Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
×
Businesses The Almighty Buck United States

Bidding Website Rentberry May Be the Startup of Your Nightmares (gizmodo.com) 307

Renting is already fraught with pain, from annual rent hikes to extortionate lettings fees. But if a new service called Rentberry takes off, it could be about to get a lot worse. From a report: Rentberry has been operating in test cities and angering affordable housing advocates since 2016. But with its new expansion into 1,000 cities in the United States, the rental bidding website is about to piss off a lot more people. Alex Lubinksy, founder of Rentberry, seems to be pursuing an image that's closer to Uber's vilified Travis Kalanick than the do-gooder model of Elon Musk. Lubinsky courts the controversy that surrounds his startup and is known to include negative press when communicating his vision to reporters. But one big difference with Rentberry will be that if it takes off and becomes the new standard for renting apartments, most of its customers won't be able to run a #deleteRentberry campaign because landlords will have the control. The website essentially functions as a cross between CraigsList and eBay. A landlord lists a rental space and potential tenants bid against one another to claim the lease. Tenants' personal information is available to the landlord. The landlord then makes their final decision by weighing what the best offer is along with which bidder seems like they'd be the best tenant. For now, Rentberry charges users a $25 fee, but in the future, it plans to charge 25 percent of the difference between the asking price and the agreed upon rent. Whoever received the better deal pays the fee -- every month.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Bidding Website Rentberry May Be the Startup of Your Nightmares

Comments Filter:
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:24PM (#54166073)
    was suppose to make the world a better place? So far all I'm seeing is crap like this and Fake News. It's not lookin' good.

    Oh, and you know, we could just ban stuff like this. I'm just saying...
    • by tsa ( 15680 )

      Oh please. You can still ignore all those websites that spread fake news and crap like this. The internet is made by real people and many real people are assholes, so there is a lot of shit on the internet.

    • So.... this already goes on, Landlords "fish" their properties on the market when tenants move out early, trying to look for higher bidders. If a service like Rentberry was widely adopted, the landlords could also be persuaded to take lower rent bids and rent more often instead of holding out for higher prices. The real win here is for landlords who don't need the "management services" of real-estate companies, so they can get market exposure without giving a big slice to agents.

      Freedom of information is

      • In other states, the government has regulated the market so hard that you can't get rid of bad renters. "Those evil landlord" complaints are easy to avoid: buy your own freaking house or move.

        On the other hand we have government forcing truly poor people to stay with bad landlords (via Section 8 and DSS).

        Government involvement in a free market is counterintuitive.

        • Family of 3 with #4 on the way in 60 days, moving into a new town for a new job - renting was virtually essential to close in time to have stable shelter for the new baby. We bought a house within 6 months, and moved into it after 3 more, as most people do in that market, which is a big part of why the real-estate agents all advise their landlords to NEVER rent for less than a 12 month term - it's collusion and price fixing, and as Lucius Malfoy says: "Why don't you Prove it?" A landlord who would have g

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Rather than allowing the economy to send out signals about what is wanted and needed, zoning regulations, building regulations, renting regulations, mortgage rate manipulations, lending quotas, etc., all distort those signals until nobody knows what's going on.

    The outcome of such confusion is obvious: Resources get allocated poorly, producing too much of what the economy doesn't need, and too little of what the economy does need. And, when the whole thing comes crashing down, the fools who crafted the erran

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      So if my city comes and wants to change the park next to me to a smelter plant, that is in their best interest so I shouldn't have a problem with it?
      • Protest, get the other neighbors to protest, usually all it takes is one resident to stand up and say "no" and the elected representatives will stand up for the residents that elected them.

        Now, if your precinct is stupid enough to vote in a bought and paid for candidate, then I suppose you're getting what you deserve when his owners come and destroy your park.

      • That's what zoning laws are for. Residential neighborhoods don't just get industrial buildings. Don't like the zoning (cheap mixed residential/light industrial land), don't buy the property.

    • by drew_kime ( 303965 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:04PM (#54166381) Journal

      Resources get allocated poorly, producing too much of what the economy doesn't need, and too little of what the economy does need.

      "The economy" doesn't need shit. It's people who need things.

  • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:27PM (#54166103)
    Rent-seeking off those seeking rent. Oh the irony.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by fche ( 36607 )

      "rent-seeking" usually refers to entities that benefit from government mandates. This is not the case here.

