LAWS & REGULATIONS
Here you find a summary of Swedish laws and regulations that regulate the letting and subletting of housing.
Which law to apply?
In Sweden there are two separate laws that regulate subletting: (1) the Swedish Tenancy Act (Hyreslagen, Chapter 12, Jordabalken, 1970:994) and (2) the 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 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
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 the 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 AF Bostäder (or ask us at BoPoolen).
BoPoolen recommends SEK 3500-3750/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 The Regional Rent Tribunal to determine if the rent paid is reasonable. If not, the landlord can be obliged to refund the excess rent for up to 2 years back in time.
The size of the rent is regulated by the Swedish Tenancy Act (Hyreslagen) if you are subleasing a rental apartment and by the Law on Private Subletting (Privatuthyrningslagen) if you sublease a condominium or house.
Rent for a rental apartment
When 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, 10-15% 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 or house)
The law only applies to the first lease. For more information, see the information about the Law on Private Subletting above.
When subleasing a condominium or a house you may charge a cost based rent. Rent charges should cover operating 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 fined or even sentenced to jail. The fee will be refunded to the tenant after trial in the Regional Rent Tribunal. However, it’s allowed to demand a deposit that will be refunded after the contract expires.
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 recommends 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 stated in the contract what bank account the deposit has benn paid to, as well as the terms for getting it back. If the tenant breaks or damages something, the landlord has to prove it as to keep the deposit. We therefore recommend to use the appendices Defects and damages as well as List of furniture and fittings, when signing the contract. It can also be of use to take pictures of the room/apartment both at the beginning and the end of the lease period so as to avoid misunderstandings or wrongful accusations. It is then easier to be able to prove the responsibility of the damages or loss of inventory if needed.
BoPoolen also recommends that a maximum of one month's rent is paid in advance. If the landlord doesn't pay back the deposit as promised at the end of the lease period, you as a tenant can turn to Kronofogden to get help getting your money back.
Both tenant and landlord are entitled to a written copy of the contract where the conditions of the lease are determined. Both copies of 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, lease period, 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 BoPoolens draft contracts! They contain everything that is important to agree on and are ready to print and use.
Lease period and termination of a lease
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 lease period.
Termination of agreements for a definite period (with a fixed end date):
If the lease period is 9 months or less:
the agreement will automatically terminate at the end of the period without a notice. However, if a period of notice has been agreed, the parties are required to give notice.
If the lease period is longer than 9 months:
Both parties must always give a notice to terminate the agreement.
Termination of agreements for an indefinite period (until further notice):
Both parties must always give notice to terminate the agreement, regardless of the lease 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 a 3 month notice. 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 lease 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 longer period of notice is stated in the contract.
- 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 by the other 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. An example: If you decide to terminate the lease agreement on August 10th and the period of notice is 3 months, the lease will end on November 30th (i.e. the notice period is for September, October and November).
Permission to sublet
Subletting is only allowed with permission from the landlord or the condominium's co-op. 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 Regional Rent Tribunal (Hyresnämnden), which 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.
If you sublet without permission and ALSO charges too much rent, you risk to be fined or sentenced to prison for a maximum of two years.
You don’t need permission to let a room in your apartment/house where you live if the tenant does not occupy the entire residence indepentantly.
As the primary tenant or condominium owner you have the responsibility for the residence. You are responsible for that the rent is paid on time and that the subtenant 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 landlord.
The residence must be up to standards, in other words, it must be inhabitable and properly cleaned when the subtenant moves in, as well as when he/she moves out.
Permission for the landlord to access the apartment
The subtenant 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). As of now your are able to make a tax deduction of 40 000 SEK per year. For more information please see Skatteverket.se.