Latest on the blog

Thursday, 28 January 2016

New "right to rent" legislation affecting UK hosts

Starting February, 1st new legislation is coming into effect under the Immigration Act 2014 affecting everyone who is renting out accommodation. Landlords are then required to check every tenant’s “right to rent” in the United Kingdom. 

What do I have to do as a landlord or host? 

You need to check that every one of your tenant’s has the legal right to rent and live in the United Kingdom within the first 28 days of their tenancy. The legislation only affects new tenancy agreements which means that any tenants already living in your property will not be affected. 

Can FlatClub do this for me?
Unfortunately, we cannot do this in your place. You are required to check the documents yourself in attendance of the tenant and copy relevant papers. 

How do I check someone's right to rent?

Of course, the most likely document you will ask for is someone's passport. A passport from an EU country for example is proof enough. For other passports, a valid visa is required. The Home Office has released a list of valid documents on their website

What happens if I don’t check a tenant’s right to rent?

In the very unlikely event that an illegal immigrant is found in any of your properties, you could be fined a civil penalty of up to £3,000. The penalty for not checking a tenant’s status is £1,000 for first-time offenders and up to £3,000 for subsequent offences.

What about holiday and short-term lets?
If the landlord concludes that the rental is on a holiday basis then it is not necessary to check the tenant's right to rent. As a general guide, the UK Home Office says anything below three months may be considered as holiday lets and are exempt.

For further information, check the Home Office's guide online and the press release.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Coffee addict or tea fanatic?

It’s a hot topic! To settle with a pleasantly warm cup of tea, or to catch a milky latte from your local barista? That, my friends, is today’s question. I could tell you that here at FlatClub, our staff has debated the question since we set up our first desk and swivel chair. And as passion has gotten the better of us, friendships have been severed and milk has been spilt!

Tea fanatics

On one hand we have England’s quintessential tea, imported from what were once the extensions of a great monarchy. Fine leaves of green, black, and earl grey have been shipped in wooden crates from as far back as the 17th century when the tea trade was as innovative and exciting to entrepreneurs as the P2P home rental business is today. Tea really became huge in the early 18th century when we Brits leveraged our resources in India (the jewel of our crown). Tea shops opened up in every corner of London and tea time became a part of any proper Brit’s schedule.
Today there are still several tea shops and distributors that cling on to this symbol of our glory. You can enjoy a pot of strong tea with milk and sugar any day of the week. Twinings is perhaps the oldest standing tea company, being over 300 years old. Try a traditional cup’a’tea for yourself and see what all the rave is about.

Coffee addicts

For those who prefer a stronger kick or a more abounding flavor, coffee has hit the market hard. As London has grown, globalized, and modernized, fast-paced button-down shirts holding smartphones in one hand and cardboard cups in the other have stampeded the streets every morning between 7 and 9.
We have the Italians to thank for the introduction of espresso, cappuccino, and latte into British culture. But ‘Americanos’ (from the US) and ‘flat whites’ (from Australia) are also very popular.
Whether you are a caffeine fiend or a hipster, there’s a cup of coffee out there for you. But if you prefer door-to-door delivery and hand roasted coffee beans over long lines and stale cups of joe, you might want to consider Pact, a growingly popular service.
To be honest, I find it hard to pick a side when my office erupts in dispute. Tea has its place in my life and so does coffee. So, I’d say you should try some of this stuff for yourself and make up your own mind.

Two incredible days at TechCrunch Disrupt London

Another year, another successful TechCrunch Disrupt! Entrepreneurs, startups and those looking to invest in the next Uber, Airbnb and Facebook all gathered in the Copper Box Arena in London’s Olympic Park to listen, pitch and connect. We had an absolute blast getting to know some of our fellow startups and inform others about what we do. Here are just some of our highlights:

  • our collaboration with TechCrunch was met with an overwhelming response! So many were interested in hosting Battlefield participants and we were happy to give them a ticket to Disrupt for free in return
  • we chatted with loads of people from all over the world and all niches of sectors to find out about their companies and tell them more about FlatClub. Entrepreneurs love to connect, to collaborate, to come together to create something even better, to open their ideas for the benefits of their customers. It was inspiring to see and listen to many great collaboration ideas and we’re excited to see what comes of out them in the coming months!
  • our fellow Techhubbers Jukedeck made it to the final round at Battlefield! We watched their incredible pitch with delight and couldn’t be happier for them. Working next to these amazing guys is simply a pleasure!
  • the Battlefield competitors were insanely creative this year. From deliveries in African cities within three hours to managing relationships between creative freelancers, vendors and contractors and of course creating custom, royalty-free music for videos and other uses from the guys and gals working next to us at Jukedeck
  • our FlatClub stall was a huge success! We’ve had hundreds of people visiting us, asking questions, looking to collaborate, to invest or to simply find out why they should stay with us next time they’re moving abroad temporarily. The response was overwhelming and we were happy to share our ideas (and our vouchers) with everyone who was interested

