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Swedish court okays higher rent for refugees

David Landes · 22 May 2009, 13:31

Published: 22 May 2009 13:31 GMT+02:00

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For more than three years, refugee Nafisa Khavari has been fighting against paying what she sees as an unjustifiably high rent.

She came to Sweden from Afghanistan with her seven children several years ago, and has been renting an apartment in Hällefors in central Sweden from the Skarets fastigheter property management company, according to the Hem & Hyra magazine.

After signing her rental agreement, Khavari later learned that she was paying thousands of kronor more per month in rent than her ethnically Swedish neighbours and decided to sue the landlord with support from Sweden’s Ombudsman for Ethnic Discrimination (DO).

But the landlord argued the higher rent was justified, explaining that refugees cause damage to apartments in a different way than “taxpayers” do.

“They live differently in the countries they come from. Taxpayers take care of the damage themselves when they move. Refugees don’t have any money. And you can tell them to clean the apartment when they leave, but they never really do anything. I think instead that they ought to appreciate that we take care of the apartment after they move,” said landlord Nils-Olav Skaret to Hem & Hyra.

But DO lawyer Ulrika Dietersson disagreed with Skaret’s reasoning, asserting that the company was guilty of discrimination and of taking advantage of the refugees’ situation to charge a higher rent.

“This has to be seen as a very serious affront to the tenant,” she said in her closing arguments, urging the court to order Skaret to pay Khavari 120,000 kronor in damages.

But the Örebro District Court ruled in favour of the landlord, finding that refugees as a group can’t be considered an ethnic minority.

Rather than take a stand on whether Skaret was right or wrong to charge higher rent, the court instead focused on DO’s way of defining an ethnic minority.

During the trial, the ombudsman argued that the terms “refugee” and “immigrant” are interchangeable with ethnic minority, and that both are subject to discrimination for just that reason.

But the court disagreed, writing that a person can’t be considered as belonging to an ethnic minority simply because he or she is a refugee or immigrant.

Story continues below…

The ruling came as an unexpected shock to Khavari .

“It’s unfair, I’m really upset,” she told Hem & Hyra, adding she would join the DO in an appeal, but isn’t sure she’s ready to go through a new trial.

“And even if we appeal, I don’t think that I’ll succeed. Even the court has a discriminatory view toward immigrants.”

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:11 May 22, 2009 by Harding00
In the US, landlords have a simple and effective (for the most part) way of making sure people clean the apartment and don't destroy it. It's called a security deposit. When someone rents an apartment and signs the contract the renter pays a security deposit equal to the first months rent, or sometimes more or less. Some landlords also charge for the last months rent up front, so if someone decides to move out without giving notice or before the lease is up, they lose there last months rent. So that too "forces" people to pay their last months rent and to not just leave without giving a notice. Why can't landlords here simply take a security deposit then, and if the apartment is fine when they move out the tenant gets the money back? And if it is trashed they lose their security deposit.
15:31 May 22, 2009 by byke
I wonder who covers the court costs on this case?

Normally we associate refugees as "poor" ..... but if the "afghan family"

has taken a landlord to court and lost, as well as paying a so called higher

rent I wonder who ends up footing the bill?
17:20 May 22, 2009 by antoniolgj
Content of post deleted by moderators
19:29 May 22, 2009 by odinmp5
at the beggining it sounds unfair, but when you see how this people give back the propetties when thery leave you quickly understand.

i have seen apartments with bathrooms destroyed, no lightbulbs at all, broken doors and feces all over the place.
20:10 May 22, 2009 by Serendipitiz
Oh COME ON people! What a bunch of racists!! Corvinus - Contraception? In Afghanistan? Where women have no choice, no education, no rights and are literally flogged for showing an ankle? All very easy to, sitting snug in your little home with your little mind unburdened by the effort of expanding your horizons. Yes, people live differently - so do as Harding says - take a deposit. Teach them, rather than bunch all refugees together and jump to judgements about the entire group. Most have been through more hell and hardship than you would ever go through (or dream possible), lost everything they ever had and come here looking for a way out. And they get this, from the most civilised country in the world.
21:09 May 22, 2009 by Eurostan
bin laden is a engineer by education and millioneer. how many children he has? if anybody knows exact figure .

bin landen also not able to find contraception in saudi arabia. it is simple there are other thoughts to have many children.
21:29 May 22, 2009 by Harding00
Everyone should be forced to pay a deposit, not just refugees. Though I have no statistics to prove it, I am sure quite a few Swedes trash apartments too. In the US, college students are the typical ones to trash apartments. Think "keg parties" and then I need not say more. So, do college students here have to pay more? I bet they don't. I think rent (and a deposit) should be the same for everyone regardless of age (except maybe cheaper for retired people who have less money to pay), gender, ethnicity, origin of birth, religious standing or sexual orientation! It is racist to say that since someone is a refugee that they have to pay more because some (or even maybe a lot, if that is really the case) refugees destroy apartments. I guess I am lucky that my Swedish fiancee is the one on the lease for our apartment and not me, because who knows, maybe since I am not a Swede I too would have to pay higher rent.
21:33 May 22, 2009 by Pen&inkArtist
"They live differently in the countries they come from. ""

Makes sense to me.

