Property For Members

What are the rules if you want to Airbnb your home in Sweden?

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected]
What are the rules if you want to Airbnb your home in Sweden?
The rules on renting out your home via Airbnb are quite strict in Sweden. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB Scanpix/TT

The summer holiday is a peak time for people in Sweden to rent out their homes. But if the Airbnb rental is not approved by a landlord or housing association, you risk losing your contract.

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Subletting or renting out your home on Airbnb is a popular way to earn some extra money, especially during the summer holidays.

But if you want to join the trend, the type of accommodation you're living in can be a deciding factor on whether it is legal. 

Rented house or apartment 

If you live in a first-hand rental, or hyresrätt, you can rent out a room without asking for permission from your landlord, but you must continue to live in the property, otherwise it is classed under the law as a sublet (andrahandsuthyrning). 

It is difficult, but not impossible, to rent out the entire apartment, as you must receive written permission from your landlord to sublet the apartment each and every time you lease it out through Airbnb.

According to a guide from the Swedish Tenants Union, most of the big private and municipal landlords are reluctant to grant this permission for short Airbnb-type sublets, arguing that it increases wear and tear on the building and creates a less safe environment with a lot of strangers having access to the property. 

If you decide to rent out your rental apartment on Airbnb anyway, there is a high risk that one of your neighbours will complain. Your landlord is likely to start by giving you a warning, but there is a risk that they will end your rental contract, particularly if you ignore a warning and continue to rent out the property on Airbnb.

Airbnb guests are unlikely to be aware of this, and even less likely to act on it, but the rules on allowed rents for Airbnb rentals are the same as for any other sublet, meaning you can in theory be asked to pay back any rent you charge which is seen as in excess of a "reasonable rate".

For a furnished apartment, for instance, you are not supposed to charge more than 15 percent more than you yourself pay in rent. 

If you're renting a sublet yourself (or, as it's often referred to in Sweden, second-hand renting or andrahandsuthyrning) and would like to put it on Airbnb, it's crucial that you have the permission of the person who is the first-hand renter or owner of the apartment. Otherwise, you may be evicted.


A cooperative apartment or bostadsrätt

If you own a housing cooperative apartment, bostadsrätt, you can also generally rent out a room on Airbnb without asking for permission, so long as you continue to live in the apartment.

As with rental apartments, however, if you want to rent out your entire apartment or house, you do need to get permission, only this time it needs to come from the board. 

Many housing cooperatives have a pre-agreed policy allowing, banning, or setting limits on Airbnb rentals. They might, for example, limit each individual lease to a week, a fortnight, or a month, or limit the total number of days a year a member can rent out their property to, say, 90 days. 

Even if they don't have a specific policy for Airbnb, most cooperatives state in their founding documents that the board must give permission for second-hand rentals, so theoretically you must get a separate approval for each individual guest. 

A tenant needs to give an acceptable reason for renting out their property, which would probably include "moving to their summer house for a few months", but would not include simply a wish to make money. The board needs to give "a justifiable reason" to refuse a member permission to rent out their property. 

If the way you treat your property can be classed as "a hotel business" – if say, you rented out each room as a sort of hostel – then that would break the rules around housing cooperatives, which is to provide housing for people, rather than to be a commercial venture. 


Directly-owned house or apartment 

If you own your house or apartment outright, you can generally rent it out via Airbnb as you wish.

However, you might still face potential issues if you use Airbnb to set up what would be classed as a hotel or hostel without registering the property as a hotel business, which in Sweden requires a long list of permissions. 

How much tax do I have to pay? 

In Sweden, you are allowed to earn up to 40,000 kronor a year renting out or sub-letting the property where you live before having to pay tax on your earnings. After that, the amount of tax you pay depends on whether you are subletting a rental apartment, a cooperative apartment or whether you own the property outright.

According to a guide from the Swedish Tax Agency, if you own the property, you are allowed to keep 20 percent of the proceeds of whatever you earn from renting it out in the year in addition to the 40,000 that you can earn untaxed. 

So, say you earn 100,000 kronor renting out your ski cabin near Östersund in a year. You can take away 40,000 kronor, then another 20,000 kronor (20 percent of 100,000). You then pay 30 percent capital gains tax on the remaining 40,000 kronor, so 12,000 kronor in tax. 

If you are a member of a housing cooperative, you can deduct the monthly fee you pay to the cooperative on top of the 40,000. 

So say you earn 100,000 kronor renting out your top floor apartment in a housing cooperative in Stockholm's Östermalm for two months over the summer and the monthly fee is 10,000 kronor, you can deduct the 40,000, then 20,000 for two months of fees, and then pay 30 percent capital gains tax on the remaining 40,000 kronor, so, again, 12,000 kronor in tax. 


Finally, in the unlikely event that you manage to Airbnb your rental apartment, you can deduct the rent that you had to pay in addition to the 40,000. 

So, say you Airbnb your rental apartment in Gothenburg for 100,000 for two months over the summer and the monthly rent is 10,000 kronor, you can deduct the 40,000, then 20,000 for two months of rent, and then pay 30 percent capital gains tax on the remaining 40,000 kronor, so, once again, 12,000 kronor in tax. 

If you only rent out a room, or part of a rental or cooperative property, then you estimate what share of the apartment you are renting out, and adjust the deduction accordingly. So, in the two latter examples, the two months of fees or rent you deduct might come to 5,000 over two months, if you estimate that the room your rent out is roughly a quarter of the apartment. 


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