In Vancouver, bidding wars aren’t just for homebuyers anymore. 

A landlord in the city’s Kitsilano neighbourhood has put up a three-bedroom home for lease without setting the rent, opting to let potential tenants bid instead.

Brad McPherson said the reason is that his previous renters were there so long, he’s not sure what the 1,800-square-foot unit is worth anymore.

“The people who were here were here for 18 years,” McPherson told CTV News.

Those tenants paid $1,800 a month, less than half of what some three-bedroom rentals in the neighbourhood are currently listed at online.

McPherson opened up the home, located around Larch Street and 8th Avenue, for viewing on Tuesday and Wednesday, advertising with a Craigslist post that encouraged would-be tenants to “make [an] offer.”

He said dozens of interested parties came through, and he received offers of up to $2,300 a month.

While the landlord said he wants more than the previous tenants were paying, he also insists he won’t just take the highest bid; having good, long-term tenants is a priority.

“It costs more to fix it up from damage from the wrong tenants,” McPherson said. “I’m more concerned with the house – that it stays in good shape – so that’s what we’re looking for.”

The situation is just a small symptom of Vancouver’s ongoing shortage of available rental housing, which experts fear is helping push up rents in the city.

Economist Tom Davidoff of UBC’s Sauder School of Business has forecast that if current trends continue, rental prices could spike a staggering 20 per cent over a single year, from March 2016 to March 2017.

According to rental website Padmapper, Vancouver already has the highest median rent price for one-bedroom homes for all of Canada by a wide margin.

Padmapper said Vancouver’s median price was $1,750 in September, compared to $1,310 in Toronto.

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Mi-Jung Lee