I work with Muslims. When they go for prayers they waste their feet in the sink in the kitchenette. I don't think any western person would ever consider doing that.

People from other countries have habits that are not familiar to us and we can never know what strange kind of wear and tear there might be in the property.
21:57 May 22, 2009 by occassional
I say charge them higher taxes too for using the infrastructure, services and heritage that the Swedes have constructed for generations. They charge you double for entry into museums in Spain if you don't have an EU passport so the idea is out there...
23:00 May 22, 2009 by Playmaker
Good for the owner. I am glad to see the court does have some since. if it look like a duck and walks like a duck then it must be a duck. you would think they would be thankful and take very good care of there free apt., but no they do not. i had some work in rinkaby outside of stockholm, and i seen the trash get emptied and people still just laid there trash outside the container it was unbeliveable the same as the washroom very dirty.
01:05 May 23, 2009 by moh
there's no need to say let the refugees pay high rents and may be higer taxes..Just Say whats on your mind and that's YOu don't want REfugees....and ask youself if thats racism...and if it's shame on you!!!

Sweden has many intntnal students...from pakistan,nigeria,ghana,india,nepal and many other third world countries with people from diffrent civilization...do they not live diffrent lifestyle compared to swedes just like the refugees...are they supposed to pay higher rents too???

shockingly sweden has one of the highest rape cases..which has unimaginable effect to the society.Do swedes have to pay special fees and may be deposit for that in their country of residence???

i am sure if that woman was,just as an example white british she would have been treated as the swedes..if you view it that way is this case of afghani woman no racism??

The point is everybody has problems...dont judge all the refugees collectively.
01:26 May 23, 2009 by glamshek
In my view there in no doubt that it is discrimination.

1)The court knows that 'Preemtive strikes' are not Valid.

2)It is not right to impose high rent before the so-called damages have been inflicted upon the home. However,

3) The security deposit can be confiscated if damages occur.

So the court got wrong on this premise at least.


3)The owner probably saw the number of family members before he gave his home to those Afghans and hence increased the Rent. This is now valid.


The court gave a right decision but based on a wrong premise. The court appears discrimative.

When the woman came to know about the Swedish family being charged lower than her, she mistook it for discrimination. It is a simple matter of calculation. More people , More rent.
01:31 May 23, 2009 by The Lix-a
Why the hell not charge refugees the same rent as everyone else. Ive always wondered how do they pay rent, dont they get it payed for them? thats what ive been led to believe.

My town has a huge refugee population and you know i never had a problem with them till my girlfriend showed me where they live in the housing they are given. After seeing that, and all my girlfriend told me, well outside theyre housing blocks there were literally mountains of rubbish where they had just thrown all theyre rubbish out of the windows, not used a bin, just straight out from every floor.

My girlfriend showed me and said they have just cleaned it up with and it was still disgraceful, disgusting! One was being knocked down and you could see inside and it was horrible, dirty as hell, it looked like they had been just burning fires inside, black smoke up the walls and ceiling.

Why the hell should they get free housing if they treat where they live like that huh, do i? no i dont ive got respect for the town i live in.
01:40 May 23, 2009 by Corvinus
Serendipitiz, that was exactly my point. If all these things allegedly happened to this woman back in her homeland she needs to get a bit of perspective.I was paying to much rent, so I moved! Cunning eh?

No "Hey Sweden, thanks for taking me in and giving me a safe environment to raise my horde of children in." Nope, instead she becomes a wilful tool for some stupid lobbying group to use to advance their crusade, and her bank balance.
02:14 May 23, 2009 by moh
"more people more rent"....this wasn't the landlord's reason

His reason was simply that she was a refugee, from difrrent civilization.

considering the fact that races make up civlization....can't this case be racism??
02:21 May 23, 2009 by DamnImmigrant

As a former landlord, I will say that IF, repeat IF, you are lucky the damage deposit will cover the damage!!!! It is nice that many times I was able to give back the entire deposit with interest. THEN there were those times that the damage deposit did NOT even come CLOSE to the amount of damage.

It is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT "to impose high rent before the so-called damages have been inflicted upon the home." ONCE the damage is done, it is TOO LATE!! As they say, "You cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip!"

Did I discriminate? Absolutely! I rented space in a major University community and I chose the people who were less likely to party and who would respect the property. Single mother with 7 kids would definitely require significant rent increase!
02:44 May 23, 2009 by moh
"single mother with 7 kids would defeanetly reuire significant rate increase"

does that include the fact they are refugees from certain race?
04:03 May 23, 2009 by Corvinus
At the end of the day, it's his apartment and he can charge what he wishes as rent to be honest. Landlords don't do it out of the goodness of their hearts, they are businessmen.

