House raffles and similar competitions have become mired in controversy in recent years, thanks to some of them failing to abide by gambling legislation and many selling too few tickets to ultimately award a property to the winner.
However, one company organising these competitions - Raffle House - has revealed that a 27 year old from Bournemouth has won a raffle for a two-bed flat.
Niomi Boontam, an insurance consultant, also wins a new Land Rover Discovery Sport SUV.
The competition also pays the stamp duty - although this property is likely to have benefitted from the SDLT holiday - and conveyancing fees.
“We founded Raffle House with the aim of giving as many people as possible the chance to get on the property ladder for the first time through the purchase of low-cost tickets” says founder Benno Spencer.
His company has now launched a new competition for a two bedroom house in south east London, which is reported as being worth £750,000. Tickets to the draw cost £2 each and the competition closes at the end of November.
Raffle House is a company set up to promote such competitions but many individual homeowners who have failed to sell through conventional means and have resorted to raffles, have fallen foul of gambling and advertising regulations in recent years.
For example, the Advertising Standards Authority has seen a rise in complaints about property raffles - it’s received 90 complaints about them since 2015.
Since earlier this year all such complaints are being handled instead by the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agent Team.
NTSELAT says running a property raffle could ultimately be a legal issue which falls under the Estate Agency Act 1979, so it will act as a referral point for complaints, handing them to the body best equipped to resolve it - for example, the Gambling Commission in the event of the raffle being an illegal lottery.
If found to be in breach, local Trading Standards departments can take appropriate enforcement action or, if the trader is found to be operating under the definition of estate agency work, NTSELAT can investigate.
“Raffles offering a property as a prize could violate the requirements of the Estate Agents Act 1979, as the promoter of the raffle could be classed as doing estate agency work. If this is the case, they will be required to comply with all the rules governing estate agents including declaring a personal interest and keeping appropriate records” explains James Munro, senior manager at NTSELAT.