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Seattle's rent bidding moratorium expired in April. But it could still be prohibited

Seattle could soon reinstate its moratorium on rent bidding.

Last year the city banned websites that allow prospective renters to bid on rental homes. Teresa Mosqueda, who chairs the council’s Housing, Health, Energy and Workers’ Rights Committee, says given how fast technology is emerging, the moratorium was necessary.

“We wanted to slow down just a little bit and take a look at this technology to see if it had implications on our rental housing market,” said Mosqueda, “and to be able to make informed decisions about how the city could respond to protect our population and uphold our fair housing laws.”

The moratorium expired in April and the city needs more time because the report won’t be ready until July. “Until we have the report, we wanted to make sure we have enough time to decide what to do with the information,” she added.

The new ordinance goes to the full council on Monday. If passed, online rent bidding would be prohibited for another year.