      • Re:Only in America (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:44PM (#54166221)

        No, it has nothing to do with "government mandates". It refers to anyone who tries to extract profits without actually doing any more work. Monopolies (cable companies, unregulated utilities, patent holders, etc.) do it all the time.

      • Re:Only in America (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:51PM (#54166291)

        "rent-seeking" usually refers to entities that benefit from government mandates. This is not the case here.

        Typically yes, but it is not solely from government sources. From wikipedia: "Rent-seeking implies extraction of uncompensated value from others without making any contribution to productivity." Basically any type of middle-man arrangement with no real added value is rent seeking. In fact, this is worse than a middle man if you consider their long-term goal of charging off of the difference (either way) from the original asking price: their ideal situation is one is which one party gets a decidedly sub-optimal outcome, thereby creating negative value.

        • by fche ( 36607 )

          "without making any contribution to productivity"

          But without the compulsion of government, this can't really happen. Most middlemen do in fact make a productivity contribution. In this case it's pretty clear: it's an auction / pseudo-credit-rating type system that brings value to the landlord. Enabling finding a rental property even at landlords with such high standards bring value to the renters too.

        • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

          Basically any type of middle-man arrangement with no real added value is rent seeking.

          Is arbitrage also rent-seeking?

          In fact, this is worse than a middle man if you consider their long-term goal of charging off of the difference (either way) from the original asking price

          In an auction, what is the "original asking price"?

    • Exactly. Not my problem, that's why I own.

  • by imgod2u ( 812837 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:28PM (#54166109) Homepage

    It matches supply with demand. If rents are too high the root problem is there isn't enough housing being built. All of this yelling about "greed" and "rent control" and even worse -- high minimum wage -- are just bandaids that won't solve the root of the problem.

    So politicians get to "champion the little guy" with ineffective measures while enjoying their large lots for their own housing and collecting expensive property taxes. But woe be you if you're a developer seeking to build more housing units. Fees and permits alone will scare away all but the most determined (and profit seeking).

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Don't forget that the banks were giving politicians preferential rates and white glove handling.
    • by Catbeller ( 118204 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:18PM (#54166479) Homepage

      Why would a developer build anything but the priciest luxury rentals? There is no economic incentive to build small places for small rents. There ain't no such thing as a free market for *renters*. Every advantage and price increase trick is on the side of the the property owners.

      Developers will never, ever build enough units to drop rental prices. That would be stupid. They will build to keep supply high for the highest incomes, and let the lower price units dribble away into condos, which keeps rents high and induces more pricey condo contrstuction.

      There is no incentive whatsoever to build cheap apartments. A decentive, really, because the neighbors will fight to the death anyone who tries to put low-income people in their Zillow Zone.

      • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:50PM (#54166719) Homepage Journal

        Why would a developer build anything but the priciest luxury rentals? There is no economic incentive to build small places for small rents.

        Actually, there is. You do this on volume and ensure yourself a constant stream of tenants in the buildings generating rent.

        You get your low price, small units in the Federal Section 8 housing program. The US Feds pay most of the rent, they have rules for the tenants, and if the tenants break rules, do drugs, destroy the place, you can have the Feds evict them and replace them with someone else in the program.

        I know folks that make a LOT of mostly GUARANTEED money owning section 8 housing units.

      • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

        There is no economic incentive to build small places for small rents.

        That's true, which is unfortunate because low rent areas are a property tax windfall for cities compared to single-use residential areas [strongtowns.org]. The poor subsidize the wealthy.

        But fortunately, today's new luxury rentals are tomorrow's low rent districts. And thanks to gentrification, the opposite is also true. It's the circle of life!

    • as "Perverse Incentives". I mean, otherwise we might have companies like Rentberry lobbying to block the expansion of affordable housing...
    • The biggest problem is actually this:

      For now, Rentberry charges users a $25 fee, but in the future, it plans to charge 25 percent of the difference between the asking price and the agreed upon rent. Whoever received the better deal pays the fee -- every month.

      This effectively means that the landlord is always incentivized to start the bidding at the highest reasonable price they can. If the bidders push the rent higher, they win. If the bids are below their asking rent then they also win since the tenant has to pay their rent plus a 25% fee.

      The current model where you just pay a $25 matching fee isn't unreasonable, it's when you start to collect in perpetuity that it's a problem.

      • Or go back to the old ways, like putting signs up. Most people have an idea of where they want to live, so they'll look for places in that neighborhood. Signs work (most real estate sales, the sign attracts a buyer, not ads on the net or mls listings or even newspaper ads).
    • Not sure if you're being sarcastic with your "good idea" or not.

