London startups faced being thrown on the street

In the region of 15 startups in London got a nasty surprise yesterday when it turned out they could be made homeless.

Several tech startup companies had been paying rent to the company which managed offices in 19 Greek Street in London’s West End. But this management firm has now gone bankrupt. Meanwhile it transpired that the landlord of the building had not been receiving rent income from this, now management bankrupt firm, for some time. Many of the startups were also subletting some of their desks to other startups – but no-one knew this was effectively illegal under the terms of their contract. The startups had a visit yesterday from a ‘property security officer’.

However, Paul Walsh of Wubud said the situation was likely to be resolved amicably. He told me via email: “I’m one of 3 companies sub letting but it’s all good as we’ll have a new lease agreement with the landlord. I have 6 companies renting desks in my office so that’s a lot of startups in total – not to mention the fact I’m operating 4 companies from there.” Walsh had previously advertised a desk in the building without knowing he was not allowed to do so.

Hopefully the whole mess will get sorted out – or at least the startups will find some more office space.