"They're really tough," says Barbro Engman, the head of the Swedish Tenant's Union, to Swedish Radio news. "They are barring large groups of people from having any chance of getting first-hand contracts."
Swedish Radio news asked 283 municipal-owned housing companies about the demands they put on prospective tenants. Ninety percent answered and eight of ten said they did set requirements.
Nearly half of the housing companies set a minimum income tenants must make. Nearly 20 percent demand that a tenant has a full-time job and 60 percent will not allow a tenant with a bad credit rating. If tenants do not fulfill the requirements, they must find a home somewhere else.
But Elke Herbst, the head of marketing at Kopparstaden, a municipal-owned housing company in Falun, says they must set demands. The company asks that prospective tenants make over a certain amount of money a year and that they provide references.
"We set demands so that people get a rent that is in line with the income they make," says Herbst. "It provides us security that the people we have living in our apartments can pay the rent".