Relationships with landlords

contracts and rights

Sweden’s rental system is highly regulated and has some characteristics which will probably be surprising as it is quite different to most other countries. Here is what you need to know about your rights.

Landlords are prohibited from charging tenants a certain percentage more than the average price for other properties of the same quality and size in the area. If a landlord wants to increase the rent, there is a legal obligation to notify the tenant. If the tenant agrees or takes no action within two months, the new rent is applied. Tenants have the right to refuse an increase, which would then oblige the landlord to make a successful appeal to the Rent Tribunal in order to change the rent. Rents are usually negotiated in Sweden between owner and tenant associations.

Deposits are not usual in a Swedish contracts, so be cautious if a landowner or sub-letter asks you for a high deposit. Rental contracts and the law give tenants a number of rights and protections. Tenants can prolong a contract indefinitely and have the right to terminate a rental agreement at any time with three months’ notice. A landlord can only refuse to prolong a lease if there is a cause, such as building work, which would require the property to be vacated. In this instance, the landlord is usually required to provide the tenant with alternative accommodation.

Tenants cannot, however, sell or transfer a lease to anyone else without the landlord’s permission. Sub-letting is allowed, provided that the number of people in the property does not cause a health hazard or degrade the quality of life for others within the property. Tenants can redecorate the property without consulting the landlord. Flats are not usually furnished, but you will get basic amenities such as running water, electricity, toilets, a shower or bathtub and a stove. In the case of sub-let apartments, they are usually furnished. If you are sub-letting a property, you will have very few rights and may have to vacate your property at short notice. This is very common in Sweden and many young students find themselves moving from one place to another.


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