NewsThe new look Yarralumla play station. complete with mini golf of Canberra’s famous iconsThe Canberra TimesDate: 17 March 2016Photo Jay Cronan Photo: Jay CronanControversial US ‘rent-bidding’ start-up Rentberry to launch in AustraliaRenting househunters forced to jump through extra hoops in Sydney’s tight rental marketRenting an exercise in crowd control for Melburnians
It’s so very easy to look at the property market right now and see nothing but doom and gloom.
Fortunately everything’s swell for those on the renting side of the equation at the moment – especially with the news that Rentberry is set to launch in Australia and allow would-be tenants to fight to the death in real-time by bidding for rents.
Sure, critics point out that this will turn the nightmarish process of applying for rental properties into a gladiatorial bloodsport that will drive the rents in larger cities from their current level of “offensive” to “downright insulting” – renters in the Bay Area enjoyed a price jump of the order of five per cent when the app launched locally – but these criticisms fail to take into account the important qualifying factor that Rentberry are based in the US and couldn’t care less about you povvo types.
Just think of it as the Uber of house hunting: you just put in the rental price that most stretches you beyond your ability to keep body and soul together in order to appeal to the landlord, and then … um, then the nearest house drives over, or something? And probably does something disruptive and agile on the way.
In any case, there’s been one fascinating development that should have renters feeling slightly less like walking into the sea: the news that NSW Labor have decided that if they get into power, they’ll make having pets a right of renters across the board.
There has been much criticism of this thought bubble from property management groups, landlord bodies, and cat-hiding services who can see their lucrative inspection-time dollars drying up.
And while this little plan sounds like the sort of thing that’s likely to be forgotten as soon as Labor get into power, since NSW is essentially a develocracy, it also represents the only reasonable hope that tenants have if we all have to start bidding against one another for shelter: the start of a much-needed income stream in the form of mini petting zoos.
Sure, it’s not going to be easy to share a one-bedroom flat with some alpacas, some ducklings and a tiny pony that the kids can ride, but since we’re definitely not going to do anything meaningful about housing affordability, we need to start thinking outside the litter box.