Once you have made the decision to sublet your property, it's time to consider getting the necessary permits. You need to apply for these permits either from the primary tenant (if you live in a rental apartment) or from the housing cooperative (if you live in a condominium). Obviously, if you are renting out a villa there is no need for any permit. Obtaining a subletting permit is easier than many think.
- When do I need a subletting permit?
- When am I entitled to a permit?
- When can I be denied a permit?
- How do I apply for a subletting permit?
- Why is a subletting permit so important?
When do I need a subletting permit?
If you intend to sublet out your entire property, you need a permit. Basically, you need a permit for all types of subletting where you do not continue living in the apartment yourself.
Shared space - no permit required
When you rent out a room in your apartment, you do not need to apply for a permit. This is because you continue living in the apartment, and your flatmate is not considered to be using the dwelling independently.
Your partner moves in - no permit required
If you and your partner choose to move in together, you do not need to apply for a permit from the landlord or the cooperative. As a tenant or condominium owner, you do not need to contact the landlord or the cooperative if your partner moves into your apartment.
A friend uses the apartment - a permit may be required
It can sometimes be difficult to draw a line between what constitutes a flatmate and what is considered subletting. The law states that if your friend uses your apartment independently, you need a permit. This also applies if the person lives with you without paying rent.
Of course, there is no problem if your friend is taking care of your apartment for a few days, but if they live with you for an extended period and use the apartment independently, you need a permit.
The law does not specify what "independently" means, but a general rule of thumb is that if the tenant uses the dwelling and everything that belongs to it independently, without sharing the space with you on a frequent basis, it constitutes subletting. It is not enough for you to be in the apartment once a month; both of you must practically share the living space.
When am I entitled to a permit?
There are various reasons for subletting one's property, but the requirements differ depending on whether you have a rental apartment ("hyresrätt") or a condominium ("bostadsrätt").
If you are subletting a condominium
According to the Condominium Act (Chapter 7, Section 11), it is sufficient to have "reasons" to obtain permission for subletting. What is meant by "reasons" is not entirely clear, but the requirements are less strict compared to subletting a rental apartment. In practice, this means that your cooperative cannot refuse you a permit at will.
If you are subletting a rental apartment
According to §40 of the Tenancy Law, so-called "considerable reasons" are required to obtain permission. In practice, the following reasons can be approved:
- You need to move to another location due to work, studies, caring for a relative, etc.
- You want to try living with a partner ("samboskap").
- You have become ill and cannot live at home as a result.
- You are going on a longer trip and do not want the apartment to remain vacant.
- You want to move back to your parents' place for a while.
- You want to move into a senior citizen home and do not want to deal with the sale immediately.
The list can be much longer and the law is not extremely precise in defining "considerable reasons". As long as you explain the reasons, and you are not renting out on a professional basis, there should be no problem!
When can I be denied a permit?
If the property owner or the cooperative does not accept your reasons for subletting, they can say no. There are reasons for subletting that your landlord/cooperative will rarely accept. Examples of such reasons could be subletting for purely profit purposes or that you never intended to move in yourself, and you consider the property solely as an investment. Another reason that is generally denied is called hotel subletting. It is when you only rent out your property for short periods, often with unreasonably high rent.
It may also be the case that your planned tenant comes with poor references, and your landlord/cooperative does not want to grant you a permit for that reason.
You should not be denied without reason
While the law states that those who want to sublet their property must have valid reasons, it also states that the landlord/cooperative must have a legitimate reason for refusing permission. In other words, the landlord/cooperative also has an obligation to provide an explanation.
For example, if the landlord refuses because they believe your tenant will misbehave, they must have valid reasons for that belief; otherwise, they have no right to deny you a permit.
If you have valid reasons for subletting and the landlord/cooperative says no, you can turn to the Rent Tribunal (Hyresnämnden). The Rent Tribunal can grant you a permit in a situation where the landlord/cooperative has said no. This permit is limited in time and restricted to one person. Once you have submitted your application to the Rent Tribunal, they will contact your landlord/cooperative.
How do I apply for a subletting permit?
When you apply for a permit, your landlord/cooperative will generally want to know three things: (1) The reason why you want to sublet, (2) who you want to sublet to, and (3) for how long you want to sublet. These three points should be included in all types of agreements and permits related to subletting. You can either ask your landlord/cooperative to provide a form or obtain one yourself.
By using the rental agreement on Blocket Bostad, you can sign before officially obtaining the permit. This is because the agreement includes a clause that makes the permit from the cooperative or the Rent Tribunal a condition. This way, you can "lock in" the tenant, who would otherwise likely rent from someone else while waiting for the permit decision.
Why is a subletting permit so important?
A permit for subletting can be seen as an agreement between you and your landlord or cooperative. Having obtained a permit not only indicates that you are in agreement but also reassures your tenant that everything is in order. In other words, the permit is crucial for ensuring a successful start to the sublet.
If your landlord/cooperative discovers that you are subletting without a permit, they can issue a notice to correct the situation. You will then have a short period to ask your tenant to move out.
Rental apartment ("hyresrätt") - If renting out without a permit, you risk losing your rental agreement.
Condominium owner ("bostdadsrätt) - the implications of renting out without a permit are less severe, but if you persist and get multiple warnings your cooperative can potentially force you to sell your apartment.