A vendor who suffered a fall-through on the sale of his five bedroom home in West Yorkshire is now trying to get rid of it via a raffle.
The Telegraph and Argus local newspaper says that Den Goodridge put his Huddersfield house into a raffle after seeing a previous sale collapse due to the pandemic.
There’s an added attraction- the Victorian house comes with a fully-stocked wine cellar featuring 300 bottles which Mr Goodridge says he will leave behind for the raffle winner.
Tickets are available online until October 30; the draw will be made earlier if all 500,000 tickets are sold sooner.
The home has been on sale through more traditional means for over a year, and Goodridge says he has structured the raffle to avoid the legal pitfalls - mostly concerning gambling legislation - that have scuppered many other raffles in recent years.
He told the paper: “I have seen that quite a few people have put their houses up for sale this way. It seems like a really good idea and gives someone a chance to buy it at just £2 a go ... It seems like a great way to get moved in the current property climate.”
Some of the proceeds will go to a local hospital.
You can see the house lottery at raffall.com
The Gambling Commission says there are two options for individuals or companies wishing to raffle a property - and repeated failure to abide by one or the other option could, at worst, lead to a year’s prison sentence.
Firstly an owner could run a raffle based purely on the luck-of-the-draw, providing he or she obtains a Gambling Commission licence.
However, this may in some cases require the organiser owning the property themselves (which means an agency may have to buy a home ahead of offering it in a competition); the commission says such events cannot be run for private gain and cannot offer a prize valued above £200,000.
Secondly it is possible to hold a competition to dispose of a highly valuable prize such as a property but this needs to be convincingly “skills-based” rather than involve the random drawing of a ticket requiring nothing more than chance.
This latter point is why many raffles in recent years have had ‘false starts’, with their organisers believing they could simply publicise the property and sell tickets. Back in 2008 when the housing market was in poor shape the Gambling Commission closed down around 100 attempted raffles because of no ‘skills’ requirement.