      In some areas this will be fine, additional units will be easily built. In other markets where demand vastly outstrips supply - like in Vancouver where I live - all this will do is spur pricing arms races. "Just build more inventory" Really? WHERE? We've got mountains to the north, the US to the south, and the ocean to the west. And the out East building is already so far in swing you have people doing 2-3 hour commutes already to get to

  • by dontbemad ( 2683011 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:30PM (#54166125)
    Only on slashdot are we presented with an example of a startup giving complete control of rental housing pricing to the renters, and then told that this is evil. As a renter who has lived at both ends of the spectrum, I almost impaled my face with my own palm when reading this story.
    • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:50PM (#54166281)

      "Only on slashdot are we presented with an example of a startup giving complete control of rental housing pricing to the renters"

      How do you figure? The landlord can still reject anyone they don't like, they won't be forced to rent below their 'reserve price' if they don't want to. All it does is pit renters directly against each other not only to "qualify" but now you'll have to compete by offering more money too.

      Meanwhile the company is not just offering this as a service for a flat fee or even a percentage of the rental -- they want a residual income stream for as long as the rental goes on.

      You know what adding another middleman to the deal means? It means the prices go up. Period. Further, it complicates the ability to even negotiate rent with the landlord in the future, since this company is now sitting in the middle taking a piece of each months rent for doing fuck all beyond extracting a higher rate from you in the first place.

      So yeah.. if you are a renter this is pretty much awful. If you are landlord, it's not necessarily too bad, although most landlords aren't going to be keen to see any money flowing to this company month after month that they think should be going to them. I mean... all it should take is "another startup" that charges a flat 25$ fee with no bullshit residuals to kill these guys outright. Wonder if that will happen? Or will they get total market capture like MLS for property sales, and then not using the system becomes a disadvantage.

      • You know what adding another middleman to the deal means? It means the prices go up. Period.

        Not necessarily.

        Rentberry is asking for a piece of the difference. If the landlord asks for $700/month and someone bids $800, then Rentberry gets $25/month from the landlord; whereas if the landlord asks for $700/month and the highest bid is $600, Rentberry gets $25/month from the tenant.

        In the case where the price is bid up, it's only the bidding that bumps the price. Rentberry's interposition otherwise doesn't add anything to the price. Long-term, landlords would raise the rents until they lost mar

        • by vux984 ( 928602 )

          " whereas if the landlord asks for $700/month and the highest bid is $600, Rentberry gets $25/month from the tenant. "

          Or more likely, the landlord will just not rent to anyone at all.

          And perhaps re-list a month later at 700. Or... perhaps worst case $625 since he knows some tenants will pay at least that much.

        • Except that the renters looking for $725/month aren't going to bid $725 under this arrangement. They'll have to lower the offer to feed Rentberry.

          Also, how does this affect renegotiated rents when the lease is up? If the place goes up for auction again, it becomes a less desirable property, since it increases the chance that the tenant will have to move again sooner than the tenant wants to. If not, what's Rentberry's slice going to be?

          I suspect that Rentberry apartments are going to become less des

      • Don't worry, I've never met a landlord that would agree to part with 25% of the rental difference to raise the rent. They'll just delist it then relist it at the higher rent or they won't use the service at all. There's going to be very very few landlords that would even consider this. The second they try to impose their 25% the site will die, at a $25 flat fee people might participate but either way from the landlords perspective it's going to be someone that wants money for doing the equivalent of what th

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Have you ever looked at the number of shill bidders on ebay?
    • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:06PM (#54166393) Homepage Journal

      Basically, this will lead to faster market reaction and larger exposure, and people are only looking at bidding up.

      In the current situation, low-rent areas draw higher-income middle-class college graduates. They buy into low-cost apartments, and the landlords slowly notice the trend and start raising rents. They can't kick out existing tenants (rent control), so the rents go up for new tenants: poor people seeking a new apartment have to look elsewhere. Rents then increase.

      The new situation bids the rents up or down to the demand. That means the rents will go up on a particular property immediately when tenants are willing to offer more. When there are no tenants to take an asking price, the rents go down due to underbidding.

      The summary frames this as simply driving rental prices up because people will bid high to buy into apartments.

