Swedish Rental Law

Do I need to apply for permission to rent or sublet my home?

Yes, you will need permission to rent your apartment. You do not need it for a house. If you are considering renting your apartment, the first step is to talk to your landlord (hyresrätt apartment) or the Board of Directors of your building association ("Bostadsrättsförening"). If your application to either of them is declined, don't worry they are not the final decision makers. If you are denied you always have the option to try your case in the Rental Tribunal ("Hyresnämnden"). However you will need a signed sublet agreement for them to try the case. As long as you have a valid reason to rent or sublet your apartment and the landlord does not have any valid reason to decline your application, you will be successful in your appeal. Valid reasons for renting or subletting could be such as working or studying somewhere else or abroad, cohabitation trial, lengthy hospital or hospice stay etc. Keep in mind that not all landlords or building associations permit renting or subletting to legal entities, only private persons. Hence it is very important for you to set up communication with them as the first step so you know under what premises you are able to market your home. It is much better to realize that they are hesitant to give you permission when you are in the beginning of the process rather when you have found a tenant and you are ready to sign on the dotted line. We have found that by having a productive and non-emotional discourse with the owner or the building association, that an agreement and permission generally is reached.

Hyresrätt apartment: Permission required from the landlord.
Leasehold/Co-operative apartment (Bostadsrätt): Permission required from the building association.
House: The owner makes the decision.

Upon request the landlord will have to present to a tenant the deed (house) or subletting permission from a landlord or building association.

How much can I expect to rent or sublet my home for?

For owned property (bostadsrätter, ägarrätter and houses) rent charges can cover operating costs and capital costs. Operating costs can include monthly fees paid to the cooperative housing association (bostadsrättsförening), utilities, as well as a premium for wear and tear.

While the law doesn't mention mortgages specifically, property owners are allowed to charge for the "cost of capital", which is at this time considered to be around 4 percent of the market value of the home.

If your home is a "hyresrätt", you can sublet for what you pay in rent yourself + 10-15% if the property is furnished.

The associates that handle sublets at Residensportalen are all registered rental brokers and are governed by the property brokerage laws of Sweden. By law we are not allowed to give guidance or suggest rental levels.

Who is responsible for rents and fees?

Ultimately it is the owner of the apartment or house and the primary holder of a rental contract that carries the reponsibility for fees and rents. It is therefore very important to find a good tenant and have a professional and solid rental contract set up for the rental or sublet. This will protect the landlord against some of the risks associated in renting.

The home should be left to a tenant in a reasonable, habitable standard. It should also be professionally cleaned, which is what one can expect when regaining possession of the home after the rental period as well.

A tenant renting has exclusive rights to the home for the duration of the rental period. A  landlord does not have the right to enter the home at will without explicit permission of the tenant. Exceptions to this rule is if there is reasonable concern for immediate severe harm to a person or the property, e.g. fire, water leaks, etc. If you enter the property for other reasons, you will be in violation of the rental contract.

If the landlord is going to be based abroad it is recommended to have a designated representative with power of attorney in Sweden to handle any issues related to the rental. A copy of the power of attorney should be left with the building association or the building owner.

The tenant is responsible for taking good care of the home and to follow the lease agreement, e.g. pays the rent on time. The tenant is also responsible for the conduct of any persons in the home, guests or otherwise. If the tenant does not appropriately follow the rules and adhere to the lease agreement, the lettor has the right to cancel the agreement and initiate an eviction procedure.

What are the rules around giving notice?

For "hyresrätter": Lease agreements that have a fixed period only or with continuation bind the landlord to the initial period. A tenant always has the right to give notice three months from the last day of the month the notice was served. This right applies irrespective of other terms of the contract and cannot be changed.  This is Swedish rental law and cannot be circumvented. 

The landlord can always relinquish their right of the notice period and thus can allow the tenant to be released from the agreement prior to the end of the notice period. The agreement can state a longer notice period, but then it only applies to the landlord, also, if the agreement states a shorter notice period it only applies to the tenant.

If a contract of a set term lacks clauses regulating the termination of the lease agreement the lease automatically becomes an open-ended agreement, as well as if the tenant remains in the home for a month after the end of the rental period of a fixed term agreement.

There may be special circumstances when the agreement is terminated prematurely by either party. Such cases include damages or deficiencies of the home that renders it unsuitable to live in and if the tenant severly breaches the contract (sever disruptions in rental payments, severe ignorance of rules and regulations, etc.). These notices of cancellations are regulated by law, when, why and how they may be served.

For privately owned properties, the tenant may give 1 calender month notice and the landlord 3 calender months notice regardless of agreed upon lease term. Also, tenants can't assume that rental contracts are extended automatically and must move out at the end of the contract even if they haven't received any formal notice from the landlord.

What is my tax liability as a landlord?

The rental income is taxable and should be reported to the authorities. It is reported on Skatteverket's form K3 and is submitted with your annual tax assessment. Consult Skatteverket for more detailed information.

Do I need to set up an agreement to waive a tenants rights of occupancy?

Not if your property falls under the privately owned law of 2013 and you do not own other proerties that you rent out. Tenants of "hyresrätter" or a privately owned property owned by a professional landlord have a so called "immediate right of occupancy". This right may be rendered void for a period of time through an agreement between the landlord and the tenant. Such an agreement is valid for 4 years from the start of the rental contract without the approval of the rental tribunal in the cases below, any extension of such agreement will have to be approved by the rental tribunal. The waiver does not require the rental tribunal's approval when letting:
1. A one- or two family house where the landlord intends to resettle or transfer ownership, but is not part of a commercial letting enterprise.
2. A rental apartment that is sublet and the primary rentor intends to resettle.
3. A co-operative apartment that is sublet where the landlord intends to resettle or transfer ownership of their share in the co-operative.

The waiver agreement is prepared in a form accessible from www.hyresnamnden.se

What are the formalities when giving notice?

A notice of cancellation of a lease agreement should be sent by registered mail to the other party (landlord or tenant) to the address on the lease agreement, unless otherwise instructed in writing. The cancellation notice should state; who is serving the notice, which address is it regarding, when the notice is served, why it is being served, when the last day of occupancy will be, contact information to the serving party, the serving party's signature and space for the served party to approve the cancellation with their signature. The date of registering the notice with the post office serves as the date that the served party has received the notice.  More about giving notice

Swedish rental law is complex and it is not recommended to try to put together a rental lease unless you are very knowledgable about the law (estate agent or lawyer specializing in property law). We are happy to help, contact us today either by phone: +468-7550121 or by e-mail: info@residensportalen.se