[[caption-width-right:322:The original team of ghosts for hire: Hubert Davenport, Timothy Claypole and Fred Mumford.]]
->''If your mansion house needs haunting just call Rentaghost,''
->''We've got spooks and ghouls and freaks and fools at Rentaghost,''
->''Hear the Phantom of the Opera sing a haunting melody,''
->''Remember what you see is not a mystery but Rentaghost!''
-->The first verse of the ExpositoryThemeTune

''Rentaghost'' was a British children's television comedy show, broadcast by the BBC between 6 January 1976 and 6 November 1984. The show's plot centred on the antics of a number of ghosts who worked for a firm called Rentaghost, which rented out the ghosts for various tasks.

Rentaghost (the firm), located in South Ealing, is run by Fred Mumford, a recently deceased loser who feels he can find work for ghosts whose lives were as failed as his. His first (and only) recruits are Timothy Claypole, a mischievous jester with a comical lack of knowledge about modern technology; and Hubert Davenport, a delicate Victorian-era gentleman who is morally shocked by the modern world. The ghosts work from an office, which they rent from Harold Meaker, who discovers the truth about them in the third episode.

Over the course of several series, other characters were added: Hazel the [=McWitch=], a Scottish witch; Nadia Popov, a Dutch ghost who suffers from hayfever and teleports away when she sneezes; Catstrophe Kate, a WildWest cowgirl ghost; and the pantomime horse Dobbin, who first appears in a one-off Christmas special called "Rentasanta" and is brought to life by Claypole, who is unable to cancel the spell afterwards thus allowing Dobbin to remain in the show for the rest of the run.

Adam Painting, a local entrepreneur, frequently appears in episodes and tries, with limited success, to involve the ghosts in his latest business enterprise.

When actor Michael Darbyshire (who played the role of Davenport) died in 1979, Anthony Jackson (Mumford) declined to appear in the next series, leaving Michael Staniforth's Claypole the sole original ghost; Davenport and Mumford's absences were explained at the start of the series by them having acquired permanent haunting jobs at a stately home. After Mumford's departure, the business was taken over by Harold Meaker and his wife Ethel, who suffered from the various problems the ghosts brought to their lives.

The long-suffering neighbours of Rentaghost are the Perkins, who think the Meakers are mad.

!!''Rentaghost'' contains examples of:

* ActingUnnatural: At one point Mumford tells Claypole to act like an 'innocent bystander'. You can probably guess how well this turns out.
* TheCastShowoff: Michael Staniforth as Timothy Claypole could juggle (not unlikely for a court jester), tumble (ditto) and, er, disco-dance on roller skates... He also wrote and sang the theme tune.
* CatchPhrase:
** "What a funny horse! I wonder who it belongs to." Said by the Meakers to each other, with feigned ingenuousness, whenever they encounter the Pantomime Horse in public.
** "DON'T GO INTO THE CELLAR!" Desperate call, made shortly before someone encounters the fire-breathing dragon that heats their boiler.
* TheCharacterDiedWithHim: Michael Darbyshire as Hubert Davenport.
* CharacterOutlivesActor: Michael Darbyshire, who played Hubert Davenport, died between seasons. Davenport (and Mumford, whose actor did not want to continue in the show with Darbyshire) were written out by having them score permanent jobs haunting a stately home. (Obviously, in this case, the character was ''already'' dead, but still outlived the actor in the sense of not "moving on".)
* ChristmasEpisode: "Rentasanta"
* ConsultingMisterPuppet: Timothy Claypole often consulted his marrote (the stick with a jester's head carved into it) "Tiny Timothy". Given that this is a show with a living pantomime horse, it is extremely unclear how independent Tiny Timothy really is.
* DoItYourselfThemeTune: Written and performed by Micahel Staniforth.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: Timothy Claypole, a medieval jester, had problems dealing with modern technology while Hubert Davenport, a Victorian gentleman, had trouble adjusting to modern morals.
* FlyingBroomstick: In Catastrophe Kate's first appearance, she and Mumford are transported back from the Spirit World on a flying broomstick; having turned down the offer of a flying vacuum cleaner.
* TheFutureIsShocking: Hubert was forever being shocked by the morals and the clothing of late 20th century.
* HappyHarlequinHat: Timothy Claypole typically wears one.
* {{Hellevator}}: Ghosts arrive on Earth from the after life in the invisible "astral lift".
* InevitableWaterfall: Mr. and Mrs. Meeker narrowly avoid going over NiagaraFalls. ''In England''.
* KeepCirculatingTheTapes: Only the first season has been released on dvd, and complicated rights issues make it unlikely the later seasons will be.
* LaughTrack: In-universe (well, applause track, strictly speaking). Fifties starlet Suzie Starlight has a round of applause in her handbag, which she lets out whenever she's pleased with herself.
* LiteralGenie: The Perkins are given a magical amulet that grants all their wishes. They do not realise this, however, and persist in expressing odd wishes, which the amulet then proceeds to grant, usually in a fairly literal manner.
* MalfunctionMalady: Nadia Popov would teleport whenever she sneezed. And she suffered from allergies...
* PantomimeAnimal: Dobbin
* PutOnABus: Davenport and Mumford acquire permanent jobs haunting a stately home.
* RandomTransportation:
** Nadia Popov would randomly teleport whenever she sneezed, and suffered from allergies.
** In the novels, her powers (like those of many other ghosts) were actually activated by touching her own nose - but every time she sneezed she covered her nose and ended up triggering her power.
* SneezeOfDoom: Nadia Popov. See RandomTransportation above.
* SupernaturallyYoungParent: Ghosts manifest as the age they were when they died. So Hubert Davenport's mother, who died in her twenties, looks much younger than her son, who died when he was much older (his late fifties or early sixties).
* WhichRestroomDilemma: One of the characters had reason to be loitering around the change rooms at a swiming pool. One of the attendants started looking at him stragely. He looked at the two signs and, being unsure of what to do and having been told to act like an 'innocent bystander', used his magical powers to create a third sign reading 'Innocent Bystanders' and headed off in that direction.