Agency legitimizes toublesome tenant’s apartment ‘theft’

Agency legitimizes toublesome tenant's apartment 'theft'
A tenant who refused to move from the apartment he was sub-letting in Malmö has been given the right to stay by the enforcement service (Kronofogdemyndigheten).

The 35-year-old was all set to be evicted from the apartment which he had been occupying for over a year after his contract, with the now previous tenant, had been cancelled. But the enforcement service has ruled that as the man was paying rent directly to the landlord he now has a legitimate contract and therefore the right to remain living in the apartment.

25-year-old Jesper Jäderkvist lost his apartment last summer when his tenant, to whom he sublet his apartment while he was travelling in South America, refused to move out. Jäderkvist then took the only action available to him and terminated the contract with the 35-year-old man and hoped that this would persuade him to move.

When Jäderkvist returned from his travels he found the 35-year-old still in his apartment and claiming that although he accepted that they no longer had a written contract they instead had a verbal agreement which was sufficient to constitute a new contract.

Jäderkvist was not even allowed into his apartment to collect his belongings and was prevented by law from demanding the right of entry.

Jäderkvist appealed to the courts for help and despite winning rulings in both the district court and the court of appeal, the 35-year-old refused to leave.

Jäderkvist has since moved to another apartment in Gothenburg and has been able to reclaim his belongings. The problem with the troublesome tenant was then passed onto the landlord.

The enforcement service was called in by the property-owner’s association representing the landlord to enforce the 35-year-old man’s eviction, but the ruling on Tuesday interpreted the law thus:

“A tenant who is subletting an apartment with the knowledge of the landlord and who pays the rent directly to the landlord can in certain cases be considered to have their own contract with the landlord.”

Jesper Jäderkvist has learned of the ruling – much to his amusement.

“I had a bit of a laugh when I read the letter. This is a complete farce as far as I am concerned. I actually laughed out loud,” said Jäderkvist to local newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet.

The property-owner’s association did not however share Jäderkvist’s mirth and has stated its intention to appeal the ruling.

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