Housing contracts

 

The housing law in Sweden is a somewhat special law that should be explained from the beginning so that you know what your rights and responsibilities are when you sign a contract.

It's important for both the tenant and landlord to clarify the terms of the tenancy in a written lease, signed by the landlord and the tenant. We provide two different types of lease agreements which you can find at the bottom of this page, along with two appendixes that can also be very useful. 

 

If you have questions about contracts and agreements we suggest that you contact HUS, a tenants organisation providing legal aid to students in Uppsala. You can find them at www.studenthus.nu. To find what the actual law conditions that apply are, you can always contact the Uppsala Student Union Legal Advisors at: karjurist (a) us.uu.se. 

HUS - Hyresgästföreningen Uppsala Studentbostäder

Further down you will find what applies to Tennants, to Landlords and information about the Swedish Housing Law.

Tenant

The rent must be reasonable compared to the rent for equivalent housing. For example the rent for a room in an appartment in central Uppsala, with shared kitchen and bathroom should be around 2000-3500 SEK. 

The rent you pay to sublease an apartment cannot exceed the rent paid by the holder of the master lease. If the apartment is furnished a mark-up of around 10 % of the rent is seen to be reasonable. As a tenant you can always ask the Swedish rent tribunal to rule whether or not the rent you are paying, or have paid, is reasonable.If the rent tribunal rules that the rent is or has been unreasonable, you can demand that the landlord pays back any excess rent for the past two years.

As a tenant you are entitled to a written contract where the terms of the lease or sublease agreement are specified. You as well as the landlord should sign the agreement. It is important that you read through the agreement carefully before you sign it. The period of the lease should be specified in the agreement. It is also important that specific terms of use and regulations are duly noted in the agreement.

Most landlords are decent and honest. However, during the years, a few landlords have become known as notoriously poor landlords. If in doubt about a landlord, you are always welcome to contact HUS for advice. If you are having problems with you landlord, please contact HUS for future reference. Some landlords demand a deposit to be paid before any agreement is signed. We advise against this and suggest that any deposits are paid when the agreement is signed.

Make sure that you get a receipt for all payments you make including deposits and advance payments.

According to the law, the responsibilities that you, the person renting, has are to maintain the room or apartment in good condition. That also includes furniture if your room or apartment is furnished. By good condition is meant that when you hand over the room everything is intact, there are no marks on the walls, and that you have thorougly cleaned all surfaces and areas.

You also have the responsibility of paying rent and general bills in time. In Sweden rent is paid on the last day of every month, and should not be paid late. Other bills usually have a payment date on them. 

Landlord

The rent must be reasonable compared to the rent for equivalent housing. For example the rent for a room in an apartment in central Uppsala, with shared kitchen and bathroom should be around 2000-3500 SEK. The rent you charge to sublet an apartment cannot exceed the rent you pay for the head lease. If the apartment is furnished, a mark-up of around 10 % of the rent is often seen as reasonable. If the rent tribunal rules that the rent is or have been unreasonable, the tenant can demand that the landlord pays back any excess rent for the past two years.

The tenant is entitled to a written contract where the terms of the lease or sublease agreement are specified. You as well as the tenant should sign the agreement. It is important that you read through the agreement carefully before you sign it. The period of the lease should be specified in the agreement. It is also important that specific terms of use and regulations are duly noted in the agreement. You can find lease agreements to be used freely on this page.

It is the landlord’s responsibility to undertake to make sure that the  room or the apartment is in good shape, as well as to undertake to fix anything broken. The landlord is responsible for the apartment towards the property owner. It is only allowed to sublet an apartment with the permission of the property owner, or with the permission of the Swedish rent tribunal if the property owner should refuse and considerable reasons exists.

Some landlords demand a deposit to be paid before any agreement is signed. We advise against this, and suggest that any deposits are paid when the agreement is signed. Make sure that the tenant receives a receipt for all payments made, including deposits and advance payments. This will be to the advantage of both of you.

The rent is a taxable income for the landlord.

The Swedish Housing Law

The Swedish Housing Law is rather special. According to its mandate you cannot create a valid contract with harsher terms than the ones stated by the law. A good example of this is when you give notice of evacuation. The law states that if nothing is stated on the contract you can evacuate three months after you have given notice. That effectively means that if you wish to leave your apartment, and it is not otherwise stated on your contract then you still have to pay rent for three calendar months.However, the notice of evacuation can never be longer than three months. This effectively means that even if you for example have signed a contract stating that you will pay the rent for a whole year, it is not binding.

The contract can, however, state an earlier evacuation time and in that case it is valid. What this means in practice is that, if no shorter time is specified in the contract, you cannot be evacuated in less than three months, and you still have the obligation to pay rent for that time.In order to give a notice of evacuation you are required to write a letter and send it to your tenant, or landlord by post. Remember to keep the receipt from the post office. In the letter you can write the reasons for evacuation, or simply that you will be evacuating, and provide a date for when you are planning to do so.

Even if you are on good terms with your landlord/tenant we highly recommend that you follow this procedure.