Live-in tenancy

Definition

Live-in tenancy usually means that the tenant is renting a part of your residence and that you as the landlord occupy the remainder during that time. Most often this involves renting a bedroom and sharing the kitchen, bathroom and any other potential common areas.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know the difference between live-in tenancy and subletting, especially if the leaseholder lives elsewhere and someone else is living in the apartment but the leaseholder insists that this is a live-in tenancy. In such cases the leaseholder must to prove that they have not in reality relinquished control of the apartment. That one of the apartment’s rooms is locked and thus unavailable to the live-in tenant is usually not enough evidence if the leaseholder is rarely present in the apartment. Letting, in this case, includes leases that are in place without any rent being charged, i.e. free tenures.

Deposit

As a landlord you can ask for a deposit from the tenant as a safety measure, to make sure that the tenant return the keys, take care of the accommodation and cleans it properly before moving out. According to Akademisk kvart’s advertising conditions a deposit is not allowed to be higher than one month’s rent.

It is important that you state clearly in the contract what the deposit regards so that the tenant know what they are obliged to do in order to get the deposit back. 

Insurance

Akademisk kvart always recommend that the tenant get their own home insurance. If the tenant is an international student, ask them to check what their insurance from their home country covers and whether the more general insurance the student has through the university could act as a home insurance. 

Written contract

For both parties to know what the terms are it is important that there is a written contract – preferably setting out the terms and conditions in as much detail as possible – in a language both can understand.

What laws apply?

If you are a leaseholder (have a rental contract) and want to let a room this is regulated by the Swedish Tenancy Act (Hyreslagen).  

If you own a condominium or a house and want to let a room this is regulated by the Swedish Act on Letting of Private Homes (Lagen om uthyrning av egen bostad). If you thereafter wish to let further rooms, the Tenancy Act will apply to the second contract if you let two rooms, and if you let to three or more people this will be counted as conducting business and the Tenancy Act will apply to all contracts.

No approval required

If you want to let a room you do not need approval by your landlord or condominium association. 

Reasonable rent

Akademisk kvart have set rent thresholds based on the average student’s financial situation. These thresholds can be found here. In the rent we count on electricity, water and heating being included. It is not allowed to charge extra for furniture.

The rent should be reasonable. The rental calculations are usually based on the tenant paying the share of the rent that their accommodation corresponds to size wise. To this you can add the cost for the share of electricity, internet and such that the tenant uses. If the tenancy only relates to one room or a part of a private residence/condominium the Rent and Tenancy Tribunal will not find it reasonable that the tenant pays the same rent that they would have done if they were renting the whole apartment/house. A reasonable rent for a live-in tenant should be based on what percentage of the residence the tenant lives in or uses.

The landlord is thus not supposed to be able to profit from the rent that they themselves are currently paying and the tenant’s (reasonable) rent.

If the accommodation is in a condominium, the tenant should only pay a cost-based rent (kostnadsbaserad hyra). If the landlord has more than one tenant in a condominium the second, later added, tenant should pay a utility-value rent (bruksvärdeshyra). 

If you have a rented apartment and are letting a room and the rent is seen as too high your tenant can ask that the Rent and Tenancy Tribunal evaluate your rent. The Tribunal can, if they find that the rent is too high, decide upon repayment of the excess (with interest).

If you have a condominium or a house and are letting a room and the rent is seen as too high your tenant can also ask that the Rent and Tenancy Tribunal evaluate your rent. The Tribunal cannot in this case decide upon repayment, but they can decide that the rent should be lowered if they deem it too high.

An application to the Rent and Tenancy Tribunal can be handed in up to three months after the tenant has moved out of the accommodation and can cover rent for up to a year in the past. The Tribunal do not give preliminary rulings, the tenant needs to submit an application.

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