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Friday 17 July 2015

Going From a Guest to a Host on FlatClub: Mihaela's Story

Mihaela from Switzerland had received an internship offer in Stockholm, and was looking for accommodation online. This would be her 4th time moving to a new country, so she knew it could be difficult. When she found FlatClub, the marketplace for medium term stays, she made a simple & worry-free booking for a place in Sweden that suited her perfectly.

Then, she started thinking after seeing how smoothly the transaction was handled on FlatClub; why not rent out her empty flat in Zurich to another intern while she was away? Her landlord would be happy, with payments managed & guaranteed through FlatClub - and she’d be happy, not having to pay rent on two properties at once. This is her story.

> So, what inspired you to host on our site during your time spent abroad in a FlatClub flat?
I actually had the contact of another intern from before I knew about FlatClub and, as I knew he was coming to Zurich in more or less the same period as I was going to Stockholm, I wrote him a message.

My landlady approved the sublet, and, since he also liked the apartment, the only thing left to do was to figure out how to write the contract and arrange the payments. In the meantime, he was contacted by FlatClub as well and we realized it would be the perfect solution for us.

"Why was it the perfect solution for them, you ask? Let us cut in and explain...some of the benefits on FlatClub include guaranteed payment, automated payments every month for longer stays, and Lloyd's insurance for our hosts - up to £500,000 coverage!" 

> Do you think it's a good idea for others because you will earn enough in rent money that your accommodation costs are basically covered during your internship or consultation?
My rent in Zurich is less expensive than what I found in Stockholm, but it's a huge help that I don't need to pay two rents.

> What are you most looking forward to during your stay in Stockholm? What do you recommend your guests do while they stay in Zurich?Besides the internship and all the new things I'll learn, I'm looking forward to getting an idea about the Swedish lifestyle and to exploring the city and the surroundings.

I already gave my guest a small tour of the neighbourhood, but Zurich has a lot of other nice neighborhoods. [...] I would also recommend getting a half-tax card for public transportation and going around Switzerland for 1-day or week-end trips.

> What made you choose FlatClub over any other site to host on?
My experience with FlatClub while searching for a place to stay had a definite influence. The moment my guest proposed to make the arrangements through FlatClub, I knew it would be easy and relaxed. Many thanks to Keith and Alex, they made my search experience in Stockholm a lot less stressful. And this being the 4th time I'm moving to a different country, I do know how much of a challenge it could have been.

> Will you use FlatClub again as a guest or host?
I will definitely use FlatClub again.

Interested in becoming a FlatClub host yourself? Get in touch at or head on over to

Monday 13 July 2015

What FlatClub Does in Dublin

Recently we were given the opportunity to have an on-air chat with the Dublin City FM crew. Our CCO Matt Chic was happy to answer a few questions about how we work in Dublin to help existing Dubliners make some extra euro, and new-to-the-city types find a great place to live.

Who’s FlatClub for?
Matt: We focus on the needs of the typical graduate student and young professionals; like those who are doing work placements. People who need stays between 3 to 6 months. We assist a variety of corporations with placing their employees in accommodation.

Do similar people stay together?
Matt: We do have a few examples of people staying with very similar people, but I can’t really say that’s the primary consideration of our guests.It’s a nice extra, but it’s not a big deal if they’re not all studying law.

Most of our guests are concerned with location, and price, and what the kind of amenities the accommodation has. Basic things like having access to wi-fi & laundry are very important to people who are going to be settled in for awhile, so those are a couple of the big ones.

How does FlatClub help people new to Dublin?
Matt: We have pre-vetted hosts with verified ID and verified photography - great for people who are first moving to a place, because it’s one less thing to worry about. We also help guests get educated on price expectations & transportation options in the city. It's brilliant for people who've never lived Dublin before, for example, because they go from knowing nothing to knowing enough to live there happily.

How about Irish people moving to a new location? What other cities do you work in?
Matt: We're a London based company so we do lots of work in London and other cities in the UK. We focus mostly in Europe at this time, so we have lots of accommodation in many of the European capitals. We're trying to get very good dynamic markets happening in our main cities; London, Cambridge, Dublin, Munich, and Paris. Looking to work more in Madrid. Imagine your main work & study centers of Europe, that’s where we are. We want to avoid spreading ourselves too thin.

How much does it cost - and who does it cost?
Matt: At the moment private individuals don't pay anything to work with us as hosts. We see them as a partner and the guest pays a small fee when they book.

About half the listings we have - have a best price guarantee program. It means the price they give on FlatClub is the same or cheaper as it is anywhere else. We know that it can be extremely challenging to find accommodation on the internet, and our team will assist in any way we can.

Increase in Tax Relief for Renting Out a Room in London

Great news for our London hosts! Just last year we reported on the tax-free £4250 you could earn in London by taking in a lodger,and here we are now with a super update.

You can now earn up to £7500 tax free when you sublet your place!

That means that FlatClub hosts can earn nearly £10k before being subject to any taxation on that earned income.

The UK government is taking a clear stance in support of medium term rentals - such as those we specialize in on FlatClub. Last year saw an easing of the restrictions on subletting for tenants, and now with this news we feel confident that the UK government is on our side as the marketplace for medium & short term rentals.

Why Encourage Short & Medium Term Tenancy Now
The reasoning is sharp: in a rental market that is as in-demand as London, more people are choosing to both rent out their spare rooms, and to rent those spare rooms, as an alternative to costly mortgages or long-term contracts with estate agents. When something is in scarce supply as accommodation is in London, incentivizing those that have it to share it is a clever way to go.

In addition, as mortgage rates continue to trend upwards, this extra tax-free income will also prevent many homeowners & landlords from struggling against the current.

Who Can Take Advantage of This?
Well, anyone! Specifically though, this new tax allowance is great news for “empty nesters”, those who own a family-size home but whose adult children have moved out. It’s also good news for people who are in-and-out of their own flats frequently, such as those who commute further afield for work or take on consultation jobs.

How Can I Start?
First thing, take a look at our informative page for FlatClub Hosts. That will get you started with some base information, and you can get in touch with our host onboarding team to help you get your spare room or flat up and listed on our site. We also offer free professional photography, scheduled to suit you - during daylight hours, of course.

FlatCub is particularly suitable for this news, because our bookings average far longer than other sites that specialize in ‘holiday rentals’. A booking on FlatClub is generally about 30 days or more - you’ll earn that £7500 with less hassle on FlatClub than anywhere else.

We know that this is exciting news for people with a spare bedroom - you can now turn that property into £7500 tax free income. We want to help make this a reality for as many people as possible, so get in touch with us ASAP and we can get you listed on the number one marketplace for medium term bookings.