If you so happen to have to pay more rent than next door, too bad, you suck at negotiating contract terms.
06:33 May 23, 2009 by freethinker
In the US we having a saying..money talks and bullshit walks...the decission sets a dangerous precedant. It may have unforseen darker consequences further down the path for everyone not just immegrants. A common sense approach would be to require a security deposit. If that does not work, then as I've said in the past regarding uncivilized behavior...if someone foreign to a country can't handle life in civilized society...deport them!
07:51 May 23, 2009 by Jeffi
Couple of comments:

1) Surely after 3 years of having this woman and her children as tenants the landlord would be able to determine exactly what sort of "wear and tear" there has been on his apartment. Three years of paying thousands of kronor per month more than other tenants should have built up a sizable repair fund, yes?

2) The court was correct, the Ombudsman used the wrong argument. All refugees become immigrants. Not all immigrants are refugees. And absolutely not all immigrants are an ethnic minority. Legal argument should have been gender discrimination first, racism second.

3) I rather doubt we have gotten the full story here. It would be of value to know what sort of damage has already occurred to the apartment, for a start.

Ombudsman was the one not being smart here. Easy case to win.
09:21 May 23, 2009 by Harding00
Who would have thought there are so many racist people commenting on The Local! And yes, I mean flat out, xenophobic, intolerant, "lets lump everyone with a different colored skin into a category which equals bad," group of people! I come from America which has many many obese people, so should I be charged extra when I go to the doctors or the hospital just because I am American! Because of course ALL Americans are fat lazy bastards! Maybe I will get fat soon and have to get heart surgery, so why not charge me extra every time I go to the doctors because I will get fat eventually, after all I am an American. It's a bunch of bullcrap. And oh, by the way, I am not close to being overweight and I have yet not gone to the doctors or the hospital here in Sweden, lets just hope they don't charge me more than everyone else. (And yes, the landlord was an independent person, not the government, but difference is moot.)
11:14 May 23, 2009 by Mr Honest
She lives with her children and children adopt everything in shorter time to say three months the Swedish life style. our children are completely Swedish. Because they go to Swedish school. and It is completely unfair to charge someone so much because he/she is refugee.

I am refugee in Sweden and I Swear By God my family never dare to touch the wall of apartment because we have been tough that These Landlord are like alligator . they try to find an excuse to charge you more.

BUT IT IS UNFAIR TO USE IMMIGRANTS WORD FOR CHILDREN! because children can become Swedish so quickly.
11:22 May 23, 2009 by Yendor
I read that there are facts showing that Refugees are more likely to THRASH their apartments than the average Sweed. If these facts are true then i can understand that the landlords need to charge them a higher rent to cover and pay for the damage that they do to the apartment when they move out. The sorry part is that it affects those Refugees that do take care of their apartments. I ever read that when some Refugees move out of their apartments that they STRIP clean the apartment and take everything thats not bolted down, is this true?
11:33 May 23, 2009 by DidiE
As a mom of five, and throw in the steps to total 8 kids under Didi E's benevolent but stern eye, I wonder if part of the problem here is not the immigrant status of the family involved, but the number of kids. I wouldn't have wanted to rent to me when the Didirats were small. Jeez. Perhaps the fair thing for both the landlord and the family involved would be, absent a deposit, an extra charge to go into an escrow account, to be used against damages, if any. If, after the family moved, there were no damages, the money could be returned.
11:37 May 23, 2009 by Mr Honest
I live in place where all refugee live to say 60% refugee 40% Swed. Whenever a refugee or non-refugee leave the apartment and move to another house. Then a few days before they leave One inspector came to check the damage. and If the inspector finds damage then they charge extra money and you should pay the damange. but rent are the same as other Sweed.

You should be charged for damage you make to house. not to pay high rent for 10 years. this is stealing money from a refugee family!!!!

I agree if someone make damage then they should pay or repair the house before leaving. BUT many landlord are businessmen and they love to steal the money by any excuse. because it is their business. but we have good landlords as well.but it would be like 5% out of 100.
11:40 May 23, 2009 by Mr Honest
The easy way is pay the normal rent as others not as refugee! and when you leave the apartments then pay some money for damage you made if you didnt make any damage then give your thanks to landlord!
12:25 May 23, 2009 by Serendipitiz
Hmm... a definite undercurrent of xenophobia in the readers of the Local. Sure, charge them higher taxes..but remember that most people in this forum are not Swedish. So you would pay those taxes as well. Being white and Caucasian does not automatically entitle you to a closer relationship with the Swedes. After all, you didn. Sure, those Islam people wash their feet before prayers (damn, I don't understand them strange customs!) and the apartments are not built for that wear and tear. But, sure, they're built for late night binge drinking and throwing up everywhere but in the kitchen sink. Yes, Swedish apartments are built for that. And "these" people, as they are so elaborately clumped together and described, live in faeces and eat babies. Looking at some of the comments, I would think most of you would know what it feels like to be a refugee... driving your home from one place to the next. (sorry, couldn't let that one slide.... :-) )
14:45 May 23, 2009 by Playmaker
Anyways it really does not matter since the tax payers are footing the bill anyway. Maybe not all but I am sure it must of above 90%. Sorry serendipitiz, being caucasion does automatically entitle is to a closer relationship. Didi you know out of 1 out of 3 swedes have family in the U.S.? Look you can not squeeze blood from a turnip. The best solution is to stop taking in refugees. That will solve many many problems in Sweden. esp, in Malmö.
15:50 May 23, 2009 by moh
hmm..may be people should try to express their view on the rulling.