      In markets where the price is adjusting, there will usually be more empty units. Empty units are a landlord risk, and are handled by raising rent on other tenants to compensate. Because a lack of demand can bid these empty units down, the minimum price a landlord can accept goes down as well: rents can get cheaper in low-rent areas, allowing distressed areas to provide housing to slightly-lower incomes. Likewise, if there is a mix of demand--a hundred units, but seventy middle-class incomes trying to bump the price up--then the rents don't uniformly increase, and some lower-income tenants can afford to stay in the area. The summary ignores this.

      Likewise, the tendency for rents to increase as the market suggests tenants can and will pay already exists. While this means you can get outbid and may have to buy up into a higher-income rent area, that tends to happen anyway, just over longer periods of time. Eventually you're stuck with what people can afford, so the rent rates just shift around. A bidding system shifts the rents around faster.

      All in all, this will just enable change to occur more-rapidly. For some people that will be annoying, for others it will be great, and for landlords it will be a way to squeeze out money faster. From the standpoint of rent prices, it's essentially a net-zero long-term change; from the standpoint of economics, it eliminates some inefficiencies; and from the standpoint of renters, it's somewhat more-annoying for poorer people looking to move into areas that are going to suddenly be richer-people areas soon.

      So it's complex and confusing.

    • Only on slashdot are we presented with an example of a startup giving complete control of rental housing pricing to the renters, and then told that this is evil.

      So this system will not allow reserve prices?

      And if somehow the only bid is $5/month the landlord is required to take it?

      And the landlord is prohibited from raising the rates or ending the lease early?

      Seems to me the only control the renter gets is how high they're willing to go, which they already have.

    • Only on slashdot are we presented with an example of a startup giving complete control of rental housing pricing to the renters,

      You can tell this benefits landlords, not renters, because the landlords are the ones paying.

    • and if that doesn't scare you nothing will.
    • > Only on slashdot are we presented with an example of a startup giving complete control of rental housing pricing to the renters, and then told that this is evil.

      Because apparently you don't live in a market with a 1% vacancy rate. In a market like Vancouver where I live, a site like this will guarantee that renters will bid each other high enough that the already unaffordable gets even less affordable. There's a little breathing room in pricing because the landlords aren't sure where the line is betw

  • What's next? Guys, you should immigrate from Americastan to a proper *Stan country.

    Ever seen oddjob labourers standing on roadsides with "will do oddjobs A, B, and C for N amount kuais", swarming upon anybody with a work order?

  • I dunno if I'd be investing in this startup. All any municipality would have to do is pass a law that says "any quoted or advertised rental price must be the final price the tenant pays" and the whole concept of bidding wars goes out the window. I wouldn't something like that past San Francisco voters, for example ... our city government may be completely corrupt and in the pocket of developers, but there's also a referendum process that lets citizen groups put things on the ballot. And from the sound of it

    • I dunno if I'd be investing in this startup. All any municipality would have to do is pass a law that says "any quoted or advertised rental price must be the final price the tenant pays" and the whole concept of bidding wars goes out the window. I wouldn't something like that past San Francisco voters, for example ... our city government may be completely corrupt and in the pocket of developers, but there's also a referendum process that lets citizen groups put things on the ballot. And from the sound of it

  • Rent controls (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:39PM (#54166185)

    This service is effectively illegal in Quebec.

    Enjoy paying $3000 for a shithole in Manhattan you anti-regulation lunatics

    • For those who don't understand - any property falls under rent control 5 years after it's first rented. So, new properties aren't rent controlled, and the landlord can raise the price however much they want every year - but of course if they do that, the tenant is going to leave, so that tends to rein in rental increases to a reasonable level - ie: the rate of inflation.

      So, build nicer units, get higher initial rents, so there's still an incentive to build.

  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:41PM (#54166207)
    Where is the value delivered to the paying customers, renters, for this service? Also, what does this startup controls that would prevent instant competition if this model becomes successful?

    This has dotcom pets.com written all over it.
    • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

      Nobody asked these questions in the events ticketing industry and look how it's worked out for them.

      All kidding aside, though:

      1. The value for the renter is in the listings. Presumably the site facilitates things like credit checks, too, as rental agencies have always done.

