Guide On How Landlord’s Should Advertise Rentals On Gumtree

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I’ve mentioned several times before in various blog posts that I’m a fan of Gumtree as an effective platform for advertising rental properties, provided that you thoroughly understand what you’re getting yourself into – it definitely isn’t the safest of neighbourhoods (more on that shortly).

But even so, and while I don’t advocate relying solely on Gumtree for marketing your rental property (I’ll provide recommendations on alternative methods below), I still believe it should undeniably be a place to consider.

Why? It’s free (no fee, no commission, nothing!), widely popular, and requires just a few minutes for setup!

Overview: Gumtree’s Property Advertising for Landlords
ServiceNotes / IncludesPrice
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Advertising Rental Properties Gumtree for Free

  • 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.
  • Suitable for advertising single-lets, HMOs and house shares
  • One of the UK’s most popular classified website – lots of active tenants looking for acommodation.
  • Various packages available to “Make your ad stand out” for extra exposure
Visit Website

How Gumtree performs nationally for rental enquiries

Just a quick caveat before we kick it off.

I’m not entirely sure how Gumtree performs geographically, but I know from personal experience that it’s an extremely powerful marketing tool for properties with in London and surrounding counties E.g Essex, Hertfordshire.

I imagine it’s just as effective nationally, but I can’t confirm. Either way, it’s worth a try wherever you are. Did I mention it’s free?

How to find Tenants on Gumtree

As with any marketing approach, there are specific steps and principles to follow that will likely yield better results.

So here are my key recommendations for utilising Gumtree to promote your rental property and discover your next tenants:

1) Be vigilant – Gumtree is notoriously full of scammers!

If you’re going to take heed of any of my recommendations, I urge for it to be this one!

I can personally attest to how effective Gumtree can be for landlords – the enquiries can flow in thick and fast. However, admittedly, the quality of the leads can often be questionable, as Gumtree is notoriously full of scammers and chancers. Out of every 10 enquiries, only one might prove suitable.

The reality is that Gumtree’s peer-to-peer trade setup facilitates the operation of rogue traders on both ends. Moreover, the direct interaction between tenants and landlords often attracts lower-tier applicants with poor credit, applicants whom most letting agents would swiftly eliminate (which is often why they end up looking on Gumtree). The concern lies in the hope that these applicants encounter less vigilant landlords.

But don’t get it twisted, there are also plenty of good and genuine people on Gumtree looking to be the perfect tenant. Nonetheless, exercising due diligence and caution is crucial. A good starting point is to use something like OpenRent’s standalone comprehensive referencing service:

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Comprehensive Reference
  • 3-5 Working Days (on average)
  • Rent Guarantee Insurance Eligible
  • Credit Check
  • Linked Address, Identity & Fraud Information
  • CCJs, Decrees, and other court information
  • Right to Rent Check and Advice
  • Affordability Rating
  • Previous Landlord Reference
  • Employers Reference
  • Bankruptcy data
  • Electoral Roll check
  • Alias name search
  • View sample report

More Info

Please note, I try my best to keep the information of each service up-to-date, but you should read the T&C's from their website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

I also highly encourage you to read my guide on referencing tenants the right way, as it can help with separating the wheat from the chaff.

2) Scope out the local competition

First things first, you need to see how other landlords are marketing their property. It’s dog eat dog out there.

Before creating a campaign, search the website for similar properties in the same area to your own. Find out what the going rates are and how much competition you have. If you’re overpriced, don’t expect many enquiries.

3) Upload pictures, and make them good

No-brainer, but you need pictures. It blows my mind when I see adverts without them.

If you were looking to rent a property, would you bother applying to an advert without pictures? Probably not.

Pictures will avoid wasting time (and believe you me, there’s a whole lot of scope for time-wasting if you allow it). A prospective tenant will know what to expect before viewing the property if they have seen pictures of the kitchen, bedroom and exterior- so they’re already interested. A tenant that hasn’t seen pictures isn’t necessarily interested in the property before seeing it, so the success rate will become intensely lower.

Including high-quality pictures right from the start of the advert is crucial; refrain from adding them later, as this may lead to a significant loss of initial engagement.

Consider these additional tips for showcasing your property through images:

  • Capture Key Areas
    Prioritizse areas that potential tenants find most important, such as the front of the house, the kitchen, and a bedroom. These visuals provide a well-rounded view of the property.
  • Highlight Well-Maintained Spaces
    Ensure that the areas photographed are well-maintained and presentable. Clean and tidy spaces are more appealing to prospective tenants.
  • Showcase Natural Light
    Whenever possible, capture images during daylight hours to showcase the property in natural light. Well-lit spaces are more inviting and give a positive impression.
  • Include Exterior and Interior Shots
    Provide a mix of exterior and interior shots to give a complete visual representation. Exterior images help potential tenants get a feel for the overall property.
  • Highlight Unique Features
    If your property has unique features, ensure they are captured in the photos. This could include a beautiful garden, a stylish fireplace, or any distinctive architectural elements.
  • Professional Presentation
    Present your property in a professional manner. Clear, well-composed photos contribute to a positive first impression and reflect the care you put into advertising your rental.