it will be hypocrytic for swedes or rather sweden to take pride in their assistance towards refugees who endup being victim of swedens generousity.

it's like one offers accomodation to a sufferering and life threatened children,women and elderly, and this unfortunate people get harsh welcome from the host's family....does anybody want such thing to happen in his/her house???
16:57 May 23, 2009 by Serendipitiz
Playmaker - your argument is unfortunately a little deluded. And you seem unable to understand my point. You can have family anywhere you want. A Swede who has family in America does not have a say in American politics or how they spend government money. Likewise, you having Swedish family here doesn't entitle you to a say (if you're American for example). If you are a citizen and pay taxes, and I pay taxes, and that immigrant family across the street pays taxes, we ALL have an equal right. It's called a democracy. I'm talking about the extra tax that was mentioned for foreigners. As a non-citizen, no matter where you're from, you should then have to pay taxes. And remember that most of the Swedes in the US went there as economic refugees. Would you have wanted your xenophobic ideas implemented there?
18:04 May 23, 2009 by voiceofreason
There is no culture or race that does not commit racism/discrimination, therefore I think we need not flog this issue any longer. It all bores down to pride, ignorance and envy.

I would rather see this issue from a business perspective, one that is dictated by demand, supply and contracts.

I believe that there are other apartments the lady can rent, I also believe there is a fair price for a 3-person family and a 8-person family since they consume resourses differently.
22:32 May 23, 2009 by Xzion
Dear Swedish People, perhaps we have been very far away from people, and now this globalization have found Sweden. so we will have to accept global Sweden. if we will create mess for others ethnic and nations then we will be a fail state in future.
13:07 May 24, 2009 by AbbaLeo
Totally discrimination!

Can Car rental agency charge more to immigrants/refugees and less to nationals/natives? -- NO.

Can they charge more if 2 passenger will be using car for a trip or 4 passengers? -- NO.

Similarly, Rental agencies generally charge deposit on the rental vehicle, but do not process the amount unless, upon return, the car has been damaged or misused (This is justifiable- Keep deposit as Security for apartment).
21:39 May 24, 2009 by philmucci
The rest of the world quite solves this with a security deposit, not mandated discrimination. To the above 'former landlord' (I am one also), of course the deposit is enough to cover it. How exact do you think most of the rest of the world rents apartments? Of course, private landlords should be able to charge whatever rent they please, but you cannot assume guilt or discriminate. Wait for the appeal and for the DO to get a lawyer who can spell, this one will surely fall to the wayside. That landlord is going to have to write a big fat check when it's said and done.
16:43 May 25, 2009 by DamnImmigrant
by moh

"single mother with 7 kids would defeanetly reuire significant rate increase" does that include the fact they are refugees from certain race?

Sorry moh but refugee status would not matter and RACISM is not a factor in my life. I am definitely prejudiced against certain CULTURES but not against any race!

NOW a single mother, GREEN or PURPLE, from ANY culture, with 7 kids would be a big GAMBLE! SOME single PARENTS with 7 kids would control their kids and be really good tenants. Others could NOT ONLY cause significant property damage, they would also damage relations with their neighbors and could be next to impossible to evict!

I like the idea of using the increased rent as a type of insurance and putting it into a savings account and then reducing the rent once the tenant proved themselves, but it can cause tax problems.

Someone else pointed out the increased need for resources which is a problem if they are shared by all the tenants
23:42 May 25, 2009 by Kind Man
I like your post .

Swedish Landlords would be become rich by renting their houses to immigrants.
23:43 May 25, 2009 by moh
Apparently it does matter for the guy who charged the lady more because she is a refugee from certain contry.
00:09 May 26, 2009 by Kind Man
That is nice hospitality!

Instead of lowering the rent for a refugee family specially for females, they charge them more. I found this disgusting!
08:29 May 26, 2009 by Inletwatcher
Okay I don't want to talk on her color of her skin. Lets just talk mommy/money.

Seven kids, no Dad to help pay, or raise them. I wonder what kind, if ANY job she can hold, raising 7 on her own. All them kids crammed into a tiny Swedish apartment. I wonder how many bedrooms it has. Are there teens and toddlers sharing a room? What a nightmare. So we have 8 persons living in one dwelling, that is paid for.... from taxes off other peoples backs. I think security deposit, first and last month rent can hardly touch the damage one person can do, let alone 8 crammed into a small space.

