YEAR 2017 N.º 3

ISSN 2182-9845

Swedish legislation of Residential Tenancies: An Interaction between Collective Bargaining and Mandatory Regulation

Haymanot Baheru


Swedish landlord-tenant legislation; collective bargaining system; integrated market; Rent Tribunals; rent control; tenure security. 


The Swedish landlord and tenant law legislation is an interaction between the collective bargaining system and the mandatory provisions in the Land Code of 1970. Almost the entire rental housing stock is included in the collective bargaining system. The most powerful player in the collective bargaining system is the Tenants’ Union. Its role is historically rooted in its close connection to the Social Democratic Party. The provisions in the Land Code are mandatory on the tenant’s behalf. Additionally, the regional Rent Tribunals play an important role in guarding the rights of the tenants. Tenants enjoy direct tenure security. A tenant who wants to remain in the tenancy agreement is generally entitled to prolongation despite the landlord’s termination of the agreement. Tenure security is guaranteed by the rent setting regulation. Therefore, tenants in Sweden enjoy extensive social protection. The legislations’ dependency on the collective bargaining system appears to have caused a weaker protection to tenants who have opted out of the system.   

Table of contents

1. Historic Evolution of the Landlord and Tenant Law Legislation 
1.1. The Birth of Swedish Landlord and Tenant Law           
1.2. Crisis and Movement Shaped Development of Swedish Landlord and Tenant Law   
a) Crisis Driven Landlord and Tenant Regulation
b) Tenants’ Movements and Its Impact on the Legislation
1.3. Modern Landlord and Tenant Law: The development post the reform of 1968         
a) The Reform of 1968: Introduction of the Use Value System    
b) The Reform of 2011: The Prominent Role of Collective Bargaining      
2. The Generally Applicable Nature of the Legislation       
2.1. Introduction       
2.2. Definition of a Residential Unit 
2.3. Two Categories of Landlords    
2.4. Two Categories of Tenants       
a) Block-Leasing Agreements: Tenancy to Sublet 
3. The Tenancy Agreement  
3.1. General requirements   
a) Is It a Tenancy Agreement?       
b) The Agreement     
c) The Use of a Building or Parts of Building           
d) Compensation for Use      
3.2. Duration 
4. The Collective Bargaining System          
4.1. The Negotiating Parties
4.2. The Construction of the Collective Bargaining System          
a) Regulation and Instruments        
b) Willingness and Entitlement to Enter an Agreement on Collective Bargaining
c) Agreement on Collective Bargaining Procedure 
d) Collective Bargaining Agreement
e) Compensation for Collective Bargaining 
4.3. Collective Bargaining Clause in the Agreement         
5. Mechanisms to Protect the Tenant in a Residential Dwelling   
5.1. Tenure Security 
a) Direct Tenure Security     
b) Termination of the Tenancy Agreement  
5.2. Tenant’s Right to Judicial Review of Rent        
a) Initial Rent
b) Connection to the Collective Bargaining System           
c) Yearly Rent Setting through Collective Bargaining Agreements           
d) The Possibilities for a Tenant to Challenge a Collective Agreement on Rent  
Case references        
Preparatory Works for Legislation   
Internet Sources