If you’re worried about your ability to capture high-quality photographs due to a lack of equipment and/or skills, you might consider using a professional property photography service. These services typically cost around £100 (not terribly expensive), and the added benefit is that you can reuse the images for future advertisements, provided they accurately represent the property.

In my opinion, it’s a worthwhile investment because pictures play a crucial role in generating enquiries and will almost certainly impact the volume of responses you’ll receive.

4) Get the description right

Try to give away as much details as possible in your description. Again, this will avoid wasting time. Here are a few key features that I put in my descriptions:

  • How many bedrooms there are
  • Size of bedrooms
  • allocated spaces and/or garage space
  • who is responsible for bills
  • condition of property (be accurate)
  • whether there is a garden
  • double glazing
  • Flooring plan- room measurements

5) Don’t provide your phone number as a means of contact

Gumtree allow users to receive enquiries by email and/or phone alerts. However, I strongly recommend avoiding phone alerts, meaning you should refrain from providing your contact number. If you share your phone number, it becomes visible to other Gumtree users. On the other hand, your email address will remain anonymous, and all communication will be conducted through the Gumtree message centre.

6) Use a descriptive title

Ensure your advert has a meaningful title. Something as follows is USELESS: “property for rent.”

Instead, consider incorporating the road name, town/city, and cost, like “2 bedroom house Church Road, Marlow (£760 pcm)”

This approach attracts more targeted traffic. Given Gumtree’s open search box, users often search for specific locations. By making your title keyword-rich with the relevant location, such as “Marlow,” your advert will likely appear in the search results, optimising its visibility.

7) Check your advert once live

Gumtree ads don’t always go live immediately; based on my experience, it usually takes a couple of hours. You should receive an email informing you when your your ad goes live to the site.

Once it’s live, make sure all the details are correct.

Other recommended platforms to find tenants for free

Even though using Gumtree as sole lead driver can be capable of doing the job (i.e. finding tenants quickly), I’d still always utilise multiple platforms.

So this is the part where I recommended a couple of other platforms – including one that will get your property listed on Rightmove & Zoopla (yes, for free!) – where landlords can generate enquires without spending a dime (understandably, most landlords choose to advertise on Gumtree for its cost-effectiveness, so I won’t recommend websites that charge exorbitant fees – ’cause that wouldn’t make sense).

Free marketing platforms for Landlords (to find tenants)
ServiceNotes / IncludesPrice
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Advertise on Rightmove & Zoopla for Free

  • *5 day free trial, and no obligations to continue once expired. Once the trial ends, to continue advertising it costs £39 for new customers and £49 for returning customers for 3 months service (still totally reasonable)
  • 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.)
Free Trial

No Obligations
Try Free Trial
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Advertise on Facebook Marketplace for Free

  • 100% free
  • Very popular classified section on Facebook – access the entire Facebook community!
  • No need to register, just setup advert through your existing Facebook account.
Visit Website
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Advertise on SpareRoom for Free

  • 100% free
  • 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)
Visit Website

For a more complete guide, you may want to hop over to my guide on how to find tenants for free.

If you have any questions or want to share your personal experience with using Gumtree (as a landlord or tenant), please feel free to drop a comment below!

Landlord out xo

15 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Danny 3rd March, 2009 @ 21:44

I think your advice is great, I'm about to rent a studio flat out and intend of using Gumtree after trying a letting agent. I drive lorrys so its hard to get the time to do the veiwings but I decided to suck it and see. Ill arrange the veiwings for the weekend do you think that could work?
Love your blogs

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 4th March, 2009 @ 08:15

Hey Danny,
I've taken loads of viewings over the weekends in the past. Tenants are generally accommodating for weekend viewings- I don't think you'll have a problem there!

Glad my advice helped! Good luck!!!

Kind regards

Guest Avatar
Debra 30th April, 2009 @ 09:07

Really good sound advice for all.

Gumtree is clear and concise and your advice will certainly help those seeking tenants for their properties.

My specialism is HMOs and easyroomate is grand for these.

Kind regards


Guest Avatar
Sam 30th April, 2009 @ 10:08

Having just gone through the hell of moving, I completely agree with these points. So many people - including professional agents - get it so wrong; crap (or misleading) photos, rubbish descriptions, email only contact, paltry detail.

One thing I've found incredibly helpful in filtering potential properties is the availability of floorplans, or even just good room measurements. I was looking for a 4 bed house, but so many of the places I went to see I walked out of instantly because one of the supposedly double bedrooms was big enough for a double bed and nothing else. Complete waste of time for me, and complete waste of time - and money - for the agents. It might take you half an hour to do a rough floorplan, but if an abortive viewing takes half an hour, you're saving immediately, plus you have it ready for when you tenants move out.

Remember that you can also put a link in the ad, so if you've got a website of your own - or even a flickr account you can put some photos and descriptive text on - it's worth putting up even more photos, more detailed descriptions, or a floorplan and linking to it.

