From the Seattle Times: Seattle City Council votes to impose moratorium on rent-bidding websites
The Seattle City Council voted Monday to impose a one-year moratorium on rent-bidding platforms, which allow landlords to take competing bids from prospective tenants and then sign leases with the highest bidders — a little bit like eBay, but for apartments.
The council began looking at the platforms after the board of directors of the Associated Students of the University of Washington approved a student-senate resolution calling on the city to ban them.
The student group’s resolution late last year named two platforms, RentBerry and Biddwell, that have been active in Seattle.
By allowing landlords to easily take bids, the platforms can drive up the cost of housing, and that isn’t welcome in a city where “apartment values are already high, driving some students into homelessness,” the resolution said.
Additional coverage on GeekWire: Seattle bans rent bidding in latest attempt to keep disruptive tech from compounding housing crisis
What’s driving up the cost of housing is the basic economic imbalance of not enough supply to meet demand. People are moving to the Seattle area faster than we are building housing for them.
The solution is not to ban rent-bidding websites. The solution is to build more housing.
This is a misguided, ignorant, and foolish move by the Seattle City Council.