When Kerstin Söderberg was due to travel to India for two months at the start of this year she decided that it was better for her Stockholm apartment to be of some use instead of it lying empty. After putting an ad on popular Swedish website Blocket, she found an English-speaking couple she thought she could trust. Unfortunately she was wrong.
“I rented it out to a couple who I put my faith in,” Söderberg told The Local. “But while I was in India a neighbour contacted me to say that it wasn’t them who lived there anymore and that she had seen a man creeping into the apartment. I contacted the police and they went and discovered what was happening.”
What was happening was that the couple she rented the apartment out to had rented it out again in turn, and the new occupants were using it as a brothel.
When the owner returned home from her trip to India she discovered that, among other things, her sofa had been ruined, the apartment smelled of cigarette smoke, and condoms had been left stuck to the walls and under the bed. Several of her possessions were also missing.
“Even though I done everything officially and got the permission I needed I didn’t get any help from insurance to fix it because I had handed over the keys to the people myself. It has cost me thousands to deal with all the damage and the cleaning,” she explained.
Söderberg filed a police report about the incident, but said she isn’t confident that any progress has been made.
“Every time I ring them up the person who is dealing with the case has changed, and it doesn’t seem that anything has happened. I had a look myself and there’s loads of information on the couple showing they had been previously linked to other crimes. Despite finding all of that, their Facebook website and other things, it feels like the police haven’t done a thing.”
Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter managed to contact one of the officers involved in the case, who told them that the investigation is still ongoing.
Söderberg said she wouldn’t rent her apartment out again in the future unless it was to someone she knew.