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11.6 Rental of an apartment or a house

  • 11.6.1 The tenancy agreement
  • 11.6.2 Guarantees and deposits
  • 11.6.3 Responsibilities of the tenant
  • 11.6.4 Responsibilities of the landlord
  • 11.6.5 Security of tenure
  • 11.6.6 VAT (Value Added Tax) in respect of mission premises

The following is a brief overview of Swedish tenancy regulations. Lawyers or real estate agents should be consulted for more detailed information, including when missions consider wish to rent or buy premises chancery or residential purposes.

11.6.1 The tenancy agreement

A tenancy agreement can be concluded either in writing or orally. A written contract is strongly recommended since it grants both parties a stronger position if a dispute arises regarding the agreement.

Unless otherwise indicated, a tenancy agreement applies for an indefinite period. A tenancy agreement can also be concluded for a fixed term. If the tenancy has lasted for more than nine consecutive months, notice of cancellation is always required for the agreement to cease to apply. Such notice of cancellation shall be given three months prior to the end of the contract of a dwelling unit and nine months prior for a contract of a non-housing. As a rule notice of cancellation should be done in writing.

The tenant may not sublet the whole of the unit without the landlord's consent (to do so would be grounds for eviction). Permission is not required to sublet a room or share the unit with other persons.

Model rental agreement

11.6.2 Guarantees and deposits

When entering into a tenancy agreement, the landlord and the tenant can stipulate that the Embassy will arrange for a bank guarantee which will guarantee the Embassy's payment of the rent through its bank. Before entering into a tenancy agreement, the landlord will also often require the tenant to pay a deposit to cover any damages in the event of the tenant failing to fulfil his/her responsibilities as a tenant.

11.6.3 Responsibilities of the tenant

The primary responsibility of the tenant is to pay the stipulated rent to the landlord. Rent shall be paid no later than the last weekday preceding the beginning of each calendar month.

The tenant may not use the unit for other purposes than those intended in the agreement. The tenant is required to take good care of the unit and its fixtures. He or she is obliged to repair all damage occurring by fault, negligence or neglect. When using the unit, the tenant shall ensure that persons living in the surroundings are not subjected to disturbances. If the tenant does not fulfil his or her obligations, the ultimate consequence may be forfeiture of the tenancy, which will then entitle the landlord to cancel the agreement. If the agreement is cancelled on grounds of forfeiture, the landlord is entitled to damages.

11.6.4 Responsibilities of the landlord

The landlord shall provide the unit in such condition that it is fully serviceable for the purpose intended, in accordance with the standards at the location. The landlord is also obliged to keep the unit in such condition, through maintenance against ordinary wear and tear.

11.6.5 Security of tenure

As a rule, the tenant enjoys security of tenure and has the right to stay in the rented unit and cannot be forced to leave without an appropriate reason. This implies that a landlord can refuse to grant the tenant an extension of the tenancy agreement only if the tenant has committed serious breaches of the tenancy agreement. The agreement can also be ended if warranted by external factors, such as extensive renovations. However, the landlord and the tenant can agree, in a specially prepared document, on the tenant renouncing his or her security of tenure. The general rule is that such an agreement is valid only if approved by the Regional Rent Tribunal.

After two years, a person subletting a unit from the tenant receives security of tenure vis-à-vis the tenant (not vis-à-vis the landlord, however).

Tenants of non-housing premises do not enjoy security of tenure, but are entitled to financial compensation if the tenancy agreement has lasted more than nine consecutive months and is terminated in advance by the landlord without relevant reason.

For more information regarding security of tenure, please contact the regional rent tribunal or visit its website where relevant standard forms can be obtained.

Hyresnämndens website

11.6.6 VAT (Value Added Tax) in respect of mission premises

Swedish law does not require a landlord to pay VAT when letting out units. By application to the Swedish Tax Agency, a landlord can voluntarily become liable to pay VAT. If a diplomatic mission rents a unit from a landlord who is liable to pay VAT, it is entitled to reimbursement.


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Ministry for Foreign Affairs
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