As a live-in tenant you usually rent a bedroom in someone else’s home and share the kitchen, bathroom and any other potential common areas. As a live-in tenant you are more exposed when it comes to rights since you are living in someone else’s home. Both parties, the tenant and the landlord, are in a way more exposed in a live-in tenancy situation since both have to somewhat renounce their independence and freedom in their home.
Subletting is when a person is letting an entire apartment or house to subtenant. This means that the subtenant has the right to completely and independently use the space. To have a live-in tenant, who rents a room or a part of a residence, should therefore not be confused with subletting.
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.
What laws apply?
If you rent a room from someone with a rental contract the Swedish Tenancy Act applies to your contract. This is the care regardless of whether the landlord has additional contracts with other people for other spaces in the apartment.
If you rent a room from someone with a condominium or a house it is a bit more complicated. If you are the only one renting a room from your landlord, the Swedish Act on Letting Private Homes applies. However, if your landlord also lets a room to another person the first contract is regulated by the Act on Letting Private Homes and the second contract is regulated by the Tenancy Act. If your landlord lets to more than three people the Tenancy Act applies to all the contracts.
No approval required
Your landlord does not need permission to let to you as a live-in tenant, regardless of whether they let a room in a rental apartment, a condominium or house.
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 (you) paying the share of the rent that their accommodation corresponds to size wise. To this they 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 residence. 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 you as the live-in tenant is renting a room in a condominium or house, you should pay a cost-based rent (kostnadsbaserad hyra). If the landlord has more than one tenant in a condominium the first tenant should pay a cost-based rent and the second, later added, tenant should pay a utility-value rent (bruksvärdeshyra).
If you are renting a room in a rented apartment and think that the rent is too high you 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 are renting a room in a condominium or a house and think that the rent is as too high you 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.
The landlord is not allowed to have prospective tenants bid for the rent, as it then quickly becomes unreasonable and the weaker party to the contractual relationship (the tenant) is put in an even more difficult and desperate position.
Your landlord can ask for a deposit from you 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 it is stated clearly in the contract what the deposit regards so that you a a tenant know what you are obliged to do in order to get the deposit back. If it is not set out in the contract what the deposit is for you should not pay the deposit.
Akademisk kvart always recommend that you as the tenant get your own home insurance. If you are an international student, check what your insurance from your home country covers and whether the more general insurance you have through the university could act as a home insurance.
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.