I felt this article was lacking and is/was only trying to stir up the already bubbling pot of immigrant/swede stew.

Inlet, the watcher
15:10 May 26, 2009 by DamnImmigrant
THE PLIGHT OF THE LANDLORD! I know some people want to make this about racial or cultural prejudiced but it seems some of you are not getting the whole picture:

"mandated discrimination" - bizzare statement, sounds malicious and ignorant.

Sorry but I really have my doubts about your claim to being a landlord. IF you were a landlord, you would NOT have said "of course the deposit is enough to cover it". You would KNOW that the damage deposit is used to fix the little things like holes in the walls used to hang stuff, fix a broken window and for cleaning if the tenant left a mess. IF you TRULY were a landlord you would ABSOLUTELY know that when tenants trash the apartment that the damage deposit will not even come close to the amount of damage!

Replace a stove, deposit gone! Replace the refrigerator, deposit gone! Replace the flooring because it is so badly stained or permeated with "something" that smells and can not be removed, deposit gone! You want to know what else it GONE? The tenant!

What about the tenant who causes damage accidentally through their own ignorance? Toilet plugged? - NO! You can not put THAT in there! The drains in the apartments suddenly get plugged? No! You can not put THAT down the sink! How much does the plumber cost times how many times they're called?

I once got rid of the washer and dryer because they kept getting broken through misuse. To bad for the other tenants just because SOMEONE did not know what they were doing wrong!

The place that I am in now has a shared water, heating, laundry and partial electrical bill. If someone has lots of people living in the apartment next to me and they are using a lot more resources than the rest of the people in the apartments, ALL OF US are going to see our rents increase!!! Is that fair??? Or should the apartment with the increased NEED for resources be the ones to pay extra?

MORE PEOPLE = more wear and tear on the property than normal wear and tear!

This has NOTHING to do with RACE or CULTURE! It has to do with EQUALITY! If I am using MORE resources than my neighbors, I should pay more!

Landlords “who care” HOPE they are getting good tenants! That is how the rest of the world rent apartments. It is a gamble every time and MOST of the time the gamble pays off.

Again I doubt your claim to being (having been) a landlord because you would know that “in part of the world” before a new tenant is accepted, there is a vetting process where the new proposed tenant goes through an interview and then a process of examination and evaluation. Landlords are doing background checks requiring letters of recommendation from former landlords, credit checks, income verification, lists of the tenant's friends and even the tenant's relative's contact information. There are “BLACK LISTs” kept by landlord associations keeping track of the bad tenants. Tenant contracts are written that spell out some of the stupidest details that the tenant and the landlord must comply with just to protect the landlord – and the tenant. Pets are or are not allowed. If a tenant has guests staying more than one night, the landlord must be notified. Guests staying longer than certain time limits require an increase in rent! (You rent to 3 people and suddenly there are 6 living there.) Tenants are being required to carry damage insurance directly payable to the landlord with the damage deposit used as the deductible.

There was even talk about creating a renter's certificate where people who wanted to rent, would take classes and get a certificate to show prospective landlords that they had the proper training to live in an apartment!

Why is all of this done? Because the damage deposit will NOT - REPEAT NOT - cover significant damage! Because tenants who do not respect other tenants can destroy the harmony of an apartment complex!

If you were a landlord, you would know all of this!

Yes landlords MUST “assume guilt or discriminate” ONLY a SLUMLORD does not care what kind of tenants they are getting. Good landlords have to discriminate based on their personal assumptions AND EXPERIENCE to protect their property and the other tenants.

Do not mistake discrimination based on RACE with discrimination based on CULTURE! I never discriminated based on race! I always discriminated based on culture! (Biker culture, religious culture, beer culture, student culture, party culture, hillbilly culture, 5th world culture, … ;-)
00:50 May 27, 2009 by DamnImmigrant
Damage deposits do not work BUT DAMAGE INSURANCE WOULD WORK! Everyone would buy damage insurance from an Insurance company. That sounds fair and not racist, correct?

Guess what!? Insurance companies do NOT charge everyone the same amount for the same coverage! They discriminate! They lump people into risk groups! If "refugees" from some 5th world area were found to cause more damage than the "refugees" that come from the USA. The 5th world refugees would be charged MORE for their premiums! You would NOT call that racist would you!

So why is this landlord being called racist when it would be OK for an insurance company to do it?

Nobody pays damage deposits here in Sweden (that I know of) so why are you saying just refugees do. The issue is increased rent for increased damage. Though you may not have known it at the time, damage deposits are a red herring; they do not work like people think they do. To FORCE everyone to pay for something that does not work is very American ;-)

You are wrong IF you think "quite a few" Swedes trash their apartments. If this was true, things would be really different here in Sweden and we would not be having this discussion. The fact is that SOME cultures do not value things like other cultures do. Not to mention technologically primitive cultures being suddenly thrown into advanced first world cultures. There IS a learning curve!

Interesting FACT is that those same people who would trash an apartment they do not own, would take exceptional care of an apartment they do own!

