‘It’s a bit like a house party’: Clapham bar hosting SpeedFlatmating events for London renters

SpeedFlatmating is a unique concept from the people behind SpareRoom to help Londoners find house mates quickly, easily and safely.

Since 2010, more than 50,000 people have been to a SpeedFlatmating event, with Clapham being the most popular area.

The events are a way to mingle with lots of potential housemates at the same time in a public place.

Jack, 23, living in Tufnell Park, found a house mate at a SpeedFlatmating event, he said: “I liked the fact that I could meet a load of people, I must have spoken to 25-30 people that morning, without giving up hours and hours of time waiting for people to come over for viewings, wasting time due to no-shows etc.

“It was also great to meet people ahead of inviting them into your house so you can gauge whether you’d get on ahead of time.

“The event staff were very good at explaining the concept to us when we arrived, and the sticker system made it very easy to figure out who to speak to.”

“For people flat and house sharing, going to a stranger’s home can be daunting. These events allow people to meet on neutral territory.”

So, how does it work?

If you’re looking for a room you get a pink sticker with space for you to write your name, budget and desired living area.

If you have a room to fill you get a white sticker for you to write your name, rent price and nearest tube/train station.

SpareRoom suggest you then grab a drink and get mingling.

Jack found his new house mate after just one SpeedFlatmating event.

He said: “The girl that moved in was the first to view the flat so the process was remarkably simple, we all get on great and are definitely happy we tried SpeedFlatmating.”

The south London SpeedFlatmating events take place in Gigalum, a bar in Clapham South, every Wednesday evenings.

Will Campbell-Jones, 42, bar manager at Gigalum, said: “The atmosphere is very sociable, it’s a bit like a house party as everyone talks to everyone.

“It’s an exceptionally good looking crowd for some reason too!

“We love hosting the events as it’s great if Gigalum is the first venue people come to when they arrive in the area, hopefully they’ll enjoy there first time and keep coming back.”

Clapham is the most popular SpeedFlatmating event with between 70 and 150 people attending each event.

The next SpeedFlatmating event at Gigalum is on Wed March 5.

“There can be up to ten people chasing every room available in London, which explains why Speed Flatmating is such a London-centric event,” said Matt Hutchinson, director of, the company behind SpeedFlatmating.

“Viewings and flatmate interviews are always difficult to get right because it’s hard to get a sense of real character in a short amount of time and in such a forced situation.

“After a casual chat in a bar or cafe, however, and you can really get a sense of who someone is.

“For people flat and house sharing, going to a stranger’s home can be daunting. These events allow people to meet on neutral territory.

“Those who have rooms to let must dedicate valuable free time during evenings and weekends to show people round their homes, even if they know they’d never want to live with them.

“It not only wastes their time, but the viewer’s time too.

“SpeedFlatmating events save time, as like-minded people can meet before they go to the trouble of arranging viewings, meaning a better success rate.

“Even if you’ve found someone on Spare Room, or another site, you can always suggest meeting at Speed Flatmating.

“It’s a safe, relaxed environment and you don’t have to part with your mobile number or email if you don’t want to.”

SpeedFlatmating takes place across London and Manchester several times every week.

The most popular London events (Clapham and Zones 1 to 3) take place every Wednesday evenings 7-9pm.

East London, north London, west London and Brixton run once a month.

SpareRoom now run weekend events during the day in coffee shops, with a more laid back atmosphere.

You can sign up for the free events here.

Image courtesy of SpareRoom, with thanks

Related Articles