Another really helpful thing is putting in the full postcode, so that Gumtree can add a google maps map. A remarkable number of people don't do this. Particularly in London, a couple of streets can make the difference between a lovely area and a crap one, which, again, can result in a lot of wasted time. I've even had some landlords try to book a viewing over the phone without giving me the address, telling me they would "confirm on the day". Needless to say, most of the time, as soon as they've confirmed the address I've pulled out of the viewing because it's not a nice area.

Be HONEST; if it's a bit scruffy, say so, but contextualise it. "Decoration is clean and basic; not top notch, but this is reflected in the rental price". Plenty of people are happy with basic, but don't try to pretend a property is something it's not. Again, there have been so many places where I've walked in and left within 30 seconds, because when asked about the level of finish, people have lied. Complete waste of time. I'm not going to change my mind about what I want because you've got me through the door. It just annoys me, and makes me less likely to deal with you in the future.

Having seen close to 70 houses over the past three months before finally finding something suitable, this comes from long and bitter experience!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 30th April, 2009 @ 10:24

Hey Sam,

You added some great tips there. MANY thanks. I've updated my post to include the postcode tip, along with providing a link to any other useful sources regarding the property.

Can't believe you viewed 70 properties- I don't think I would have had the motivation or willpower!

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "be honest"- it saves so much time for both parties.

Kind regards

Guest Avatar
virginia 13th May, 2009 @ 17:03

Hi Sam,
I have just had the most dreadful experience trying to rent my chelsea studio through gumtree. Having paid out £50 for a featured listing and placed the ad at 6 am on Saturday to try and get a good position for the weekend, my ad wasn't posted until late Monday Morning. Therafter, it was constantly deleted without reason and never ranked in a decent position. The gumtree staff are in total denial and even complaints to ebay's top management were ignored. Definitely NOT RECOMMENDED.

Guest Avatar
Sharon 26th August, 2009 @ 12:53

My sister paid out good money to place an advert on gumtree. The money was taken but the ad was never posted. This also happened to me once and now I will only place free adverts (which also dont seem to get posted unless I complain). The gumtree automated messages give the impression your advert has been posted, but you should really check it for yourself. Gumtree these days is not worth the hassle.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 26th August, 2009 @ 13:22

Hey Sharon,

I've never used the paid service, so i can't comment on that. But i've never had a problem with the free service. From what I remember, it can take a few hours for the advert to go live- it doesn't happen just instantly.

Guest Avatar
Sharon 26th August, 2009 @ 13:25

Hi Landlord,

My free adverts never appear on gumtree. Not unless I email gumtree and ask them to look into the matter. I used to think it was because I am in France, and I have a french IP address. But when I was in London last month, I tried posting an advert on Gumtree and it still didn't appear, even taking into consideration the 4 hour lag.

Guest Avatar
Petrona 10th February, 2010 @ 07:13

I'm in Perth, WA, and we have a lot of success using Gumtree to advertise our apartments. For some reason with the free ad service we can post 5 pictures, and I always do! We've found it's the best way to target our particular market of young travellers looking for fully furnished properties for the short to medium term.

Guest Avatar
diavolina 7th February, 2011 @ 11:52

Hello, this is a fantastic site, brilliant writing and resources. I'm just about to let out a property, and was compelled to respond to this thread...

I'm worried about putting a postcode in the description, and wasn't going to - this is because my property is empty at the moment and I'm worried that someone might go along and somehow get in and squat (even if I have double checked any points of entry are locked!).

I suppose I'm mad in thinking this? I will take no offence!
Thanks in advance

Guest Avatar
Daniel Demmel 17th October, 2011 @ 22:39

Thank you very much for these points, I wish landlords / agents weren't as lazy as they are and done even half of these so I don't have to waste my time looking at incomplete adverts!

Diavolina, I wouldn't worry if I was you, I don't think anyone is crazy enough to squat an advertised property where you are going to come over for a showing. Also, if you closed / locked everything it's a break-in which is going to be taken care of by the police immediately.

Guest Avatar
Rob 30th December, 2011 @ 17:12

This is very good advice, I use Gumtree all the time. One upcoming new web site I’ve come across recently is
They also offer free listings and interestingly online tenancy agreements…

Guest Avatar
Diana 14th October, 2014 @ 18:24

Hi thanks for the useful advice.We have had a bad experience with our last tennant. Pleasant and helpful when sober but impossible after 11am when the wine would come out. No peace for the neighbourhood till 11pm. Even the police suggested I gave him notice. I want to stipulate "of sober habits" in the add. Would that be strong enough? Would rather sell than go through that again. Thanks.

Guest Avatar
sam 9th November, 2019 @ 11:37

warning - travellers/gypsies are advertising pet friendly static caravan rentals on a site nr Brackley, Northamptonshire. In my opinion stay clear - They pray on vulnerable people who cannot afford the expensive rental housing in the area. It is not safe if you have pets and you will be lucky if your security deposit is ever returned when you leave, the place has poor drainage [sewage everywhere when it rains], the caravans advertised look nothing like the trash you will be shown upon viewing and expected to live in.

















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