I will take that bet and sorry but you loose! First to say "college students", is, in your terms, racist! A few students do have keggers and their places get trashed. (The landlord would use up the ENTIRE damage deposit just on the legal matters needed to try to get the rest of the money for the damages!) DAMAGE DEPOSITS DO NOT WORK!!!!

The greater majority of "college students" are good tenants. Unfortunately, the students' rents were ALWAYS higher than the normal rents in the area because of the damage caused by the few. College students even had to sign contracts that FORBID certain destructive behavior, like keggers!

Instead of renting to people who would have a tendency to party, we would DISCRIMINATE against them and find renters less likely to party. We would also sometimes discriminate against people who were brand new to living in rentals!

DEFINITELY, American college students had much higher rents! Swedish students do not seem to party like the American college students and so I think it would be racist to lump them with their American counterparts!

Maybe in a communist country all rents would be the same but this is a capitalist country! By your reasoning a one room apartment with one person living in it should pay the same amount as a one room apartment with 5 people living in it? I would disagree!

A person living in the same apartment for the last 20 years, will probably be paying a lot less rent than the person who just moved in! You say this is wrong but I disagree because I WANT to keep the person who has been there for the last 20 years. New tenants get large rent increases, older tenants get cost of living increases. You would change this?

This is the REAL problem with this discussion, the word being used is RACIST and this is the wrong word. It is PREJUDICIAL but it is NOT RACIST! People are using race to stir things up to help their politically correct agendas. This is a CAPITALIST issue, not a racial issue!

Remember that insurance companies would, and do, group refugees from certain areas together and charge increased premiums to these people AS A WHOLE and you would not call the insurance company racist!

No moh, this is NOT racism! His point was NOT about race. It was about PATTERNS of property abuse! I also disagree that races make up a civilization. It is sad that you seem to see racism everywhere.

I see a pattern here moh. You seem to want to turn everything into a RACE war. Are you one of those people trying hard to stir up the immigrant/Swede stew pot?

Every indication I have about this case (and there is so little information) is that this case is NOT about racism; it is about CAPITALISM! And the last time I looked, Sweden was the 3rd strongest capitalist country (C.P.W International) If you do not like capitalism, you should avoid Sweden. So please stop trying to make capitalist ideas into racist ideas.

Totally agree! It IS about business and resources! As I understood the article, she lived in this place for 3 additional years to fight the higher rent? First MOVE to cheaper place THEN go to court. Something is not right with this story.

I also agree with you that racism and discrimination are very much a part of the whole of the human race! I would take Shakespeare's point that those people who protest discrimination and racism the loudest are probably the ones most guilty of it!

Well said! This article really was lacking and I also believe it is trying to stir up trouble! I am glad to see that you understand what kind of damage costs could be incurred! It is surprising that so many people think the damage deposit would be sufficient!

I too would like to know know more specifics like how large the is the apartment because humans, like many other animals have a tendency to go nuts when crowded to tightly together. How long had the other residences lived there. Like I mentioned earlier, the longer you lived there, the cheaper your rent should be when compared to new arrivals! It also would have been nice if the reporter had included FACTs about damage rates listed by groups.

Sorry about the length but I did not have much to do today ;-) So many people seem so outraged by the PERCEIVED injustice without thinking it through - Too Reactionary
01:02 May 27, 2009 by Mamoshka
<The fact is that SOME cultures do not value things like other cultures do. Not to mention technologically primitive cultures being suddenly thrown into advanced first world cultures. There IS a learning curve!>

huh a self hating imigrant!

people who do not appreciate and respect other cultures are not worthy to earn back respect, love and loyality!
03:06 May 27, 2009 by DamnImmigrant
Sorry Mamoshka that you take a statement of fact as an indication of hatred. I am not sure where your anger or confusion is coming from.

Why would you consider me to be self hating based on statements of fact?

Personally, compared to the Swedish culture, I come from a primitive culture. Fortunately even though it is a primitive culture, it is identically technologically advanced. Hatred? No, in fact I am overjoyed at having found this Spiritually advanced culture as compared to the religious culture I came from!

It IS a FACT that SOME cultures do not value things like other culture do. This would be the very definition of CULTURE, would it not? It is a statement of fact. Hatred?

It is a FACT that there are technologically primitive cultures. How is this hateful? It is a statement of fact. I have made no judgement towards these cultures!

It is a fact that there are advanced first world cultures. How is this hateful? It too is a statement of fact! Again, I have made no judgement towards these cultures!

If someone from a technologically primitive culture suddenly finds themselves in an advanced culture, THERE WILL BE A LEARNING CURVE! This is a statement of fact! How is this hateful?

Sorry, but I find your statement a little strange. Are you trying to say something or are you just saying something? (I think the term is trolling?)

If you are saying that people must appreciate and respect ALL other cultures then I beg to differ. There are definitely cultures that are bad for the human race and there are cultures that are good for the human race. Then there are those that are in between. I study the human race and try to learn about all the aspect of the various cultures that I can. I have NO problem going after inferior cultures that have a negative affect on the human race.

