App Aims to Change How Landlords Find Tenants, Pushes for Fair Value in Hectic Markets

A company has launched the first apartment rental app in North America that lets tenants make offers on rentals accommodations.

Biddwell says it gives gives tenants tools to compete in tight rental markets. Landlords legally have the right to set the rent at at a rate they feel is fair. Since credit checks and tenant verification can be expensive and time consuming, Biddwell says landlords generally move through applications in the order they were received. In many cases, the most desirable applicants get overlooked.

“With or without bidding, the current process tenants go through when searching and applying for rentals is unfair and an ineffective method for establishing fair market value,” said Jordan Lewis, CEO of Biddwell.

The company was founded in Vancouver, which is a near zero-vacancy rental market.

Biddwell offers “sealed offers” as a way for tenants and landlords to determine fair market value of a given rental property. Landlords give tenants the ability to submit their best offer which is unknown to all other applicants. Since tenants are required to submit their pre-­verified “Renter Resume” when expressing interest in a space, evaluation is based on both price and tenant quality.

Currently a web app, Biddwell plans a launch onto mobile devices next year.