Posts with tag: Gumtree

Landlords Warned about using Gumtree on Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords

Published On: March 15, 2017 at 9:38 am

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Landlords are being warned about using Gumtree ahead of tonight’s episode of Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords on Channel 5.

The second episode of the third series airs tonight (Wednesday 15th March) at 9pm on Channel 5. It explores the fallout one landlord faced after deciding to let her property through Gumtree.

Landlords Warned about using Gumtree on Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords

Landlords Warned about using Gumtree on Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords

Despite not knowing much about how Gumtree works, Vicki McNaught decided to list her property on the site, as it was a cheaper alternative to using a letting agent.

Initially, McNaught was delighted when a young professional moved into the flat, promising to look after the place. He boasted of a private eduction and his references showed off a great career in the City. But it didn’t take long before he stopped paying the rent.

Looking back, McNaught would do things very differently. She says: “We’ve learnt that bad tenants are more likely to target sites like Gumtree because they hope they will be subjected to fewer checks. In the future, we’d always go through an agent – although even this has no guarantee. It’s the law that needs to change to make landlords less vulnerable to unscrupulous tenants.”

Paul Shamplina, the Founder of Landlord Action and Brand Ambassador of Hamilton Fraser, who stars in the show, knows these situations all too well.

He comments on the case: “This guy is a serial bad tenant. He has been evicted previously after running up costs of £30,000 in unpaid rent and stolen furniture from an overseas landlord. In Vicky’s case, he used false references to secure the property.”

Shamplina wants the episode to act as a serious warning to landlords about using free classified websites, such as Gumtree, to advertise their property to let.

He says: “We’ve come across many similar cases in the past where we see serial bad tenants prey on less experienced landlords who let their properties on consumer websites. Unfortunately, the majority of these landlords are deceived by well-educated con artists. With absolutely nothing in place to safeguard landlords, they find themselves in all sorts of trouble.

“My advice would always be to use a credited letting agent who can let your property through the correct procedures and are up to date with all legislation in the private rented sector. However, for any landlords already using such sites, then you need to be careful. Ensure you have thorough referencing checks done and look out for the telltale signs of a serial bad tenant. For example, are you being rushed by the tenant for them to move in as soon as possible?”

Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords is a 12-part series on Channel 5. The programme delves into the dark side of the lettings market, showing the struggles landlords and tenants face on a daily basis.

How does Gumtree assist both landlords and renters?

Published On: January 11, 2017 at 9:54 am

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In this guest post, John Daniell, Commercial Strategy Lead at Gumtree Property, explains how the platform works to help both landlords and tenants alike:

In Celebration of Choice

Finding tenants has come a long way from placing ads in agent windows or putting your listing in the local paper. Time and simplicity have become precious commodities for landlords and would-be tenants. The advent of the internet has brought with it an ‘always on culture’, with people now expecting to do what they want, exactly when they want. With this also comes the desire for much greater choice – from types of coffee to mobile phones – consumers not only expect it, but demand it. Finding a home is no different, with would be tenants expecting to be able to search a huge range of property whenever they want.

Changing Tastes

Gumtree was launched on this premise, offering choice and giving people a free and easy way to buy and sell. As a business, we are committed to giving renters and landlords a platform that opens up the best opportunities the market has to offer. What people want from a home has changed over time, for example our own research earlier this year revealed that 86% of renters now would not pay for a living room in a rented property, and 37% would rather have an en-suite than a communal space. Using data allows us to identify what is important to renters, in turn giving landlords a unique insight into the best way to market their property, helping them work with prospective tenants and get the best deal for both parties.

An Industry Issue

With choice and opportunity, the internet has also brought higher instances of fraud and cybercrime, making trust and safety an issue for all e-commerce and digital companies. Property websites of all shapes and sizes have a responsibility to ensure their users stay safe. Our property section is used by millions of people every year to list both properties for rent and for sale, and if a user has a bad experience we encourage them to report the incident to us or the police.

How does Gumtree assist both landlords and renters?

How does Gumtree assist both landlords and renters?

Still Sharing

There is much discussion currently about the ‘sharing economy’, which refers to ‘a socio-economic ecosystem built around the sharing of human, physical and intellectual resources’. This is the model on which Gumtree established itself sixteen years ago. As a platform it has retained its founding principles such as no fees, little paperwork and minimal hassle which have ensured its continuing popularity. With tenants and landlords continuing to demand real choice and flexibility, finding and renting property on their own terms, Gumtree has proved its staying power, and strives to be there for our trusted users in the future.

