Rentberry lets you bid for an apartment rental

- Getting an apartment in New York isn't what many people would describe as a pleasurable experience. Finding the place is tough enough, but even after you've found your potential new home, mountains of documents, meetings, paper work, etc. tend to gum up the works.

That is where the new service Rentberry comes in. CEO Alex Lubinsky says that Rentberry is not just like eBay for apartments. He says the service makes the application process more transparent.

But there one very different catch: the tenants bid against each other on the apartments. And then based on the bid amount, credit score, and other determining factors, the landlord chooses who gets the apartment.

Lubinsky says this process gives every applicant a fair chance to compete in the process of getting a rental property.

Critics say the service heavily favors landlords and could amount to something like a death warrant for affordable housing.

Tenants and Neighbors Executive Director Katie Goldstein says that she sees the service as a threat to affordable housing and a "gentrification accelerator."

But Rentberry argues it can actually save tenants money, at least up front. Traditionally, an apartment seeker might pay $50 or more per application. But with Rentberry, there is only one $25 payment and that is once you actually rent an apartment -- no matter how many you place bids on.

Joe Anuta, a real estate reporter at Crain's New York, says tech companies have had some difficulty cracking the New York real estate market.

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