For people living in rental properties
If you live in a rental property rather than a property you own yourself, you may need to ask your landlord for permission before renting out your home.
If you’re planning on renting out part of your home while you’re still going to be living there, you won’t need to ask for permission, as this falls under the rules of having a live-in tenant (inneboende in Swedish).
You’ll need to ask your landlord for permission if you’ll be renting out the entire property or if you’ll be living somewhere else while your property is being rented out, even if you’ll only be renting it out for a night or two. Note that you will need to do this for each tenant.
It’s important that you get written proof that your landlord has given you permission to rent out the property – an email or text message is enough – before you start renting it out.
You’ll also need some sort of contract between you and the prospective tenant. If you’re renting out via Airbnb then their contract is sufficient, but if you’re renting out yourself you’ll need to sort this out separately.
If you’re a member of the Swedish Tenants’ Association (Hyresgästföreningen), they offer examples of contracts which you can download and fill in with your own information.
Note that the rules on the amount you’re allowed to charge for second-hand rentals also apply to short-term lets, meaning (for a furnished apartment) you can’t charge more than 15 percent over the amount you pay in rent for the same time period.
This means if you pay 6,500 kronor per month in rent plus 600 kronor in running costs (electricity, water, internet and so on), and you’re renting out the entirety of a furnished property, you can charge a maximum of 8,075 kronor a month.
If you’re just renting out part of your apartment then you will also need to take account for this when setting the rent your potential guest will be paying. For example, if you have a two bedroom apartment where both bedrooms are roughly the same size, where your guest will have access to shared spaces such as the bathroom, kitchen and living room, then the maximum amount you can charge is half of your own rent, although you are allowed to charge a reasonable amount for electricity, water or internet costs for the period in question.
Be aware that you can’t use your rental apartment in a way which could be considered similar to a hotel, either, for example by renting out to multiple different guests over an extended period of time. If you do this, you risk being evicted by your landlord.
If you own an apartment in a housing association (bostadsrätt)
If you own an apartment in a bostadsrättförening, you don’t technically own the apartment, but you own the right to live in it.
This means that the rules are broadly similar to those for people living in rental apartments – if you have someone living in your apartment while you still live there, then they count as a live-in tenant, so you don’t need to seek permission from the board of your association in order to rent it out to someone else.
If you’re planning on renting out the whole apartment, or if you won’t be staying in the apartment while your guests are staying there, then you probably need to ask the board of your housing association for permission, just like you would for a standard second-hand let.
Technically, this depends on your housing association’s terms and conditions, but in practice the majority of housing associations do require you to ask for permission before renting out your apartment.
Usually, you’re required to make an individual request to rent out your apartment for each guest you’re planning to rent out to, rather than making a generic request for permission to rent out, as the application will normally need to include the personal details of your prospective tenant, but check your association’s specific rules to see what applies to you.
There are often specific situations in which an association board will approve a request to rent out a bostadsrätt, like moving in with a partner, working or studying in a different city, or renting out to your child or another family member, but this does not include renting out to tourists over a short period of time or buying an apartment for the sole purpose of using it as a rental property.
How much can I charge in rent?
So, your housing foundation has approved your application to rent out your property. How much can you charge?
Again, you are bound by similar rules as those discussed for renters above, meaning you must charge a reasonable rate for the property.
For bostadsrätter, this is calculated based on the market value of the property alongside the costs to run it. More specifically, an avkastningsränta (literally: “profit interest”), which is essentially the Riksbank’s reference interest rate plus around two percent.
At the time of writing, the Riksbank’s reference rate was 3.5 percent, meaning you can charge up to 5.5 percent, plus fees for costs to run the property and a 15 percent fee if it’s furnished.
Let’s say you live in an apartment valued at 2 million kronor. First, you’d calculate the avkastningsränta of your property, which would be 2 million times 0.055, giving you 110,000 per year, or 9,166 kronor per month.
You’ll then need to add the monthly running costs of the property. Let’s say you pay a 4,000 kronor fee to your housing association, and a further 500 kronor a month for things like heating, water, electricity, TV and internet. That puts our total at 13,666 kronor.
Now, is the property furnished? It probably is if you’re only renting it out for a short period. This means you can add a further 15 percent fee on top of the avkastningsränta and the running costs. This would give us a total of 15,715 kronor for a full month, or around 523 kronor per night.
If that’s too much maths for you (or if you want to make sure you’ve definitely got the right figure) you can use a calculator online. Try searching for kalkylator skälig hyra and make sure you select the bostadsrätt option.
What can I do if my landlord or the board of my housing association doesn’t give me permission?
If your association’s board or your landlord does not approve your request to rent out your property, you can apply for permission from the rental board (Hyresnämnden).
If the rental board grants you permission, you’re allowed to rent out your property even if your landlord or association has not agreed.
Bear in mind that again, you would have to apply for permission for each period you’re planning on renting out, and you’re still expected not to treat your apartment in a way which could be considered similar to a hotel, so this is more applicable to longer-term sublets than multiple short-term lets to different people.
If you rent out your property without approval from your landlord, the board of your association or the rental board, then you risk eviction and could be forced to sell your property in the case of a bostadsrätt.
What if I own my property outright?
You can also own your property in Sweden, this usually applies to houses and is known as an äganderätt, although some houses (usually terraced houses) are bostadsrätter.
If you’re renting out your house you don’t need to ask anyone for permission, but you do still need to charge a reasonable rent.
This is usually calculated by looking at other houses up for rent in the same area, or houses up for rent in similar areas if there are no other houses for rent near your property.
If there are absolutely no houses which can be used as a comparison, it’s up to the rental board to decide on a reasonable price based on factors like the size of your home, how modern it is and what kind of facilities it has. You can charge the tenant a reasonable percentage of costs like electricity and water, too.
What about insurance?
If renting via Airbnb, insurance may be included for you as a host up to a certain amount, although it may be smart to check the terms of this insurance and, if needed, take out separate insurance to protect yourself against any damages caused by a potential tenant.