Dublin renters try ‘speed-dating’ for flatmates at the Stag’s Head

‘Speed-flatmating’ events introduce house hunters to those with rooms to fill

Giada Tedesco and Jason Botha, who are looking for a place to live, at an event organised by Lovin Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Giada Tedesco and Jason Botha, who are looking for a place to live, at an event organised by Lovin Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Anyone who has queued to view a flat for rent and not even received a call back knows the frustration of searching for accommodation in Dublin.

It’s the same story in other European cities, which is why London and Berlin have seen a recent increase in “speed-flatmating” events.

Modelled on “speed-dating”, they usually take place in pubs and are designed to introduce people looking for accommodation to those with rooms to fill.

Irish food website Lovin Dublin has begun running flatmating evenings in the capital. People looking to share accommodation are given red stickers; people offering rooms are given green stickers and a free pint. Then they’re free to mingle in the upstairs room of the Stag’s Head pub.

Jason Botha (25), a Trinity postgrad from South Africa, was one of about 60 people at an event on Wednesday.

“I’m looking for a house- share with maybe several other people who have the same sort of mindset as me, who enjoy the same kind of activities. People I can get along with,” he said, adding that his monthly budget was about €550.

Mary Cronin, from Co Cork, said she had been house hunting for a month since moving back to Ireland from Wellington, New Zealand.

“The market is pretty jam- packed with people looking for somewhere to stay,” she said. “It’s a daily routine now where I get up each morning and look on [property website] Daft.ie. I haven’t had much luck.”

Before he threw himself and his green sticker into the fray, Kevin O’Keefe said he was about to sign the lease on “a really nice apartment” in Clontarf that’s “more expensive than I can manage on my own”.

As well as rent of about €750, he said he was looking for “somebody easygoing, laid back, respectful”. By the end of the night all he had was “a couple of maybes, nothing definite”.

Denise Tully seemed to have better luck. She and her friend had been looking for a female housemate for their place. “We’ve two girls that are coming to see a room tomorrow, so we’re happy with that,” she said.

As for Botha, the places on offer were out of his price range. It was good to see what the event was like, he said, but added: “I’ll probably not be back”.

Mary Cronin was a bit more upbeat: “It was kind of fun,” she said. “There was a girl in Ballsbridge who is going to be contacting me at the weekend to arrange a viewing.

“I’ve got a couple of places to see now so hopefully something will work out.”