From his kitchen, Edmund Cohen runs Landed Houses, which allows you to rent directly from house owners commission-free. Availability is established with the owner directly — they ‘know their homes better than anyone else’ — and payment is done through the site. Most of Cohen’s houses sleep 18 or more but otherwise vary: ‘Some are smart, some are ramshackle, some are vast, some are cosy.’ The website invites you to enter your preferences before generating suggestions. Options include stately homes, rural manors, or houses near London. You can also choose your house based on your desired activity from fishing to hosting your dream wedding. Homeowners are invited to contact Cohen, who is always expanding his portfolio.