How to get the best out of Gumtree as a Landlord:

  • Upload images of the main rooms inside the property, including the kitchen, reception room, bathroom and bedroom, as well as the property’s exterior to give renters a flavour of what they’re buying in to. Give as much written detail as you can on the property, to avoid wasting time with renters and yourself.
  • Check out the local competition and how other landlords are marketing their property. Search for similar properties and what the going rates are as a guideline.
  • Market your property in the correct region, as Gumtree is spilt up by location (major cities and counties). Make sure you create an advert for the correct region by selecting the area in which the property is located and providing the postcode.
  • Refresh your advert as frequently as possible in order to get the most exposure, as Gumtree’s search results are displayed in order of freshness.

 

Gumtree – Friend or Foe?

Published On: November 3, 2016 at 12:01 pm

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James Davis – Portfolio landlord & property expert

After being a landlord for 22 years and becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of quality tenant find services for landlords, James started Upad. Upad has mastered the intricacies of online to provide landlords a service they can rely on. In this article, James outlines the pros and cons of using Gumtree to find tenants.

Is it time to stop advertising on Gumtree?

Gumtree - Friend or Foe?

Gumtree – Friend or Foe?

Gumtree, with its village noticeboard approach to classified adverts, has long been the alternative choice for rental property seekers.

The benefits are simple: Landlords reduce costs, as they can advertise their properties without paying for magazine space or property agents. Tenants save time and money, with the ability to flick from home to home, striking deals and dodging agency fees.

Right now, Gumtree is still highly popular. But is it about to be left behind as spam, adverts and unreliable tenant leads flood its user base? In today’s digitally-focused market, should landlords forget about Gumtree?

Around the houses

Where rivals Rightmove and Zoopla have refined their user experience and functionality, Gumtree remains an unspecialised, classifieds website with a rental section, alongside used cars and musical equipment listings. This gives the specialist sites the upper hand, since their search functionality is specifically geared towards happy house hunting. Let’s look at the location criterion as an example of how specialist sites are better for users:

On Zoopla, you can draw lines on a map to define your search area, save the map and come back to it later. On Gumtree, the most refined you can get is village level, such as Hertford. There is no advanced search function to combine areas either. This is clunky and time-consuming for users who are increasingly trying to cram flat hunting into dead time, like during commutes.

Weak stock, fewer options

Gumtree’s problems mean the site only attracts a small fraction of the housing stock on the market at any one time. This might seem attractive to a landlord; a good property on Gumtree will have less competition than some of the bigger property portals.

Having fewer properties, however, means fewer tenants will bother visiting the site – supply could eventually outstrip demand. Furthermore, due to a laxer approach to posts and how they are moderated, Gumtree has become inundated with spammy and out-of-date ads.

The low quality of Gumtree’s site in turn attracts low quality users. Research by Upad found that the quality of enquiries from Gumtree users was lower than enquiries made via the leading online property portals. It took four Gumtree enquires to every Rightmove lead to successfully let a property.

To discover the most effective way to find tenants in a digital age, check out Upad, the UK’s largest online letting agent.

RLA issues warning to Gumtree over letting scams

Published On: February 19, 2016 at 2:27 pm

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The Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) has called on a leading classified online listings service to issue clear guidance over possible scams involving bogus letting scams.

A warning was issued to Gumtree by the RLA after fraudsters posed online as landlords to post ads on the site asking for money in exchange for property viewings.

Scams

In certain cases, the advertisements posted online show affordable and attractive dwellings. However, when potential tenants attempt to arrange a viewing, they are told that the landlords lives a long way away and that they must provide a deposit in order to secure a viewing. Sometimes, these fees cost £1,500!

The criminals behind these scams have cloned websites’ logos, including that of the RLA’s Deposit Guard Scheme. As such, the schemes look genuine to would-be tenants.

Once tenants pay cash for their fake viewing, they never hear from the fraudsters again and their money is lost.

RLA issues warning to Gumtree over letting scams

RLA issues warning to Gumtree over letting scams

Demands

To stop more innocent renters becoming victims, the RLA has now contacted Gumtree demanding visible warnings on its website.

‘Often, the victims in this type of fraud are young foreign students, who have limited knowledge of how the rental market works in the UK,’ said a spokesperson for the RLA. ‘The fact that our DepositGuard logo is being used in this manner is something we are taking extremely seriously and we have approached Gumtree asking for clear warnings about scams of this type to be included on its website,’ they added.[1]

Any victims of this kind of fraud are being advised to call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

[1] https://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2016/2/industry-group-asks-gumtree-to-issue-public-warning-about-letting-scams