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Swedish landlords "avoid letting to immigrants"

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10:56 CET+01:00
Eight out of ten Swedish landlords systematically avoid letting their properties to tenants with Arabic names. The discrimination is especially widespread in towns outside the country's large cities.

A man with an Arabic name needs to apply to three times as many apartments as a woman with a Swedish name, according to a study presented in Sunday's Dagens Nyheter.

Using three fictitious names - Erik Johansson, Maria Andersson and Mohammed Rashid - researchers at Växjö university applied to 500 vacant apartments which were advertised by both private individuals and companies on the web site Blocket.se.

"Mohammed Rashid" got a positive response from the landlord in 18 percent of cases. But in only 4 percent of cases was he invited to a viewing of the apartment. "Erik Johansson" received a positive response from 41 percent of his applications and was invited to 10 percent of the viewings.

But the woman with the Swedish name had by far the best response from landlords. 53 percent of her applications resulted in a positive response and she was invited to 19 percent of the viewings.

The results, said the researchers, were alarming and highlighted another aspect of the problems with integration in Sweden.

Regardless of the causes of the discrimination, it is illegal.

Many property firms have also been accused of discriminating against people with Muslim names.

At the beginning of February, 15 companies were reported to the Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) after the Tenants Association (Hyresgästföreningen) had two people, one with a Swedish name and one with a Muslim name - call 100 firms. Of these, 14 companies only offered the apartment to the person with the Swedish name.

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