16 Oct 18

Renting Directly From A Landlord Or Through An Estate Agency?

When looking to rent in London, a lot of people have to decide between renting directly from a landlord or through an estate agent; considering renting directly from a landlord can be cheaper, it is definitely something to think about 💰🤔

However, it can often be riskier. Cutting out the middleman (the estate agency) does bring down the cost, but it isn’t always worth it. Let’s look at the advantages of each so that by the end of this article you will understand the benefits and drawbacks of both.


Renting Directly From A Landlord:

Renting directly from a landlord means that there is no other entity involved in the process, it is just you and them. Independent landlords aren’t allowed on the leading portals, so you’ll need to look on Gumtree or OpenRent to rent in this manner. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of dealing directly with the landlord? 👐


🤑 Often cheaper upfront and monthly costs. Estate agencies must get their money from somewhere, and that is usually your pocket. If you rent directly from a landlord there is less cost to pay upfront.

🤝 Build a relationship with your landlord. If you go through an estate agency, you may never get to meet your landlord, and so a huge benefit of renting privately is the one-to-one communication with your landlord; once you become buddies they may be more willing to allow you to decorate or even be a few days late with rent payments.

Two people sitting on a bench talking and laughing | homie.rent


⚖️ May not understand their legal obligations. Some landlords may not be aware of, or potentially blatantly ignore, their legal responsibilities towards their tenants which can put you in a very dangerous position

🧛 Potentially risky viewings. In almost any other situation walking into a complete strangers’ house could be classed as a huge risk to your personal safety. It’s unlikely, but be sure to let someone know where you are going and who you are going with.

A gif of a child shouting stranger danger and running away | homie.rent


Renting Through An Estate Agency:

Depending on the relationship between the estate agency and the landlord, you may still get to interact a lot with the landlord, although that isn’t always good! A real estate agency can either find a tenant for the landlord or find a tenant and then manage the property, it’s up to you which you prefer. So let’s look at the benefits of going through an agency 🕴️🏠


⛓️ It’s a safer process. Estate agents deal with hundreds, if not thousands, of tenants a year. They know exactly what they are doing, and the chances of something going wrong are significantly reduced.

⚖️ Strictly regulated. Unlike private landlords, estate agencies are subject to strict regulations by which they must abide. The peace of mind of knowing everything will be done legally and professionally can be worth a lot of money.

Two men in an office cubicle saying that was easy | homie.rent


💰 Often charge tenancy fees. The bane of renting; estate agencies usually charge a referencing fee at the start of the tenancy to check you are who you say you are, and this can sometimes cost up to £300! However, the government is working towards banning these in the near future.

💬 Longer chain of communication. Normally, the property you are renting is not owned by the estate agency, and so any changes or decisions need to be run past the landlord, and sometimes another member of the agency. Long story short, you short question can take a long time to answer!

A gif of a child tapping fingers in boredom | homie.rent

So there you have it, the advantages of both routes. Renting privately is definitely an option, and if cost is your primary driver, then you may understandably be leaning towards renting privately. However, the extra-legal and financial security, and peace of mind that comes with going through an estate agency makes it difficult to turn down ☮️😀

Whatever path you decide, we strongly recommend that you view the home before signing a contract, to make sure your home is a perfect fit.


Removing the middle-man has its benefits in a lot of situations. However, the rental process is perhaps not the right situation. Innovation designed to make the experience simple and easier has taken a different route in renting.

Got any more questions? Ask us on the chat or browse our help centre to find more useful articles.


John is a Marketing Executive at Homie. He is passionate about copywriting and, equipped with his skateboard wants to make renting in London a roll in the park.

John Cooper, homie.rent Marketing Executive is the author of this article.