LAWS & REGULATIONS

Here you can find a summary of current Swedish laws and regulations on letting and subletting housing.

Which law to apply?

In Sweden there are two separate laws that regulate subletting: (1) the Swedish Tenancy Act (Hyreslagen, Chapter 12, Land Code of Sweden, 1970:994) and (2) the Swedish Law on Private Subletting (Privatuthyrningslagen, 2012:978). An account on when and how the laws apply is provided below. 

1. Law on Private Subletting

The law applies to all subletting of

- Cooperative flats
- Owner-occupied flat
- Detached houses and single-family houses.

The law does NOT apply

- to the subletting of rented flats
- when the tenant intends to rent a flat for recreational purposes
- to subletting that is part of a business (more than two homes)
- to tenancy agreements predating 1 February 2013

If you are subletting two homes/rooms, the law only applies to the first lease. Subletting more than two homes/rooms is usually considered a business, in which case the law on private subletting does not apply for any of the leases.

For more information, please visit the website of the Swedish Regional Rent Tribunal (Hyresnämnden): 

2. Tenancy Act

The law applies to

- subletting of rented flats
- cases where the Law on Private Subletting does NOT apply

The rent

In contrast to many other countries, market rent does not apply in Sweden. This means that you are not allowed to charge whatever rent you want, regardless if there are people willing to pay it.

According to law, the rent must be reasonable. Reasonable rent is estimated in relation to comparable housing in the area. You can look at for example LKF and AFB (or ask us at BoPoolen).

BoPoolen recommends SEK 3000–3500/month   as a reasonable rent for a fully furnished room in Lund, including electricity and internet.

A tenant who considers the rent to be too high can ask the Swedish rent tribunal to determine if the rent paid is reasonable. If not, the landlord can be obliged to refund the excess rent.

The size of the rent is regulated by the Swedish Leasing Law (Hyreslagen) if you are subleasing a rental apartment and by the Law regarding Subleasing of your own home (Privatuthyrningslagen) if you sublease a condominium or a villa.

Rent for a rental apartment

 hen subletting a rental apartment, the rent may not be higher than the rent in the head lease. If the rental concerns part of the apartment, a corresponding part of the rent should be paid. If the room or apartment is furnished, the landlord can make an addition to the rent, about 5-10% is normally considered to be reasonable. Costs as internet and electricity should be shared by the people sharing the household.

Rent for a privately owned home (condominium, terraced house, villa)

The law only applies to one lease. For more information, see the information on the Law on Private Subletting above.

When subleasing a condominium or a house you may charge a cost based rent. Rent charges can cover operating costs and capital costs. The maximum rent is calculated based on a reasonable yearly return on capital interest rate of the market value of the residence, in addition to any fees or costs due to wear and tear. Guidelines for market values can be found at Svensk mäklarstatistik.

How to calculate a reasonable cost based rent:

(Market value of the residence * interest rate)/12 + fees and costs = reasonable rent

(1 500 000 * 0,02)/12 + 3000 = 5 500 kr/mån

Legal review by The Regional Rent Tribunal

If you suspect that your rent is over-priced, it can be reported to the Regional Rent Tribunal (Hyresnämnden) who will perform an assessment. The report can be done regardless of the tenant being a physical or legal person. The Regional Rent Tribunal (Hyresnämnden) decides what rent is adequate in each individual case. The landlord may be obliged to pay back the surplus rent as well as any nominal interest on the amount. The report must be made within three (3) months after the sublet has been completed. The surplus amount can not be larger than 24 monthly rents.

Never pay for a contract

It’s not allowed to demand a fee for a rental contract in Sweden. Such contracts are prohibited by law and have no legal relevance. Someone who demands a fee can be sentenced to jail or fined. The fee will be refunded to the tenant after trial in the Swedish rent tribunal. However, it’s allowed to demand a deposit that will be refunded after the contract expires.

Deposits

Many landlords request a deposit for the apartment and often one or several moths rent in advance. Usually a deposit is used as a guarantee for future claims due to damage to the apartment or unpaid rents. BoPoolen recommend that the deposit does not exceed one month’s rent and is paid in connection with the signing of the lease agreement.  It should then be in the contract. If the tenant breaks something the landlord has to prove it as to keep the deposit. We therefore recommend to use the appendix Defects and damages when signing the contract, as well as taking photographs both at the beginning and the end of the rental period- so as to avoid misunderstanding or false accusations as well as being able to prove the responsibility of the damages if needed.

We also recommend that a maximum of one months rent is paid in advance.

Lease agreements

Both tenant and landlord are entitled to a written contract where the conditions of the rent are determined. The contract should be signed by both parties. Remember to read the contract carefully before signing.

It is en everyones interest to have a proper contract regulating the rent, the period of the lease, period of notice etc. A contract is the easiest way to prevent problems or misunderstandings. Specific rules on how areas and equipment in the residence may be used can also be specified in the agreement.

