The Seattle City council will hold a special meeting to on March 8, 2018 at 9:30 AM to vote to place a one year prohibition on rental bidding sites.
This bill prohibits tenants and landlords from using rental housing bidding platforms for a year, while the City determines whether those platforms are in compliance with the City’s regulations and looks at impact on the housing market.
Courtesy of King5.com - February 26, 2018
Affordable housing proponents are warning a new technology could increase rents in Seattle. It's called rent-bidding, and a company behind it says it’s helping streamline a cumbersome and costly process.
“The reason that is an issue is because in an auction, basically, the person able to pay the most, the richest tenant wins,” said Alexander Novokhodko, a UW senior who serves in the student senate.
New platforms like Rentberry allow landlords to list properties and potential renters can submit bids. They set a price they'd be willing to pay, and a property owner can accept or reject that.
“Technology, in general, especially when it intersects with profitable things like housing, moves a mile a minute, and government kind of needs to get ahead of that,” Novokhodko said.
Rentberry says it offers flexibility, transparency and the ability to save money. It says its technology levels the playing field by showing applicants current offers on properties, so they can make educated decisions on how much they are willing to pay for a home, all without the burden of multiple costly applications.
Novokhodko and other UW senators recently presented their legislation to a group of Seattle City Council members. They hope to continue that discussion as a way to brace for possible impacts.