• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Swedes debate capital's first Airbnb rent ‘ban’
The apartment is located in Stockholm's trendy Södermalm neighbourhood. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Swedes debate capital's first Airbnb rent ‘ban’

The Local · 28 Aug 2015, 15:27

Published: 27 Aug 2015 13:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Aug 2015 15:27 GMT+02:00

The landmark ruling by Hyresnämnden is believed to be a first in the Swedish capital and risks sending shockwaves among the more than 10,000 people listed as Airbnb letters in the Stockholm area, a number that has almost doubled since 2014.
 
“Hopefully this will send a message to people that they can’t rent out to people however they please,” Anne Bratt Norrevik, chairwoman for the rent tribunal Hyresnämnden in Stockholm, told The Local.
 
The 27-year-old woman in Stockholm was rapped on the knuckles after she contacted the tribunal in a bid to overrule a previous rejection by her housing society to rent out her one bedroom apartment, which is located in Södermalm, a trendy neighbourhood in the south of the city. Her reason for wanting to sublet the flat via Airbnb was because she had just bought a new home and wanted to avoid paying her mortgage in two places until the next owners moved in. 
 
 
But the tribunal wasn’t as generous as she had hoped.
 
“The person (in question) renting out via Airbnb is receiving a compensation that is comparable with that received for a hotel room,” the tribunal said in its decision in which it rejected her plea, adding that “it can be bothersome for others living in the building when a number of unknown people are coming and going.”
 
The decision, which was taken in mid-August but reached the Swedish media on Thursday, was based on the woman asking for permission to rent out the apartment on a total of seven occasions between August 20th and September 23rd.
 
Bratt Norrevik said that although letting via Airbnb is not illegal in Sweden, it should not be viewed as means to pad out an income.
 
“There shouldn’t be a lot of (guest) changes or be seen as a way to just make money,” she said, noting also that it was important that housing authorities were on board with the sublettings. In Sweden, all apartment buildings are managed by either a property company or the municipaltity.
 
The landmark ruling sparked debate in Sweden with overwhelming support for the popular home-sharing site. Many called for laws and taxes to be updated to allow apartment owners to rent out their pad in a legal way.
 
"I think people should definitely use Airbnb as a way to rent out their apartment for people on holiday. Not for long-term though. It is cheaper than hotels on many occasions. I think owners should follow regulations and pay tax to the government," Marlene Salin, 28, who works as a store manager, told The Local.
 

Marlene Salin. Photo: Trini Testi/The Local
 
In a move to overcome a severe shortage of rental properties in Stockholm, Sweden changed its housing rules in 2013, making it easier for owners to rent out their apartments.
 
“But the new law is meant to increase housing possibilities, not the number of hotel rooms,” Bratt Norrevik said, referring to the woman’s use of Airbnb.
 
Story continues below…
Stockholm is notorious for its crazy rental market, where rent caps on many apartments has led to a black market where some people have been forced to pay money under the table to get their hands on a first hand contract, while thousands of others are subletting at much higher prices.
 
Sweden is not the only spot in Europe where the use of Airbnb has been questioned.
 
In Germany, a court recently ruled that Berlin landlords have the right to evict a tenant who sublets a rented apartment via Airbnb, calling it a “severe breach of contract”.
 
In France and Spain, authorities have also begun to crack down on Airbnb sublets by imposing taxes on such rentals to ensure that municipalities don't miss out on revenues as an increasing number of visitors opt for Airbnb rather than paying for hotels. 
 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Foreigners in Sweden still more likely to be unemployed
A grim outlook is predicted for foreigners in Sweden. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Unemployment is falling among native Swedes, but foreign-born citizens are struggling to keep pace.

'Help! My name is Jihad'
Jihad Eshmawi. Photo: Private

My name doesn’t make life easy for me, Jihad Eshmawi tells us.

Why fewer Swedes are using condoms in 2016
Photo: Robert Henriksson / SvD / TT

Younger Swedes are better at protecting themselves than their older compatriots.

Swedish economic growth 'best in Nordics'
A new report says Sweden has the best growth prospects of the Nordics. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden's economy is out-pacing its Nordic rivals, but high levels of household debt are still a problem.

IN PICTURES: 8 of Sweden’s wondrous national parks
Vadvetjåkka is Sweden's northernmost national park. Photo: Peter Rosén/Rosénmedia

It’s National Parks Day in Sweden. Who knew? A perfect opportunity surely to take a closer look at some of the country’s most amazing natural wonders…

Why Swedish football is introducing a green card
Swedish referees could soon be reaching for a green card. Photo: Andreas Hillergren/TT

You’ve heard of the red and yellow cards, but how about the green card?

Sweden won't charge foreign minister over 'queue jump'
Sweden's foreign minister, Margot Wallström. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's foreign minister Margot Wallström will not be charged over claims she was given special treatment to secure an apartment in Stockholm.

Swedes don’t want to join the euro - now or ever
Euros? Nej tack! Photo: Jens Meyer/AP

We'll keep our krona, thank you very much.

Opinion
'Bigotry is not dead in Sweden – we still need to talk'
Stockholm Pride 2015. Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Sweden still needs to do more to confront intolerance, argues columnist Paul Connolly.

Spotify gains listeners but it's still bleeding cash
Spotify's offices in Stockholm. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

The Swedish streaming giant expanded rapidly last year but hasn't yet turned a profit.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vika, Falun
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
National
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
Blog updates

20 May

Editor’s blog, May 20th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Do not mention Abba! Or cuckoo clocks! Our most read article this week was…" READ »

 

17 May

What about “att”? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It often seems like the small words are the ones that cause the most confusion.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
National
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
National
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 18th
National
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Gallery
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Lifestyle
The best Swedish cities for dating
Gallery
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Culture
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
National
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
National
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Gallery
People-watching: May 11th
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
People-watching: May 6th-8th
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Politics
Why Sweden's Greens are in free fall
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
National
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
National
Why this fearless woman is the talk of Sweden
National
Sweden set for sunny weekend
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vollsjö, Sjöbo
Features
How to be a cool Swede during a hot summer
Gallery
People-watching: April 29th - May 1st
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
3,299
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se