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London property raffle: be a homeowner for as little as £2

A start-up is offering hopeful homeowners the chance to win luxurious London townhouses for the “price of a coffee”.

WinAbode’s first offer, a trendy £700,000 flat in Dalston, east London, will be raffled off to participants for just £2. Each person can buy up to 150 tickets.

The three-bedroom flat – which boasts almost 1,000 sq ft of space – was listed on the website after its owner struggled to sell the property.

The winner will receive the property mortgage-free and won’t have to pay any legal fees – subject to a limit of £1,500 plus VAT.

If too few people enter and the full asking price of the house is not met, a cash prize will be given instead.

To stay within competition law, entrants must answer a question correctly in order to enter the raffle. This distinguishes the competition as “skills-based” and therefore not a lottery – which is illegal.

WinAbode must also offer the chance to enter the competition for free by post in order for it not to be a lottery, so a form is available to print and complete on the website.

The Gambling Commission has intervened in previous instances where homeowners have tried to give away their home as a prize. It says people found to be breaching this rule could face up to 51 weeks in jail and a fine of up to £5,000.

Founders Richard Blaiberg and Sam Park said: “We see WinAbode as a really positive new outlet set against the backdrop of the UK’s housing crisis. We want to offer everyone the chance of owning their own home, without the need for the bank of mum and dad.”

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