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Second Hand Housing FAQ

1. Laws and regulations

2. Payment

3.Mischellanous things



Do I need approval to rent out my apartment?
A sublease of an entire apartment always require approval from the landlord (rental apartment) or housing association (privately owned apartment). If you don't ge t an ok before renting your apartment, you risk losing your contract. In order to be allowed to sublet the landlord usually requires "considerable" reasons such as illness, studies elsewhere, temporary work at another location, separation, or that you "test" living with future partner.

If you sublet part of your home while still living in the apartment your tenant counts as a lodger. This does usually not require the landlord's approval.

Do I need a second hand contract?
A "second hand contract" is an agreement that settles a subleasing, of a room or an apartment, on the "second hand housing market". Both the landlord and tenant are entitled to a written agreement defining the rental terms. The contract must be signed by both parties to be valid. Always write a contract with duplicate copies - one for the primary tenant and one for the secondary tenant.

The contract should regulate the rent, refunding of deposit, the length of the lease, etc. If the apartment or room is furnished, this should be stated in the contract. The landlord and the tenant should jointly carry out an inventory of all equipment and possible damages.

The contract should also regulate the notice period. It is possible to agree on the period of notice. But, unless otherwise stated in the contract, the tenant is always entitled to at least three months' notice (provided that he rented the room/apartment for more than nine months).

Home insurance entered into by the landlord usually don't cover damages caused by a secondary tenant. If the tenant is obliged to take out his or her own insurance, this should be stated in the contract.

What if the apartment is furnished?
The "second hand contract" should state if the apartment is furnished or not. In addition to the contract, the primary and secondary tenant should jointly fill out an inventory list and make a list of any damages to the room/apartment before moving in (and if possible: include photos). If the secondary tenant causes any damages to the furniture or the apartment he/she is responsible to cover the cost of the replacement - the "second hand contract" should clearly state how the payment should be done (deduct from deposit, pay in retrospect etc.).

How do I give notice of termination when I am renting in "second hand"?
According to the Swedish rental law, the termination of a rental contract must be in writing. However, the law does not regulate exactly how a "second hand" contract should be terminated. It is in the interest of both parties that the procedure of terminating the contract is stated in the "second hand contract". If nothing else is stated in the "second hand contract" the secondary tenant is always entitled to at least three months' notice (provided that he/she rented the apartment/room for more than nine months).

What does right of possession mean when it comes to housing?
A person who rent someone else's apartment can in some receive limited right of possession the apartment. If the secondary tenant has lived in the apartment for two years or more, and there is no agreement to remove the right of possession, he or she can demand to stay even if the person who has the first hand contract wishes to access the apartment. However - the secondary tenant is not entitled to a first hand contract against the landlords' will.

A form to waive the right of possession can be downloaded from the Rent Boards web site (Swedish only).


How much should I pay in rent?
How much the rent is depends on wether the current tenant owns or rents the apartment they wish to rent out in second hand.

  • If you are subletting a rental apartment it is the landlord that determines the rent. This means that you should pay the same rent as the original tenant does. If the apartment is rented furnished you usually have to pay an additional 10%.
  • If you are subletting a privately owned house or apartment the rent is set to what equivalences 4% of the market-value and an additional amount that cover the monthly fee to the housing cooperative group. If the housing is rented furnished you usually have to pay an additional 10%.
  • As a lodger, you rent a part of someone's house/apartment, where you usually have your own room and share the common spaces of the home with the primary tenant. When you rent a room it is usually furnished. The rent should be a percentage of the primary tenants monthly housing cost, usually about SEK 2 800 - 3 500 per month.

Should I pay a deposit?
It is not mandatory to pay a deposit when renting in "second hand" - but it is very common. If you agree to pay a deposit it's important - for both parties - that the contract clearly states the amount, what is applicable as a reason for deduction, how and when it should be payed back. Always keep all rent receipts of payments, deposit and bank statements.  If the primary tenant does not pay back the deposit accoriding to the contract - you can contact "Kronofogden" (the Swedish Enforcement Authority) for help to recover the money.

NOTE! Malmö University does not recommend to pay deposits in advance; too many persons have been cheated of money this way. Try to agree on transferring the money in connection with handing over the key and signing the contract.


I rent a room in a private residence but I can't register there. How do I get my post?
You do not need to be registered at an address in order to receive your post there. To receive post it’s sufficient to state your name c/o your landlord's name and address.

Last updated by Klara Nordström