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Students compete to rent Sweden's 'smallest' flat

Students compete to rent Sweden's 'smallest' flat

Published: 24 Jan 2012 12:14 GMT+01:00
Updated: 24 Jan 2012 12:14 GMT+01:00

As students in Lund get ready to compete for a chance to live in Sweden’s ‘coziest’ dwelling, the housing commission claim the bijoux cottages are simply ‘too small’.

The detached apartment, or cottage, has been constructed by Lund’s building foundation, AF Bostäder (AFB), with student affordability as a priority.

“Students often just use their apartments to sleep in,” AFB’s CEO Rolf Svensson told The Local.

“They study in study dorms, have a social life outside of their homes, often can’t afford typical student housing… this is the perfect solution.”

The price of the bijoux dwellings are their main selling point, with the prospected cottages being rented for 2500 kronor ($370) a month, compared to the average newly built student apartment in Lund which is rented for 4167, yet three times the size.

“We have a catch-22 situation. There is a shortage of student housing and the housing board’s regulations result in high building costs, and therefore expensive apartments,” said Svensson in a statement.

Click here for a photo gallery of the apartment

“We want to get out of this by trying compact housing on a scientifically sound basis.”

The cottage features a kitchenette complete with dining area, a bathroom with toilet and shower and a sleeping loft. Student needs are not forgotten either – there’s a study desk below the sleeping area. There’s even an outside plot attached for those with green fingers.

Students interested in living in this experimental housing venture must be willing to earn their keep, however.

“The tenant must have social talents, and be ready to blog regularly about their lives in the flats,” AFB said in a statement.

“We received a 3 year permission from the municipality for this dwelling,” Svensson told The Local. “But we hope to prove that it’s not only liveable but also a great new idea.”

AFB requested permission to build 60 to 100 similar-sized apartments between 10 and 12 square metres. The request was rejected by the housing commission, due to ‘not following Sweden’s very strict building rules’ (according to Svensson), and not having adequate disabled access. An appeal has been made.

For students interested in competing for the cottage, the first home showings will be on Friday. The student who can best justify why they deserve the apartment will win the chance to live there.

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:59 January 24, 2012 by Åskar
Perhaps, but does it have a stove , toilet and a shower?
16:47 January 24, 2012 by kenny8076
the housing market here is insanley bad and irrational.... hex me and my girlfriend live in 33 square meter studio for 3100 right in town across from a grocery store and gym. 10 minute walk from university....

It doesnt say much about a society when people are begging to live in something this small for that price! LOL in Sweden you can WIN the chance to live in a 10 square meter room..... what have i gotten myself into

Start building housing Sweden!!! Migrationsverket's homepage says they accepted and let in 98,000+ resident permits in 2011!!! WHERE ARE THEY GOING TO LIVE?!?!?!
17:28 January 24, 2012 by DAVID T
@ kenny8076

There's plenty of accommodation for immigrants - our taxes pay their rent as they are unemployable and landlords know they are guaranteed payment so why rent to a hard working person?
17:46 January 24, 2012 by jwlundgren
Not seeing the problem here. It is the same size or bigger than most college dorm rooms in the US and has a kitchenette, shower, toilet and privacy. Problem???
19:48 January 24, 2012 by rohermoker
As a buiding code inspector in the US, I see this as a cute vacation cottage, but as affordable housing, thinking heat loss, it woulld be more efficent to builld this as an apartment concept, rather than a stand alone building.
21:49 January 24, 2012 by BillyB
They are plenty big enough.

I spent 3 months living in a 13sqm apartment in Stockholm a few years ago.

As long as you have a busy life you dont need a big apartment to sit and do nothing in.
08:26 January 25, 2012 by cupidcub
1500 - 1800 SEK would be an appropriate rent for this apartment.
17:04 January 27, 2012 by tadchem
2500 kronor a month for 12 sq m = 208 kronor per square meter, or more. The big winner here is the landlord!

A 36 sq m student apartment could be shared with 2 other students; cost 1389 kronor each per month. You get 2 people to help you and cover for you, and you learn to cooperate with other people.
17:54 January 30, 2012 by Descartes
Al least 260 000 SEK tuition fee (for 2 year msc)+ 60 000 SEK for appartment + 100,000 SEK for food&transport+ 50 000 SEK other costs = 470 000 SEK or 70 000 USD.

Opportunitiy cost in my country is 10% annual interest rate, if your education will earn you more than USD 700 k (70 000/0.1 calculated for perpetuity) then go ahead if not then you better think twice.
19:49 February 6, 2012 by bethrichardson
#1 Askar - -it says in the article that it has a kitchenette, toilet and shower.

#3 DavidT - I hate to say it, but as an American hoping to immigrate to Sweden, I can only hope you are right. Once of my biggest concerns is that I will have nowhere to live when I'm ready to move. Though it hardly seems fair - why would your government pay for our housing?

#5 rohermoker - I was wondering the same. I actually think it would be cool to refurbish an old building near the unversities into a bunch of small studio apartments for students and single adults.

I personally would love a little space like this. When I want to have someone over, it's cozy and fun, when I don't - sorry, no room! lol
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