Why would this be hateful? And why would I want to earn back respect, love and loyalty? I already have them.
10:20 May 27, 2009 by Mamoshka
you speak like a radio gosh! yur nick "damni'man imigrant" (self hating one?).


<If you are saying that people must appreciate and respect ALL other cultures then I beg to differ. There are definitely cultures that are bad for the human race and there are cultures that are good for the human race. Then there are those that are in between. I study the human race and try to learn about all the aspect of the various cultures that I can. I have NO problem going after inferior cultures that have a negative affect on the human race.

Why would this be hateful? And why would I want to earn back respect, love and loyalty? I already have them.>

only skinheads speak this way darling!

So lets get real i understand what you mean by first class cultures and second class or third class culture

i know it is a trend now to attack islam, muslims, arabs, gypsies ect

Iran for ex they develop their own cars, weapons ect

even their own condoms! Iran is one of the most industerial countries and it is a muslim country.

But i think you will bash Iran anyhow!

My country where i come from Lebanon. We do not produce weapons but nearly everything from famous fashion designers such as Elie Saab. Production of wine, arrak, beer ect, metal industry, agriculture, food industry, utvecklingsprojekter, design industry , music, arts, there is even a first racing Lebanese car designed by a Lebanese "David Frem" "Frem1".

Famous brands like Patchi (chocolate),

Ky-lynn Lingerie

Elie Saab, Basil Soda, Reem Acra there are thousands of Lebanese fashion designers. Gibran Khalil Gibran (Lebanese American)

Ralph Nader (Lebanese American politician)

Ghandour brand (produces chocolate bars, candies to all the middle east)

But let me speak to you frankly!

You earn respect by giving it back!

mocking other cultures is ugly, racism is ugly no matter how much a nation achieves a country becomes ugly by its racism, discrimination!

Finally i do not respect countries and people who do not respect my own! and that's include Sweden.

Sweden is not a dream, Sweds are jealous from the United States it is a success story of multicultural, tolerance and achievements.

My brother would die for the United States! it is all about respect!
10:29 May 27, 2009 by Mamoshka
Last every country including countries in Africa contribute even with their beautiful designs and handcrafts.

It is a contribution to the world!

Even the farmers ought to be respected!

You hate those primitive cultures not me! i hate no one.

I despise arrogancy and ignorance! those primitive cultures they do not need your respect but don't expect them to respect back your culture and country!

what goes around comes around!
10:42 May 27, 2009 by DidiE
I have two reactions to demands for respect.

1. Respect is earned, not given.

2. Respect should run both ways.

If what you are talking about is a willingness to live and let live, cool. We all share a small planet, and eradicating terrorism, war, and murder would go a long way to improving all our lives. But we grow up in cultures- nobody is a jungle baby being raised by the apes. And each culture attaches values to behaviours and ways of living. Maslow's Theory states it is the rare adult who can reach a level of self-actualisation, where he or she can form judgements for him- or her-self. Nobody ever really escapes from value judgments that were imposed on them when they were little. I can and probably should compare others cultures to my own, and come up with my own standards. For example, I don't like subjugation of women or children, not in any way, shape or form. Thus, I form a value judgment about Islam, and to a much lesser extent, Christianity. I deplore terror and war, and form my own judgments about Bush, Taliban, etc. I think the world needs MORE judgment this way, not less.
10:53 May 27, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
What a pitiful thread. Fitting to a pitiful court ruling which I assume was the Landstingrätt or whatever it is and will be overturned on the grounds that charging someone more because of their nationality is in fact discrimination under any dictionary or legal definition I've ever heard.

Does the all-seeing eye of Kronofogden have a blind spot when it comes to refugees?
10:55 May 27, 2009 by Mamoshka
yes respect should run both ways.

I think some people live on hate, fear all their lives. Live and let live.

There are radicals in the world in all religions and cultures

we fight them with knowledge not with hate
15:33 May 27, 2009 by DamnImmigrant
I get it - Hate is not a part of my vocabulary so I never thought of Damn Immigrant as being self hating but I do see your point.

Are you trolling again? "only skinheads"? Your world view seems a bit limited.

I do not need to bash Iran, my Persian friends do it enough for me. They were forced to leave Iran because it is a muslim country! Do not mistake the fact that just because a country is industrialized that it is no longer primitive. When everyone in a society has access to those things that we take for granted, then the society will be technologically advanced! I am referring to the fact that there even though there are people who have access to electricity, plumbing, education, ... there are also people living in these countries who do not have access.

Totally agree that respect must be earned. "Mocking" is an interesting word. I think I would agree that mocking is wrong because of how it is defined. I would say being contemptuous or disrespectful or being disdainful of or pointing out the absurdity of barbaric cultures is NOT racism.

For example the culture that believes that FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION is the right thing to do and MUST be done to its children. I do not believe they should be mocked! That would be counter constructive! BUT I have NO problem being contemptuous, disrespectful, disdainful or even pointing out the absurdity of this barbaric culture! And you would call me a racist because I refuse to show them respect?

When FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION happens to a SWEDISH girl, even though her parents live here and know it is illegal, go ahead and do it anyways, THIS VERY ACT causes the Swedish people to react prejudicially towards these people. The FGM culture does NOT respect Swedish law and so WE are racist because we cannot accept that behavior?

Sweden IS a dream! IMHO Sweden is one of the most advanced cultures the human race has created! I personally believe it is TOO advanced for most cultures to understand! Many Americans would not be able to live here because they would not understand it.

The real problem with Sweden is that it has evolved into a SPIRITUAL society, they have little need for religion! People who immigrate here from RELIGIOUS societies have NO idea what is going on here. These immigrants are told that Swedes are godless because they do to believe in god and they do not go to church. These religious immigrants therefore cannot assimilate into Swedish society because it is a godless society. They feel they must help Swedish society by trying to convert, change, it into a godly country.

The reality is that it is true that most Swedes do NOT believe in "god" as it is defined by most jews, christians and muslims (JCM) and they will in fact say they do not believe in god. But they are talking about JCM version of god. Most Swedes do believe in SOMETHING which they have NO desire to DEFINE IT, nor do they need to worship it. Very Buddhist! The forest is where the Swedes go for church!

Maybe in your little part of the world Swedes are jealous of America but I see very little of it here. Right now - at this very minute - in America, 10 MILLION CHILDREN cannot go see the doctor because their parents are WORKING but they are too poor to buy health insurance! SOOO much more, and so wrong you are!

Even though you say you have no hate, I am detecting a lot of hate coming from you.

"You hate those primitive cultures" - not sure if the YOU refers to me or to all of Sweden. I know of NO ONE who HATES primitive cultures. I know a lot of people who are fed up with BARBARIC, self sanctifying cultures! To direct this statement at me would seem to be a PROJECTION of yourself onto me because you would be hard pressed to find one hateful thing I have written. If I did not say it, but you still heard it, you would be projecting your inner hatred unto me.

If the "you" is being directing at Sweden, then truly there is much hatred coming from you. I have friends who are Persian and who are Arabs. Some of them used to be muslim but they are not muslim anymore. These friends speak warmly of Sweden. They have integrated into Swedish society.
15:49 May 27, 2009 by Puffin
Actually I think that the main issue of the ruling was that the court felt that the case had been brought under the wrong law as "refugees" did not constitute a recognisible ethnic minority - as the case was brought under the discrimination legislation.

It is possible that this will be overturned
15:50 May 27, 2009 by Puffin

I'm just putting my Moderator hat on for a second - could everyone keep this thread on topic - as we seem to be drifting waaaaaaaaay off topic


18:07 August 5, 2009 by refugee
I am really sad by the court rxn since such a kind of reasoing is not expected from reasonable persons mind .. may be the judges are not lucky to be reasonable ...stone headed they are!!... they may developed unchangable negative attiudes and devil sprits towards refugees ..

Their generalization saying that refugee r negligent is not acceptable since atleast some of refugee are disciplined ,even better than the native swedish or so called tax payers in this case ..people migrate to look for better life but i don't think people with economic problems r always in a postion to damage the apartament .This is underestimating us to the extent that we even don't know how to care the building we r living on so that i will open file and ask for compensation for the moral cost i paid when i read this news..how such trash news published in the web site ???
18:37 August 5, 2009 by Puffin
You don't seem to understand the nature of the judgement - the Discrimination Ombudsman lost the case based on a technicality - a definition of the term "ethnic identiity" which the lower court defined in a very narrow manner

However this was just a decision of the lower court - the case is already appealed to the High Court

So the case is not decided yet
15:24 August 6, 2009 by Petalpusher
That's called price discrimination and depending where you live, it's against the law to do so.

Funny how people get all emotionally worked up over these things. If the law says price discrimination based on race, gender, whatever for rent is against the law; then that's what you have to argue.
20:44 August 30, 2009 by ciaoitalia
The court just ruled that it's not against the law to charge different rents for different tenants. I am a Swede living in Italy and I am charged several hundred euro more for my apartment than my Italian neighbors. Unfair? Perhaps. But I could move if I didn't want to pay. So can the refugee family.
08:00 September 4, 2009 by Fernando_Z
I think it must not only apply for outsiders. Maybe the landlords were just afraid that those who were renting in them would be gone like a wind.

There are far fewer insults that people are saddled with than property taxes. Property taxes in essence say that the government owns the land that you bought, and therefore, you have to pay them to allow you to buy what you want. They are bogus - but there's no getting rid of them, but discounts are possible. CNN Money recently highlighted the community of Alpine, NJ, the most expensive place to buy a house, and how to reduce the property tax bill. Here's how - dispute it. After an assessor does his job, 30 to 90 days after the assessment, dispute it if you can. It might save you more than an online cash advance or two on your property taxes. For more information, you can check out this link:

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