A Londoner hoping to avoid repossession of her five-bedroom home in south-east London wants to raffle it off by selling £3.75million of tickets at £5 each.
The detached property is in a conservation area near Greenwich Park in Blackheath, where the average asking price is £613,634.
Owner Renu Qadri, who has five children, has struggled to pay the mortgage because of disability, which has also made climbing stairs difficult.
However, after putting the home on the market for £1.25 million in March, she has been unable to find a buyer and is now hoping to sell 750,000 raffle tickets through her website, which has been live since Sunday. Entrants will also have to answer a question about the property.
The house is offered fully furnished, including lead crystal chandeliers worth £12,000, leather sofas, kitchen appliances and bedroom furniture.
“We want to take the sale into our own hands and give somebody else the chance to enjoy this wonderful house,” Ms Qadri told the News Shopper. “London is the hardest place to buy a home and it is time for somebody else to live here, I think it is time we downsize.”
If not all the raffle tickets are sold by this November, an undisclosed cash prize (minus expenses) will be offered instead. The house is still listed at the full price via an online estate agent, which is charging a flat fee up front, whether or not the property sells through them.
Are property raffles legal?
- If not run correctly, property raffles can land sellers in trouble with the law
- The Gambling Commission oversees competitions that could be classed as property raffles
- It is legal to run a competition for profit so long as there is an element of skill for participants
- This is why property raffles often require entrants to answer a question
- Many rafflers have run into difficulties with the Commission if the question is deemed too easy to answer
- Raffle entrants should also be wary of scams
- Most schemes state that if not all tickets are sold, the winner will receive the cash raised from sold tickets minus ‘expenses’ (which can be a significant percentage of the profit)
Stamp duty hikes and overheated pricing have caused the market for large properties to stall in recent months, especially in London, where the average asking price for homes with five bedrooms or more fell 7.3 per cent in the year to April, according to latest Rightmove figures.
As a result, some cash-strapped sellers are turning to property raffles as a way to recoup their costs.
PROPERTY RAFFLES: A NEW TREND?
A Georgian manor house in Lancashire which failed to sell is being raffled for £2 a ticket and has raised over £600,000 of the £1 million target.
After the 2008 property crash, there was a spate of property raffles.
A Devon couple struggling to sell their £1 million five-bedroom house, complete with fishing lake and four holiday lodges, sold £25 raffle tickets. A 36-year-old German man who bought a single ticket was named the winner in 2009.
Another couple in the Wirral attempted to raffle off their £725,000 six-bedroom house in West Kirby. After an investigation by the Gambling Commission, they managed to sell only 400 tickets, barely covering their costs, and struggled to reimburse angry ticket holders.
The vendor of the Blackheath property has been contacted for comment.
Greenwich Council have halted the raffle and ticket holders will be refunded through PayPal.