Many priced out of Stockholm sublet market due to overcharging
Renting an apartment in Stockholm is an expensive affair as many tenancy holders break the rules and charge much higher rates than legally allowed when subletting.
In Sweden, a person who holds a so-called first-hand contract for an apartment – i.e. a tenant who rents his or her apartment from a private or commercial owner – can in turn sublet that apartment to a third party.
The first-hand contract holder is allowed to charge for the actual rent as stipulated in the original contract plus bills, like electricity and broadband costs. If the apartment is furnished, they can also charge an additional 10 to 15 percent of the rent.
However, in reality, many of those who advertise sublets charge much more than that, a review by Swedish Radio’s two local Stockholm channels shows.
Swedish Radio looked at over 5,000 Stockholm apartment ads on the online listings website Blocket that were posted in the first six months of 2017. It turns out that the average sublet rate is twice as high as the rent specified in original contracts.
The biggest hike in rents was for sublets in the southern Stockholm suburb of Botkyrka. According to Kim Lindholm, chairman of the tenants’ association in Botkyrka-Salem, one explanation could be that original rents in the area are relatively low.
"I’m sure of it, because the residents of Botkyrka aren’t particularly wealthy, and we do have a relatively humane rent-level here," Lindholm said.
The average monthly rate for a first-hand contract in Botkyrka is SEK 81 per square metre. But in ads for sublets in the area, the average rate is SEK 192 per square metre.
If you want to see how much extra you have to pay for sublets in different parts of Stockholm, take a look at these graphics.