Swedish landlord told to pay quarter of a million in excess rent back to tenant

Swedish landlord told to pay quarter of a million in excess rent back to tenant
Stockholm's Hammarby Sjöstad district. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT
A Swedish landlord has been told to pay back almost a quarter of a million kronor in excess rent to a German citizen who paid what was judged to be well over a reasonable amount to live in a Stockholm apartment.

The housing situation in the Swedish capital has long been poor, with hundreds of thousands of people in queues for elusive 'first-hand' rent-controlled properties, and others forced to look to the expensive 'second-hand' sub-letting market.

IN DEPTH: The story of Sweden's housing crisis

According to Hemhyra.se, the German man had such a hard time finding somewhere to live in Stockholm during a period of work there he had to settle for paying 33,000 kronor (£2,800) a month to live in an unfurnished apartment in Hammarby Sjöstad, a residential area just south of Stockholm's Södermalm island.

Swedish law dictates that the rent tenants pay must be “reasonable”, with caps on the profit private individuals can make when renting out their accommodation.

The man contacted the Swedish Union of Tenants, who looked into the matter and assessed that the tenant had paid 221,070 kronor (£18,900) over the maximum rent the landlord should have taken for the period. They took the case to Swedish rent tribunal Hyresnämnden, who agreed, judging he should be paid back the excess plus 3,000 kronor in interest.

That's a record figure, according the Swedish Union of Tenants lawyer Torbjörn Larsson, who told Hemhyra.se that the amount of people successfully claiming back excess rent has increased in 2018.

For tips on how to avoid getting caught out by Sweden’s second-hand rental market, check out The Local's new guide to rights and resources in the area, exclusively for our Members.

Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT


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