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Man hit with huge tax bill for selling Stockholm rental contract

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Man hit with huge tax bill for selling Stockholm rental contract
Stockholm's housing shortage has opened up a black market of first-hand contracts being sold off for cash,. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT
08:54 CET+01:00
A man in Stockholm has seen his annual tax bill soar after he was allegedly caught illegally selling a rental contract in the Swedish capital.

The man raised suspicions with authorities after he requested to swap his 120 square-metre apartment in central Stockholm to a smaller apartment in the southern suburbs because he was getting a divorce with his wife, rental news site Hus & Hem reports.

A third person, a woman, then registered herself as living at the man's "new" address, while the man registered himself at a third address – where he continued to live with the woman he claimed to be getting a divorce from.

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The tax authorities then checked the man's bank account where they found a 400,000 kronor bank transfer (€38,200) from the woman living in his new apartment. The woman claimed the money was part of a loan she owed the man, but her story did not convince tax officials.

The tax agency has now increased the man's taxable income by 400,000 kronor. He had not appealed the decision at the time of writing, and if it comes into force he will have to pay 169,624 kronor.

FOR MEMBERS: How to navigate Sweden's crazy rental market

The lack of accommodation is a huge problem in Stockholm, where rentals are increasingly difficult to come by. The problem has opened up a black market of first-hand contracts being sold off for cash, but even though the practice is illegal – and can carry a prison sentence of up to two years – it is uncommon for people to get caught.

LONG READ: The story of Sweden's housing crisis

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