      2. What would prevent competition is terms of service requiring the landlord be exclusive to that site or else lose the listings. Remember, there is a limited supply of available units at any given time, and not all apartments are equally

      • by smartr ( 1035324 )
        So Craigslist? Seriously though, I'm with sinij on this one. There's not a shortage of expensive places to rent without having to go through a gauntlet of competitive bidding. If you need a place next month, you learn very quickly that things like this and open houses are not worth your time. Maybe it will cater to some people in the market, but it seems ridiculous to think that competitive price setting is a problem. I'm also curious how it handles the intricacies of leases. Never mind if you pay attention
    • the benefit to renters, in theory, is potential price gouging landlords wont be able to charge so much for their shithole. Anybody paying attention to the world knows that's not what will happen 99% of the time.
  • Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:45PM (#54166229)

    As a landlord we'd never use this service. Who the hell is gonna show the apartments and however long the bidding war takes means I am out that money if I just could have gotten it rented. And I have to pay a fee for my unit being vacant because of some stupid bidding war, and all my leases will just have random dates instead of something standard like the 1st of the months?

    Sounds like a really stupid idea for most landlords

    • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:58PM (#54166335) Homepage

      Who the hell is gonna show the apartments and however long the bidding war takes means I am out that money if I just could have gotten it rented. And I have to pay a fee for my unit being vacant because of some stupid bidding war, and all my leases will just have random dates instead of something standard like the 1st of the months?

      You seem to be contradicting yourself. If you only allow tenants to sign a lease on the 1st of the month, then aren't you giving up some money anyway? Why not let them move in whenever they need to and give them prorated rent for the first month? (And why couldn't the users of this site do that, too?)

      As for the "length of the bidding war" argument, if you're in a market like San Francisco or New York, where housing is in incredibly high demand, bidding wars are happening already. They don't generally take that long, either -- I've seen people show up at open houses willing to write a check for the first three months' rent, plus deposit. If, on the other hand, you're not in a market like that, then presumably it could take a few weeks to fill a vacant unit. Maybe something like a rental listing service could help you with that.

  • by Sydin ( 2598829 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @03:53PM (#54166305)

    Is that landlords have access to bidders personal information, and that the landlord gets to "choose" among the bidders who actually gets to rent the property, regardless of their offers. The article compares the service to ebay, but a key difference is that on ebay the highest bidder always gets the item, provided they can actually pay up. By putting that power instead in the hands of the landlords, the company is really shooting themselves in the foot. Some landlord somewhere will eventually turn down a higher bid from a black/latino/etc potential tenant in favor of a white one, or a male tenant instead of a female one or vice versa, etc etc. Then both the landlord and the company will be buried up to their eyeballs in litigation from every conceivable direction.

    • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

      The article compares the service to ebay, but a key difference is that on ebay the highest bidder always gets the item, provided they can actually pay up. By putting that power instead in the hands of the landlords, the company is really shooting themselves in the foot.

      Very good point. When I first came to look at the apartment I rent now, as I was walking in, an attractive, well-dressed young couple was walking out. Both looked like they earned more money than me. I looked at the landlord who was showing the place and joked, "Well, I'll still take a look but I guess I'm not getting it."

      He replied, "I don't really want to rent to a couple." Simple as that.

      Then both the landlord and the company will be buried up to their eyeballs in litigation from every conceivable direction.

      Well I think therein lies the germ of this business. Online auctions are nothing new. But contract that requires landl

    • They will probably make the bidder sign away all civil rights protections. Doesn't matter if that's illegal, because they'll do it anyway. And frankly when the dust settles the new Republican Supreme Court will not have a problem with it.

    • by KalvinB ( 205500 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:29PM (#54166583) Homepage

      As someone who rents out their house through Renter's Warehouse, I get to see the personal details of someone before I rent to them. And of course I do. I need to know their credit and criminal history before letting them live in my property.

      Just because someone bids the highest doesn't mean they have the credit or history to justify letting them rent your property. They may be renting beyond what they can afford or they may have a history of causing damage. Or a criminal history you don't want to take the risk on.

    • by DRJlaw ( 946416 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:45PM (#54166685)

      [The downfall of this idea is] that landlords have access to bidders personal information.

      You've apparently never rented residential property. Landlords always have access to personal information. First, you meet with them, or their manager, when you want to see the space. Then you fill out an application. Then the more savvy ones run a credit check, and potentially a litigation check to look for things like evictions, damage complaints, etc. They might even ask for a confirmation of your employment, to look for things like whether you can pay more than the first month's rent and deposit.

      Some landlord somewhere will eventually turn down a higher bid from a black/latino/etc potential tenant in favor of a white one, or a male tenant instead of a female one or vice versa, etc etc. Then both the landlord and the company will be buried up to their eyeballs in litigation from every conceivable direction.