We cannot wait for next year’s TechCrunch Disrupt and are excited to see new startups, new ideas and make new connections to improve everyone’s experience.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

FlatClub at Dublin Web Summit 2015

Dublin’s Web Summit was booming this year. Entrepreneurs from all around the world gathered to share their ideas, pitch to investors, and learn from some of the most prominent leaders in the tech world.

We were able to get an inside view of the bustling event from some of our employees who attended the conference. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Peer to peer platforms are the next big thing: Apps and online tools are more widely available and capable of creating change than ever. There were a ton of companies at this year’s Web Summit who were offering customers the ability to bypass the middleman in various industries through the use of apps and platforms.

  • Virtual reality is kicking off: Oculus Rift, Samsung, and Google are just a few of the tech giants implementing virtual reality. It is safe to say that at this point, virtual reality is much more than just a concept. From virtual book readings, to video games, to 3D virtual home tours, VR is penetrating nearly every market and will surely be an integral part of the world in the next few years.

  • Entrepreneurs love to collaborate: It was very inspiring, and a bit overwhelming, to see the amount of networking happening. Though most companies were aiming to pitch their ideas to investors, hoping to make it big, they were more than open to pitching to onlookers and fellow tech geeks. Collaboration is the key to success, as no one can turn their big idea into a reality on their own.

  • Social media is penetrating every market: Of course, as we have seen in the past few years, social media is huge. But Web Summit has shown us that it is not nearly done growing. Key-note speakers from Facebook, SnapChat, and Pinterest all expressed their high hopes of growth and expectations of entering markets in developing economies within the next 5 to 10 years.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Feeling homesick? We'll help you forget and love autumn instead!

It’s the time of the year again, most of us don’t really look forward to. After setting the clock one hour back, it only gets darker earlier in the day, the temperatures drop and those beach body selfies to impress your crush have to wait another six to eight months. Luckily, there is so much to look forward to in the next two months so turn that frown upside down and find your reason to love the autumn season.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Spooktacular Halloween parties in London

Halloween in London

Is this going to be your first Halloween in London? If so, you are in for a treat! The Big Smoke celebrates Halloween pretty much like it celebrates everything else: on a massive scale with variety too large to count and of course - delicious drinks.

From London Zoo to the Millennium Wheel, every major location gets in on the action. For a spooky, wicked London Halloween night experience, check out our recommendations of parties.

Winterwell Lost in Space
Who says Halloween has to be zombies, ghosts and witches? Winterwell proves that a desolate post-apocalyptic Earth set in an old brick warehouse in West London is just as scary - if not more so!

The Candlelight Club Halloween Ball
For those looking for something a little fancier, dressier and (depending on your view) more civilised, the Candlelight Club opens its door for a spooky speakeasy style ballroom in New York’s Roaring Twenties.

Pop Up Ping Pong Halloween
If you thought your beer pong college days were over, think again. Set in an old abandoned post office in Chelsea, the Halloween-themed ping pong party features America’s finest exports: red cups, cronuts, sliders and of course beer.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller
In the end, Halloween has always been and will always be about zombies. And who to better put in the centre of your zombie party than the King of Pop himself. The Old Queen’s Head in Islington brings the epic Thriller video to life this Friday.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Be 007 in London

How to have a 007 day in London

The latest installment in the James Bond franchise had its debut in the UK on Monday 26th October. If you want to spend a day feeling like the British superspy, here's how to do it!

  • check out the outside of Bond's apartment in Stanley Crescent, Notting Hill
  • hop on a speedboat down the Thames past the infamous MI6 building next to Vauxhall Bridge back in perfect condition naturally after it was blown up in the previous Skyfall)
  • dress up smart and head to the famous Dukes Bar in Mayfair's five-star Dukes Hotel - where the Bond's signature phrase"shaken, not stirred" was coined -  for a fancy martini

All that is left now is to head to a cinema and immerse yourself in a true 007 experience! 

Our tip: Most Vue Cinemas in London are showing the new Bond flick for 24 hours straight from its premiere on Monday night to Tuesday night! If you're looking for a cheap-cheap alternative check out Peckham Plex where tickets are £5 for every movie (plus £1 surcharge for 3D movies)!