Owner-occupied apartment proposal moves forward

The government has suggested that owner-occupied apartments be introduced next year, but only as a part of new production.

Owner-occupied apartment proposal moves forward

The Ministry of Justice has suggested in a recent memorandum that rules on owner-occupied apartments (ägarlägenheter) be introduced starting April 1st, 2009, with the new form of dwelling serving as a compliment to the current system of tenant-ownership (bostadsrätten).

The suggestion is meant to strengthen the influence of the individual over his or her own dwelling, according to a draft piece of legislation authored by the government.

In a building with owner-occupied apartments the roof, façades, and stairwells are considered common property and administered by an association of owners.

Owner-occupation contrasts with the prevailing system governing apartment dwellings in Sweden in which a buyer purchases a share of a cooperative housing association (bostadsrättsföreningen) which gives the buyer the right to live in a particular dwelling, rather than the actual apartment.

The association thus maintains ownership of the apartments themselves, as well as the common spaces, grounds, and physical structures that make up the association. As a result, housing associations, can set restrictions on the rights of the tenant-owners who have purchased the right to live in a particular apartment to modify or sublet their dwelling.

For the most part, the same rules would apply to both owner-occupied town homes as well as building consisting of owner-occupied apartments.

The new living form would, among other things, allow owners to rent out their apartments without a permit.

As a first step, the proposal suggests that owner-occupied apartments only be allowed for units included in new production.

The government believes that owner-occupied apartments will contribute to an increase in housing production and in the long run lead to an increased range of apartments available for rent.

The proposal now goes out for consideration and a meeting of several authorities with opinions on the issue is due to be held in early June.