Cockroach surprise for Swedish property mogul

Cockroach surprise for Swedish property mogul
A Stockholm-area investment executive received a package of live cockroaches in protest of his firm’s perceived negligence in upgrading run-down apartment buildings in Malmö’s Rosengård neighbourhood.

Last Wednesday evening, police were called to the home of Simon Kling, vice president of Acta, a Norwegian investment firm which owns several rental property management companies in Sweden.

Upon arriving at Kling’s home in the upscale Stockholm suburb of Täby, police were directed to a mysterious package lying outside his front door.

When police opened the package they were startled to find 21 live cockroaches and a threatening note.

“Start renovating the buildings in Rosengård in Malmö immediately,” read the note, reports Hem & Hyra, a magazine published by the Swedish Tenants’ Union (Hyresgästföreningen).

The note was signed by Antifascist Action (AFA), which later claimed responsibility for the stunt on its website.

AFA said it delivered the roaches to Kling because Acta, “has let several rental properties which they own fall into disrepair while the leadership lives well in their newly renovated houses”.

While refraining from commenting on the incident in detail, Kling confirmed to the magazine that he’d been threatened in his capacity as an employee with Acta, calling the matter “extremely unpleasant”.

Through a chain of subsidiaries, Acta owns several rental apartment properties in Herrgården in Rosengård which gained national attention last year following reports that the buildings were infested with cockroaches and fraught with mold.

The buildings’ apartments are in such bad shape that Malmö’s environmental department delivered an ultimatum to the owners over the summer threatening to levy fines if hundreds of bathrooms, toilets, and kitchens weren’t cleaned and renovated within ten months.

The foot dragging by Acta comes after one of its other property management companies was named Sweden’s worst landlord for 2008 by Hem & Hyra.

Altogether, Acta companies held six of the ten places on Hem & Hyra’s 2008 list of the worst rental management firms in Sweden.

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