Information to prospective landlords
Permission to sublet
You need the consent of your landlord or housing cooperative In order to sublet your apartment. Applications for subletting must be made in writing. To be sure that the application is complete, the tenant should use an application form Fastighetsägarna Sweden has developed, in consultation with SABO. The application form is available on www.itkett.se. Permission for subletting is often issued 1 year at a time. The combined time of subletting may not exceed 3 years.
If you rent or sublet without the landlord's or housing cooperative's consent, you may lose your tenancy.
If the landlord or housing cooperative does not consent
If the landlord or housing cooperative does nor consent to the subletting, the tenant may turn to the rent tribunal in Sweden to request permission to sublet. The tenant must in that case make sure that the reasons for the subletting are "considerable", e.g. sickness, studies in another location, temporary work in another location, separation or to test-live with a future cohabitant. The landlord or housing cooperative may counter the claim; one reason for this may be that the prospective subtenant has a history as a disturbance in the housing.
Screen the subtenant before subletting
It is important that the tenant, before applying to the landlord or housing cooperative, screen the prospective subtenant to make sure that the person is well-behaved and able to pay the rent. If the subtenant is disturbing the neighbors, the tenant may lose the tenancy. Before selecting your subtenant, you may want to:
• Meet the prospective subtenant in person to get to know him/her.
• Control the ability to pay the rent by finding out the occupation of the prospective subtenant and income. Contact the Swedish Enforcement Authority ("kronofogden") to see if there are any remarks.
• Contact the district court ("tingsrätten") to find out if there are any remarks of the prospective subtenant.
• Get personal references from employers or other relevant persons.
Make a contract in writing
It is important to constitute a contract in writing with the subtenant. Remember that there are certain rules that apply to subletting.
For example, if the tenancy period is determined to last one year, the subtenant may not breach the contract before that date. However no matter what you agree upon, the subtenant can always get out of a housing contract with three months' notice. Further on, the tenant, not the subtenant, is according to the law always required to give notice three months in advance. With regards to this, it is recommended to settle the contract period in the contract, with three months' time to give notice.
Note that the contact must always be terminated to cease to apply.
Make an inventory list and list of damages
Once you have found a suitable subtenant, it is recommended to meet with the subtenant and together create a list of furniture and inventories in the housing. The inventory list should be signed by both the tenant and subtenant, both should keep a copy of the signed list. It is equally important to in a similar manner create a list of any damages of the apartment and on the furniture/inventory. Remember that it is the tenant whom is responsible to answer to the landlord or housing cooperative if any damages are made to the apartment.
Security of the rent and other commitments
The tenant may request security for rent, for example through a guarantor if the income of the subtenant is very low. There are forms to use on www.itkett.se. Do also make sure that the housing is insured during the sub-tenancy period.
Don't let the subtenant pay the rent directly to the landlord
For the tenant to make sure that the rent is fully paid and in time, he/she should pay the rent directly to the landlord. The subtenant should pay the rent to the tenant.
Waive the right to tenure, for rental periods longer than two years
A sub-letter does not establish any tenancy with the landlord, nor does the subtenant have any right to bear the rental contract. However, the subtenant may gain right to tenure if the sub-lettng is longer than two years. It is therefore important to waive the right to tenure the housing through establishing this in a contract, if the subletting is planned to last longer than two years. A form regarding this can be found on the website of the rent tribunal ("hyresnämnden"): www.dom.se/hyresnamnden.
Rent - rental apartment
By law, it is not allowed to set any rent you wish. For a rental apartments, the rent is set by the landlord. An additional fee may be added for furniture. If the housing is fully furnished, a fee of 10% of the rent is the maximum fee. If the rent is set higher than allowed, may the subtenant request a verdict by the rent tribunal ("hyresnämnden") to get the excess amount reimbursed. The application to get a verdict is to be turned in up to three months after the rent contract is terminated.
Rent - cooperative apartment or house
The two parties are to agree on the rent of the housing if the housing is owned by the tenant. If the settled rent is substantially exceeding the cost of capital and operating cost, the subtenant may apply for a lower rent through the rent tribunal. The tenant may not apply for a raised rent through the rent tribunal. The capital cost of the apartment is approximately 4% of the market value of the housing. The operative cost of the apartment are all fees that the tenant is currently paying to keep the apartment in its' current condition, e.g. fees to the housing cooperative, 10% fee for furniture, cost of electricity and/or internet.
A subtenant will rent a cooperative housing which is worth 2,5 million SEK, the fee to the housing cooperative is 1900 per month, internet is an additional 250 SEK:
(2 500 000*0,04)/12+1900+250= 10 484 SEK rent per month.
If the rent is settled at 10 000 SEK per month, the tenant may not apply for a raised rent through the rent tribunal. However, if the rent is settled at 13 000 SEK per month, the subtenant may apply for a lower rent through the rent tribunal.
A subtenant of a cooperative housing does not have the opportunity to apply to get any excess rent reimbursed through the rent tribunal.
Settle a power of attorney
Even though the landlord or housing cooperative might not demand it, it is in the interest of the tenant to settle a power of attorney, especially if the tenant is to live abroad. This means that another person has the right to represent the tenant in all matters concerning the tenancy. You can find forms to settle a power of attorney at: www.itkett.se.
Do not forget to declare the rent on your tax return. The rent that you receive when you sublet a room or an apartment/house is a taxable income. How much you should pay in taxes depends on the type of home that you have sublet:
You have the right to deduct SEK 18,000 from the rent that you received, it does not matter if it is a rental apartment or a house - the rules are the same. If a husband and wife jointly sublet a private residence the deduction is SEK 9,000 each.
The rent received from subletting a private recidence is reported as income of capital and is taxed at 30%. Learn more at the Tax Office, where you can also download a helpful form (only in Swedish!).
Extending the rental agreement
The subtenant does not have the right to extend the rental agreement without the consent of the tenant.
Subleasing a room while you live in the apartment is considered as having a lodger. This is not something you need your landlord's permission to be able to do.