Best rental websites UK: Our pick

Wherever you live in the UK, the choice of rental properties is often overwhelming. With UK house prices rising at their fastest rate since 2004, renting is becoming ever more popular. So where do you start your search? Narrowing down your list to a manageable level is the way forward, and the best rental websites UK-wide can help.

20 years ago, finding somewhere to rent used to be a long, drawn-out process that meant scanning endless newspaper listings and constantly calling estate agencies. Today, online is invariably the first (and usually the only) place we check. That’s because the coverage and quality of rentals available through online portals have skyrocketed thanks to the convenience they offer.

Still, no system is ever perfect. Today, we almost have the exact opposite problem – there’s too much choice! That’s why we want to show you our top picks for the best rental websites UK-wide.

How do you know which are the best websites for UK rental properties?

Knowing which rental site will be helpful in your search might not be easy at first glance. It depends on plenty of factors, including your budget, preferred location, style and size of property.

Our brief intro to each entry on our list should give you a flavour of what they are like. However, it’s worth pointing out that plenty of sites cover a wide range of different property types and locations. Our list includes national market leaders with a presence in hundreds of major towns and cities – so don’t discount them too quickly.

Rental sites – What to look for

Each site’s homepage should ‘lay out their stall’ pretty quickly. You should get a good sense of their target audience without much trouble – they’ve designed it that way! Still, it’s worth taking a little time to play around with any given site on our list, to see if its offerings are a good fit for you.

Once you’ve had a brief look around, the best way to get to know the site is to experiment with its search tools. Given how competitive the UK rental market is becoming, the best sites are constantly improving their user experience, to make things as easy for you as possible. Hopefully, this will mean you can easily find the rental property of your dreams, if it’s on their books.

10 Best rental websites UK-wide

The following are our personal top picks for the best UK rental sites. They’re the ones that we think offer the best combination of reliability, transparency, property choices and user experience. Between them, they should hold the right rental home for you, no matter where you are in the country.

1: Zoopla

Zoopla tops our list because it has excellent national coverage, a smooth user interface and offers up invaluable local market data with every search. Zoopla’s range of properties has grown even more in recent years as the group has incorporated other major sites like PrimeLocation.

2: Rightmove

Zoopla and Rightmove are the two main UK online property portals by a country mile. Simply put, their market share alone makes them the two ‘must consult’ sites for UK rentals. On top of that, Rightmove offers a simple, easily navigable UI which puts each property’s images, videos, maps and descriptions within a single integrated view.

3: Spareroom

Spareroom claims that every 3 minutes they help someone find a new flatmate. The site allows both lodgers and landlords to help find their ideal match. The matching process uses a simple but targeted approach where renters and tenants create a user profile brought to life with a short video and photos. This lets everybody get a good sense of each other before they move in.

4: OpenRent

OpenRent says it has always had one mission: to make renting fairer, safer and cheaper for everyone. Sounds good? We think so, and, clearly, 3.5 million tenants and landlords across the UK agree. OpenRent has made great inroads into the national rental market since opening in 2012, thanks to its simple, transparent approach to renting.

5: Roomgo

Roomgo has a really great UI that’s no fuss, no frills and puts you in touch with the UK’s largest flatshare network. They’re present in 69 cities across the UK, and offer plenty of useful insight into the national rental market to help both tenants and landlords tailor their search.

6: HomeViews

Well, we do want to toot our own horn just a little bit! HomeViews offers the most useful, trustworthy insights about many of the best new rental developments across the UK’s biggest cities. We also have thousands of resident reviewers’ comments that can show you exactly what to expect from any given property before you sign your lease.

7: Ideal Flatmate

Like a number of other entries on our list, Ideal Flatmate takes the personalised approach to putting renters together. First, you take the site’s matching test, search for compatible flatmates, start messaging to get to know each other, and then move in if everything feels right. Another cool feature the site offers is the ‘buddy up’ approach, where compatible flatmates search for a new rental property together.

8: MoveBubble

MoveBubble may only offer properties in London and Manchester, but it provides deep coverage of both. Equally importantly, it offers a great user experience and customer service. Their ‘put people first’ approach was inspired by the site’s founders’ own terrible renting experiences!

9: Gumtree

Even though scammers still persist in using Gumtree to rip people off, the vast majority of its listings are legitimate. If you go into your search here with your eyes open, there are plenty of great rental properties to be found across the UK.

10: Find a Hood

Find a Hood is a little different in its approach to other rental sites. It starts you off by trying to find out the ideal area that suits your needs. It does this through a simple questionnaire that lets the site’s algorithm make the best match. This means you can prioritise anything, from school coverage to green spaces, crime rates or even average household incomes. Once you have the ideal neighbourhood in mind, the site will show you what’s available there.

Hopefully, through this list of the best rental websites, UK renters and landlords can make a good start in their search. Feel like your site should be on our list? Get in contact and let us know.


How do I find houses for rent UK?

The list above shows you lots of different ways to find UK rental properties online, but there are other methods too. The first step is to contact letting agents in the area you wish to live. They may already have the perfect property available, but most letting agents will be happy to take your details and contact you should anything suitable come up.

Is On The Market better than Rightmove?

Both of these popular sites have their strengths. While On The Market prides itself on its user-friendly display, Rightmove is still the largest property portal around. So it really depends on what’s most important to you – useability or availability.

Where is the best place to find private landlords?

If you don’t want to go through a letting agent, you can find a private landlord who deals with the property themselves. You can do this by checking local newspapers and noticeboards or looking at private online listings on social media. If you choose to go this route, make sure know how to avoid scammers. You can also tell family and friends that you are looking to rent – someone in your network may be searching for a tenant, too.

HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to recognise high performers and help improve standards in the built environment.

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