SpareRoom.co.uk has a consumer rating of 1.69 stars from 8 reviews indicating that most customers are generally dissatisfied with their purchases. SpareRoom.co.uk ranks 94th among Apartment Rental sites.
This website asks you to pay for an upgrade for contacting landlords and if you pay, no one replies to your ad/message. Absolutely fake!
Tenants should be able to give reviews to landlords and rate them. Otherwise SpareRoom.co.uk is an extremely unfair and obsolete concept.
Let's get something out of the way... SpareRoom are NOT here to help you find a room. They are here to rent rooms advertised by paying customers. Now with that, lets move forward.
SpareRoom isn't a bad site, it's a site where YOU need to be careful. Remember, these people are trying to get your signature on a lease. May adverts have dated pictures or pictures of rooms that are not the one for rent. If the pictures look too good to be true, then they were probably taken right after a remodel and don't reflect the actual condition of the room now. ALWAYS go and look in person or ask for a virtual tour (using Zoom or Facetime) so you an see the current condition. Never send money without looking in one of these ways first.
The search feature lacks a few things. For example, when you save a search, it won't store the sort order of your search. They want to feed you rooms from their regular paying customers. Also, you can't exclude postcodes. For example, there is an area near me that is ALL student housing. If you're not a student and you don't want to be kept awake all night, then you'll want to avoid this area. It mainly falls within a certain postcode.(first three digits). Now, you can search that postcode by itself, but you can't exclude it from broader searches. I find it a waste of my time as this post code comprises most of the search results. Even when you exclude student housing, you'll still get the majority of your results from this area.
The mobile app is even worse, because you can't specify "bills included" or "furnished" in your search. I hate finding a really nice place only to discover bills are an extra £200 a month and it's completely unfurnished.
The site isn't all bad. You can at least look to see what is available. I recommend ringing them on the phone rather than sending a message. At least if a person answers, the advert is probably real and not a scam.
Most of all, just use common sense. If an advert sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn't.
Tip for consumers:
Take note that this site will nag you to upgrade your account for £20. You won't be able to reply to many of the new adverts for 7-10 days if you don't... and if those adverts a still around after 10 days, they probably aren't worth your time.
Spareroom used to be a great place for landlords to find tenants and for tenants to find somewhere to live but over the past year the website is littered by fake adverts from letting agents. As a landlord I used to get lots of replies to my advert (which cost £24.99 for 28 days) but now there are so many agents adverts on there that your advert very quickly (within a couple of hours) slides down the list and off the first several pages so that it is very unlikely that your advert will be seen after those first couple of hours. Renewing your advert only places your advert to the top of the bold list for the DAY that you placed your advert - so if you placed your advert 7 days ago then you will always have 7 days worth of adverts above yours as well as other adverts on your advert's day which have been renewed since yours was. Tenants have told me most of the letting agents adverts are fake (e.g. Great location, lovely property, low rent) and are just used to get you to call the agent who will say that property you phoned about is no longer available but will persuade you to go and view their other "amazing" properties which tend to be in not such a great location, are not so nice and nowhere near as good value as their advertised property. Spareroom are of course a business and make good money out of the agents adverts but this has resulted in the website becoming pretty useless for landlords and tenants.
I recommend not to use this platform if you ever have to rent a room. It is not safe as they announce.
They do not check who is advertising and they do not protect you in case the advertiser does not follow the law.
Do not trust this site. They allow to their site to have advertisments that are propably a scum (they even "warned" me about it with email but didnt do anything else. Advertisment was still on their site). I almost been hakked a couple of days later.
I have been using spareroom since 2011 to rent out my spare room and occasionally to find a room. I was always very pleased with the service provided and efficiency of this website.
Initially, it was so efficient that you could put a free ad and still manage to get people to contact you. Later on, putting a paid/featured ad became a common practice if I wanted to rent out the room quickly because more and more people started placing ads on the website. I was still very satisfied as it was efficient and a real value for money.
I have not used the website for few months and last week I posted a paid ad on spareroom and was very very very disappointed!
I placed the ad at 2pm and at 8pm the same day I could not find my ad anywhere. I called customer support team and was advised that my ad dropped to 100+ place due to high volume of ads for this area and I need to keep pressing renew button to push it up. However, this "renew" option does not work as my ad still stays on the same place or even drops further. I then was advised to search for people who are looking to rent in the same area and contact them, which I find not an efficient way at all, and it increases spamming, it is not and should not become a dating website or a friend making/meeting website.
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