The Online Bidding Craze Hits the Private Rental Sector

02 February 2012 Categories: News

A revolutionary new website has recently been launched that allows prospective tenants to bid on properties they want to rent. ThePropertyBid.com reference checks every registering tenant before allowing them to bid, and providing their checks come back clear they are free to bid on any properties that interest them.

The eBay-style auction site charges letting agents and landlords 20% of the achieved rental amount as a commission fee, while the winning bidder pays a 5% fee which covers the cost of their reference checks. Losing bidders aren’t required to pay anything.

Will this property auction site with a difference work or will it simply push rental prices up even further? When asked about the prospect of some properties reaching overly high rents the site founder, Jonathan Ambrose, said, “The site is all about making the process fairer, and while critics may suggest rental auctions will drive up rents in an already overheated market and be slanted towards landlords, the reality is that tenants will only bid what they can afford in their budget.”

“It’s a matter of people determining what they can afford. If the asked rent moves beyond their expectations they will simply move on to another property that is within their budget. This won’t change, even if an auction system is in place.”

It remains to be seen whether this novel format for property letting will actually work but if the number of huge auction sites on the net is anything to go by it will certainly make a splash.