      The company is going to be immune under the Telecom Act of 1996 (a.k.a. Communications Decency Act, section 230) unless the company itself puts prohibited questions in the applicant information. If you think that they haven't studied the Roommates.com litigation backwards and forwards, you're naive.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Is that landlords have access to bidders personal information, and that the landlord gets to "choose" among the bidders who actually gets to rent the property, regardless of their offers. The article compares the service to ebay, but a key difference is that on ebay the highest bidder always gets the item, provided they can actually pay up. By putting that power instead in the hands of the landlords, the company is really shooting themselves in the foot. Some landlord somewhere will eventually turn down a h

  • As an ex-landlord (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:05PM (#54166387) Homepage

    I can tell you that before rentberry, the price is pretty much set by the market. You really can't raise it or even lower it much. Frankly, I can't see rentberry changing this much, any more than AirBnb already has. If rents get too high, people either move further out and accept a longer commute, or they buy. People flock to the cheaper areas.

    The difference between a profitable landlord and a poor one is mainly due to two factors (both even more important in the age of AirBnb):

    a) Keeping every apartment/ room filled. A vacant apartment eats all your profit. If you have a large enough portfolio of rental units, this becomes an accepted cost of doing business, but if you four or less units, it kills your profits.

    b) Avoiding the bad tenant. The guy that needs to be evicted, or simply destroys the place. There is ZERO chance I would trust a website to figure out who is a good tenant and who is a bad one. You need to meet them in person and see what if any requests or issues they have.

  • I own a duplex and live in one half. We do not cover our mortgage with the rental. I would look at this as an opportunity as, if you look at the laws in my state as well as many other Eastern states, the laws are heavily biased against the landlord. Because what the landlord sells is time, and you can never get that back.

    So, what I found interesting is that the landlord gets information on the possible renters. That way, the landlord can pre-screen.

    What we use now is Craigslist, Zillow and a broker (all thr

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There are reasons that rental laws are biased against landlords. Most landlords aren't living in a duplex right next to their tenant -- that's simply not the case for 99.99% of the properties out there. Most landlords, in fact, own and operate several properties nowhere near their actual place of residence. What they are selling is a roof over the head of another individual or family.

      So, in a situation where a tenant loses the ability to pay rent, it stands to reason that the landlord shouldn't be able evic

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by fred6666 ( 4718031 )

        aggressive landlords who would put a family on the street just as soon as the first payment was missed.

        Why is the landlord supposed to act as a bank with 0% interest?

  • by slew ( 2918 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:16PM (#54166461)

    It sounds like the basic premise of this is to normalize "key money".

    For those not in the know, sometimes property managers of hot properties will accept bribes from prospective tenants (either directly or through intermediary apartment "brokers") to secure leases for properties where the landlord has delegated rental lease responsibility to the property manager. Now it appears the landlord is going to get a cut of this in cold-hard cash and it will be recurring... Sad that they are attempting to normalize this practice... Maybe one of the founders was burned by a shady apartment "broker" in the past and decided that they wanted a piece of that action...

  • Late April Fool's? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lynal ( 976271 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @04:25PM (#54166559)
    This feels like a joke. This is a joke right? Because the value proposition, besides creating controversy, doesn't make sense. It seems like they're offering to solve information asymmetries, when supply differs from demand. But this creates new problems.

    Landlords Now need to figure out when to close their auction to get the maximal volume of the best tenants paying the best prices. How do I even think about that?

    Renters need to figure out on which rentals to bid. It seems like bids are binding - are they not? Is there conditional bidding and Rentberry is solving so complex logic problem? Or combinatoric bidding where renters can win only one item?
  • Anything the increases the market efficiency is better for all players. Good renters will get the best price and will be able to market their rental "reputation" for lower prices (fewer parasites and destructive tenets) . Landlords will maximize their profits and maybe build more rental units which while ultimately lower prices.

  • What's to stop the landlord from jacking up the asking price, settle for a lower offer and then get a kick back from the sit in the 25% cut?
  • Already dead. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @05:21PM (#54166937) Homepage

    Pay a fee every month? yeah that guarantees that it will not become the standard.

  • by nerdonamotorcycle ( 710980 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @06:40PM (#54167357)
    to one month's rent. I'm sure Attorney General Healey is going to be very interested in this.
  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @06:46PM (#54167397)

    This is evil and deserving of a painful death.

    Welcome to the race between the well-off the the more well-off.

    In other words, if you're poor, fuck you.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.

Working...