What is excess rent?
Excess rent (usury rent) – what is it and how do you do away with it? There is a lot of talk about extortionate prices and unfortunately far too many are familiar with it. The same goes for excess rent. Ask anyone who has studied in Lund and Uppsala or moved to a major city for their first job.
Many tenants who sublease lack knowledge of what constitutes a reasonable rent.
What is excess rent?
To know if you are paying excess rent, you need an understanding of what a reasonable rent is for your home. Many people who sublease lack knowledge on how to assess this.
Most rental apartments that are sublet in major cities are leased at a cost that is way too high – so-called excess rent. The basis is that an excess rent is a rent that is higher than the rent your landlord is paying.
The student Gustav sublets a one-bedroom apartment in Mörby Centrum for SEK 10 000/month. Gustav later finds out that apartments in the area should be leased at a lower cost. Through Orimlig Hyra he calculates that a reasonable rent for the apartment is SEK 6 500/month and that he has paid SEK 3 500/month too much. An excess rent.
What does the law say about excess rent?
The definition of usury is found in Chapter 9, Section 5 of the Criminal Code and reads as follows:
Den som vid avtal eller någon annan rättshandling begagnar sig av någons trångmål, oförstånd, lättsinne eller beroende ställning till att bereda sig förmån, som står i uppenbart missförhållande till vederlaget eller för vilken vederlag inte skall utgå, döms för ocker till böter eller fängelse i högst två år.
According to the Tenancy Act, the landlord normally has a right to charge the same rent as he or she pays. Today, there is no set rule of law specifying the furniture surcharge, however, the Rent tribunal often approves a 10-15 % surcharge for a fully furnished apartment. Today, there is no set rule of law specifying the furniture surcharge, however, the Rent tribunal often approves a 10-15 % surcharge for a fully furnished apartment. In some cases, electricity, water, and broadband are included when renting an apartment. The landlord then has a right to add on a charge corresponding to those costs.
Can I get my excess rent repaid?
Both yes and no. Regardless of whether you have subleased a rental apartment disclosed or undisclosed, you have a right to reclaim excess rent. But if you rent a condominium, you cannot claim repayment retroactively. Instead, you can request a rent reduction corresponding to the amount you have paid in excess rent.
If you sublease a room in a rental apartment, you also have a right to reclaim rent. The amount of the repayment depends on how much the excess rent deviates from the main rent, if the room has been furnished, and what has been included in the rent.
How do I know if I am paying excess rent as a subtenant?
The rules regarding subletting of condominiums differ from those that apply to subletting of rental apartments. A condominium may include operating costs such as electricity, water, broadband, and housing association fee. In addition, the owner has a right to add a surcharge if the condominium is leased furnished without it being regarded as excess rent.
In addition, capital costs are added, which can be calculated as an annual rate of return on the market value of the condominium. The rate of return must be reasonable – that is 2% above the Riksbank’s reference rate. Unlike operating costs which are actual costs related to the lessor, capital costs are the estimated costs of having the capital tied up in the home.
If you add all this is up and there is money left for the main tenant to pocket, you are paying an excess rent.
If you have subleased a condominium, you are not entitled to get refunded for the excess rent retroactively. However, you can, with the risk of losing the lease, appeal to have the rent reduced moving forward.
Fatima rents a furnished room in a two-bedroom condominium. Her rent is SEK 7 100/month. The rent should be a third of what the landlord pays for the entire condominium in addition to a furniture surcharge of 10 %.
Fatima finds an old payment advice in the amount of SEK 15 500. Her landlord makes money not only on Fatima but also on the other tenant. They both most likely pay excess rent. Fatima does not have a right to claim repayment retroactively for the 6 months that she has already lived in the condominium, but she chooses to move forward hoping to receive the correct rent for the room.
Do you suspect that you are paying excess rent?
If you as a subtenant suspect that you are paying excess rent, you can do one of two things: pursue the matter yourself through the Regional Rent Tribunal or let us at Orimlig Hyra handle the matter.
The Rent tribunal reviews your application and retrieves an opinion from your landlord. Each matter is assessed on the basis of the individual case and the decisions differ from case to case. It is a long process with a lot of paperwork, and contact with both the Rent tribunal and the landlord, and it can take up to two years to get the excess rent refunded.
To assist, we offer to take over your matter and act as your counsel without involving you more than necessary. You receive your excess rent within a few days and avoid all contact with the Rent tribunal and landlord. Regardless of whether we win or lose the case your excess rent will be refunded.
Are you ready to take action and get back what is rightfully yours? Contact us.
What does the Tenancy Act say regarding subletting?
In the Tenancy Act, you will find rules regarding subletting your rental apartment or subletting a room.