"It’s unclear whether rent-bidding platforms conflict with any of Seattle's housing laws," so we better ban them, just in case.
Why are we not surprised the Shitty Council is a den of ignorant Luddites?
Thank God. A good move, in my opinion. It's not like landlords are not already making money hand-over-fist, the last thing the rest of us perma-renters need is to have to fight over them like dogs too.
More and more property is owned by fewer and fewer wealthy people. Parts of London today are ghost towns, owned by ultra wealthy Arabs who don't live there and don't rent the property out... they just want it as vanity possessions.

Can't wait for the day when a few guys in the U.A.E. own the entire planet. If 'Merican Trump voters are terrified of muslims now, they'll shit themselves when they see what happens next.
Any idea how the city plans to enforce this?
@8 As far as I can tell, you can still bid on rentals, you just can't do so through an online platform. So, if you wanted to let the landlord know you'd be willing to pay more than asking, you can just send them an e-mail or something. I know that seems pretty dumb, but that's what just happened.

I can't think of what would constitute an equivalent approach for house sales.

If apartments were being sold outright there most likely wouldn't be a problem. But then, they wouldn't be apartments - they'd be condos.
I can't quite see how apartment-auctions are any worse than having landlords just crank the rents up until they start getting vacancies-- that's not a whole lot of fun for a tenant, either.
"The housing market is naturally fair", the conservative explained. "Why? Because LIFE is fair! The rental market IS fair the way it is!", the conservative shouted over crowds growing laughter, "Can't you see? Can't you all see that it just is? It just is! Life is fair just the way it we find it!"

Why must liberals always ruin it, the conservative wondered, to no one in particular. It's when you try to make it fair that it all goes bad. Fairness is built into the way everything works. I know it is. It's fair, fair, it's a fair land! A fairyland! It's always been this way. Always.

Better not say the fairyland thing out loud to anyone, though, he reminded himself.
Glad to see the council getting out front on this. We don’t need another way for landlords to squeeze more cash out of renters.
Sort of. I'm sure there's some people who don't care whether anyone lives there or not, as long as they get whatever check is coming to them. But I wouldn't be so sure the city government, and especially the residents, like it. Nobody there means no attracting businesses. No businesses means no growth and no extra city revenue. If those places stay dormant too long, the property values will start to plummet and the surrounding infrastructure won't have any funding to keep upkeep on landscaping in parks no one goes to and repairing weather damaged roads that no one drives on.

Well, you still have choices: you can choose to shop at the upscale natural market where everything is organic, locally-sourced, GMO/rBGH-free and pay the commensurately higher prices, or you can go to the after-market discount mart and buy the slightly dented cans of Wadded Beef Product at low, LOW prices, or to any of the myriad of stores that fall somewhere in between. But, in the current market housing is in short supply, whereas food is comparatively more plentiful. Plus, when you go to literally ANY grocery store you have the assurance that the price listed on the shelf sticker will still be the same price you'll pay when you get to the check-out.

Now, imagine if groceries were sold purely by auction: you put a package of ribeyes in your cart, but a couple other people want that exact same package, and they're willing to pay more than the sticker price, so they just reach into your cart and snatch it away before you even have the chance to get in line to pay for it yourself. You'd probably think that was a pretty stupid way to run a grocery store, wouldn't you?

Seattle City Council at its finest.
@16 the government does this with food, mostly in the form of agriculture subsidies and market controls. This isn't unprecedented to place regulation on necessities because the free market fucking sucks at providing basic needs and everyone knows it.
I don't think the Council has had enough time to study eBay yet. They should ban that too.

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