Use our draft contracts! They contain everything that is important to agree on and are ready to print and use.

Leasing period and termination

A lease can be until further notice (for an indefinite period) or with a fixed end date (for a definite period). Whether or not an agreement will need to be terminated depends on the leasing period of the agreement.

Termination of agreements for a definite period (with a fixed end date):

If the leasing period is 9 months or less:

the agreement will automatically terminate at the end of the period without notice. However, if a period of notice has been agreed, the parties are required to give notice.

If the leasing period is longer than 9 months:

Parties must always give notice to terminate the agreement.

Termination of agreements for an indefinite period (until further notice):

The parties must always give notice to terminate the agreement, regardless of the leasing period.

Period of notice

The period of notice may vary depending on the law that regulates the lease and whether or not the agreement is for a definite or indefinite period.

Period of notice in accordance with the Swedish Tenancy Act:

  • Tenant (3 months or less)
    • A tenant always has the right to terminate an agreement, regardless if the agreement is for a definite or indefinite period of time.
    • The tenant is entitled to 3 months’ notice, never more. The law is binding and applies regardless of whether a period of notice is stated in the agreement or the parties have agreed on a longer period of notice.
  • Landlord (3 months or more)
    • For agreements for an indefinite period of time, the landlord is required to give 3 months’ The law is binding and the period cannot be reduced.
    • For agreements for a definite period of time, the landlord is bound by the agreement for the duration of the leasing period and is only entitled to terminate the agreement in case of a serious breach of contract (Land Code of Sweden, Chapter 12, Sections 42–44).

Period of notice in accordance with the Law on Private Subletting:

Both the tenant and landlord have the right to terminate the agreement regardless of whether the agreement is for a definite or indefinite period of time.

  • Tenant (1 month or less)
    • The tenant is entitled to 1 month’s notice. The law is binding and applies regardless of whether a period of notice is stated in the agreement or the parties have agreed on a longer period of notice.
  • Landlord (3 months or more)
    • The landlord is entitled to 3 months’ notice, regardless of whether the agreement is for a definite or an indefinite period of time. The law is binding and the period cannot be reduced.

The rules on termination for landlords are binding and without exception. More favorable periods of notice can be negotiated for the tenant but not the landlord.

Notice of termination

A notice of termination should preferably be in writing as the burden of proof that the notice was received on time party falls on the person terminating the agreement.

All notices of termination apply from the closest turn of the month. An agreement cannot be terminated on the 10th, for example, but only at the turn of the month. In other words, if you decide to terminate the rental agreement in August and the period of notice is 3 months, the agreement will not be terminated until 30 November.

Permission to sublet

Subletting is only allowed with permission from the landlord or the condominium's/coop. If the tenant sublets without a permission he or she risks to forfeit the tenancy. If the landlord refuses, you can request permission from the rent tribunal. You don’t need permission to let a room in your apartment. Provided that the tenant does not occupy the entire residence, and that you inhabit the residence yourself, you do not have to obtain permission.

The rent tribunal can give permission under the conditions specified in section 40 in the Tenancy Act. The section states that the tenant must have notable reasons (beaktansvärda skäl) for the grant; age, illness, temporary employment in another locality, special family circumstances or comparable circumstances and the landlord does not have any justifiable reasons to refuse consent.

Responsibilities

As the primary tenant or condominium owner you have the responsibility for the residence. You are responsible, for instance, that the rent is paid on time and that the secondary tenant takes care of the residence in your place. We recommend that you pay the rent yourself and then accept payment from your tenant instead of him or her paying the rent directly to your own landlord. Your tenant can easily deposit the amount into your bank account each month.

The residence must be up to standards, in other words, it must be inhabitable and properly cleaned when the secondary tenant moves in, as well as when s/he moves out.

Permission for the landlord to access the apartment

The secondary tenant has exclusive access to the apartment, which means that you, as landlord, may not access the apartment without permission from your tenant. If the primary tenant/condominium owner keeps a copy of the keys, then this must be specified in the contract. The primary tenant may only access the apartment in order to investigate signs of smoke or possible water leakage.

Landlords: important to consider

Security of tenure – if you sublet your apartment for longer than two years it is wise to include a waiving of the tenure in the lease agreement. This will grant you access to the apartment if you wish to terminate the lease after a longer period of time.

Home insurance – the landlords insurance does usually not cover a tenant. It can be a good idea to state that the tenant signs their own home insurance in the lease agreement.

Taxes – If you have subleased a room, house, weekend cottage, condominium, or leased an apartment, you must declare the income on tax form Uthyrning m.m. (Hjälpblankett). From the subleasing income you may make a tax deduction of 40 000 SEK. For more information please see Skatteverket.

If you have any questions – contact us and we will help you!

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