings-attached 5-day free trial of their tenant-find service. If you find the perfect match within those five days, fantastic! If you need more time in the dating pool, it’s just £39 to keep the party going after the trial.

    Highly recommended service, and generally much more favourable than Gumtree. You can read my in-depth review of OpenRent if you’re interested.

  • Facebook
    I’m generally against renting to my nearest and dearest, purely because it’s usually an epic disaster if things go tits-up. However, for one reason or another, I went against my instincts; I threw caution to the wind and, in a moment of questionable decision-making, and dropped a bombshell on my social media squad.

    Brace yourselves, dear friends and family, for a vacancy in my life is imminent!

    I’ve had success with Facebook before, where a friend of a friend became my tenant. So yeah, it’s always worth considering Facebook as marketing tool to find tenants.

Just to clarify, I’m not not a total skin-flint, so I’m not adverse to using paid solutions (which I usually do). I just wanted to experiment with free tenant-find solutions this time, and prove that it’s entirely possible to find good tenants efficiently for free.

Gumtree wins

So, after loading Gumtree and Upad with my property details, I quickly started being inundated with enquiries, but unsurprisingly Upad generated the most amount of enquiries- which you’d expect since they’re sourcing enquiries from the two property portal powerhouses, Rightmove & Zoopla.

Upad alone generated 16 enquiries with in 7 days. Of course, not all of them were ‘quality leads’ from suitable applicants (to put it nicely). But that’s the nature of the game these days, you generally ALWAYS get ‘chancers’ trying to substitute cash with a bag of beans.

Obviously I’ve already yanked the cat out of the bag: Gumtree proved to be an effective source of enquiries for me. I received 8 enquiries in total, and I ended up choosing one of them as my next tenant. Believe it or not, I managed to get my grubby little mitts on a small family in search for a long term tenancy, with perfect rental and employment records, with the breadwinner being a Doctor at the local hospital.

Happy days.

Do I think you should use Gumtree?

I suppose I’ve already answered the question, but if there’s any doubt, let me assure you that my answer is yes!

I’ve successfully found tenants on Gumtree multiple times now. Granted, it’s not been the most effective means (using an online letting agent that markets on Rightmove has been far more successful), but it definitely has worked. Worked well.

But I do want to provide a caveat before you start tripping over yourselves to upload your property details onto Gumtree. While Gumtree is absolutely capable of finding landlords tenants quickly, I personally wouldn’t rely on the platform alone; I would use Gumtree among OTHER methods just like I did. Gumtree can be very hit or miss, so you don’t want to be putting all your eggs in one basket.

Why Gumtree is a topic of debate?

So, here’s the thing. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about Gumtree.

Yes, it can be a very effective tool for landlords to find tenants for absolutely free (which is totally compelling), so I wouldn’t hesitate recommending other landlords to try it, even if only once. But from my experience, which is backed up by thousands of other landlords, the platform has major flaws, but one in particular which causes a lot of concern. And, that is, Gumtree is notorious for generating high-volumes of dog-shit leads (more so than other platforms), so landlords often have to sift through a gigantic pile of crap and deal with frustrating time-wasters before discovering the diamond they’re looking for (i.e. a Doctor with impeccable rental history), which is the very reason for why there’s often debate around on how suitable Gumtree is for landlords. Not only is it a breeding ground for spectacularly under-qualified applicants, but it’s also riddled with scammers, looking to rob every Tom, Dick & Harry blind.

I know of many landlords that unequivocally refuse to use Gumtree because of how toxic the leads can be, and I really can’t blame them [for being such pussies].

I’d say Gumtree is the Wild West of marketplaces for finding tenants (similar to Facebook Marketplace, to be honest), so keeping your wits about you is critical. CRITICAL! But the situation shouldn’t come as any surprise, because unlike with using letting agent, Gumtree provides little to no screening practises, which ultimately filters a lot of noise. So landlords directly receive all the noise, which can be demoralising and paralysing.

Needless to say, it’s not a deal-breaker for me, or many of the other landlords that still use Gumtree, because just as long as you use common sense and practise caution, you should generally be okay. That said, let’s not forget, junk enquiries can be sourced from anywhere; even agents that use rigorous screening algorithms are prone to infultration, so using due diligence shouldn’t be reserved for the likes of Gumtree- it should be standard practise.

Referencing tenants on Gumtree

Following on from my points above…

While thorough tenant referencing is critical no matter where you source your tenants from, I’d say it’s especially important if you’re sourcing your leads from Gumtree.

In my head, that statements makes no sense whatsoever, because I’d say the same thing if I was talking about any other platform, but I can’t help but feel there’s more of a necessity when using Gumtree in particular. Yes, even though I can’t think of a time when it wouldn’t be “especially important”

So, please, do your due diligence! Don’t fall for any stupid scams, and you’d probably be best served to approach any offers that “seem too good to be true” with extreme caution…

Have you used Gumtree? Or are you going to use them?

If you’ve used Gumtree, or contemplating using them, I’d love to hear your experience(s)! Please share…

5 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
YesAdam 16th June, 2011 @ 16:17

£9 per listing now on GumTree, or £40 a month. What do you think of the changes landlord?

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 16th June, 2011 @ 19:19

Oh really, they've bumped it up to £9 per day from £7?!? That's crazy! £7 was ridiculous enough.

Guest Avatar
mary 4th February, 2014 @ 14:35

i did not like the single mother who works part time and relies on benefits line. Quite a snotty thing to say i think.

Guest Avatar
Julia 2nd March, 2015 @ 13:26

Wow! I was enjoying your article until you went into detail about the letting agency recruiting a single mother who works part time and relies on benefit. I did not realise we should ostracise one because of their circumstance.

You are ignorant and you have no right to judge others.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 2nd March, 2015 @ 13:49


You missed the point. Ironically, I think you're being ignorant.

If you went into a cafe and asked for a coffee and received a bottle of coke instead, what would you say? Would you consider it good service?

The letting agent made me complete a form- I had to tick boxes relating to what kind of tenant I was looking for. They offered me a "product" that didn't match the criteria I had specified so what was the point in me even filling in the form?

I didn't judge anyone. I'm saying I ordered one thing, and got another. I received poor service, and they wanted me to pay for it.

















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