We met in a coffee shop with franchise cosy furniture, surrounded by one time visitors. She was late, and I had been observing the businessmen, tourists, and shopping mothers, for about 40 minutes when she came in.
In some smaller cities in Sweden you could almost buy an apartment for this amount, and in Stockholm any bank would welcome you with open arms with such a down payment. Mathilda had been living in Stockholm a few years, going from one second-hand rental to another. She was not satisfied with this situation.
On the private market rents tend to be a bit higher than when renting through the municipal housing queue, although there are rent-caps. The second-hand apartments are traded on EBay-like websites, and contracts are usually short term many are available for only a month, half year or a year.
Furthermore, the extreme housing demand makes it easy for owners to lay down many rules for the renters. And because Mathilda has a pet, she has had a hard time finding apartments. Even when she had a place, she would constantly worry about finding something new.
Often she would find herself at no. Having a first-hand contract puts you in a secure position, you are in the system. The main problem is getting in, competing with over , members, of which 62, are active searchers. The average waiting time is now 4. You need to have a job contract for more than a year, a rare luxury in the modern job market. She told me that she had tried, but even with a good down payment her salary would not allow her to buy something in the size she wants.
He was the one who initially introduced her to a black-market real estate agent.
After the offer she doubted a lot, she knew it was not legal and it involved a lot of money. She had recently inherited some money and the rental contract would consume almost the entire amount.
Buying a first-hand rental contract meant that she did not have to fulfil the regular requirements related to income and contract length.
She was desperate to finally find a steady home, so she decided to go for it. She went to the bank to take out the entire amount, and to her surprise no one at the bank wondered why she needed her entire savings in cash. Mathilda thinks that her mother was probably more nervous than she was herself. He showed her several apartments and she picked the one she liked the most.
She plans on one day selling the contract again. Then many people will want to buy a rental contract, and the apartment prices will be lower. Sweden is one of the countries with the lowest corruption levels in the world.
Nieuws | Filoform
Not only are people illegally dealing in these contracts, but they are also required to pay to a whole bunch of people. To landlords for instance, who accept cash to let people cut the municipal housing line. And of course to the people who lived in the apartments before and decided to sell.
Guessing that they would not be amused that people are cutting their line, I thought it would be a good place to start. The spokesperson of the organisation, Jenny Burman, told me that questions related to the black market is not something her organisation occupies itself with. Instead she advised me to talk to the politicians in city hall. When I arrived at city hall I met a man who looked more like a banker or marketeer, than a typical person from the left-wing party.
He was wearing a light grey suit with suspenders, and in the setting of the characteristic city hall the whole scene reminded me of Med Man. He confirmed that it is not the municipal housing organisation that is responsible for dealing with the black-market agents, but the legal system.
Worldmarket sthlm - Not so ordinary
However, when a trade is made with a private object other forums are used. This makes it so hard to intervene in this black market. When people purchase a first-hand rental contract the deal is not made with a public housing company, but with a private one. These private companies usualy let about half their stock go through the municipal queue, and the rest is distributed on other fora. In this system there are two ways a tenant can become involved with the black market.
Hofverberg says that if we would take away the negotiated rents and relied solely on market prices, there would be no queue. But then the housing shortage would manifest itself in other ways. However, he is not in favour of market rents, because it would cause a whole array of other problems like a lack of affordable housing. He sees the housing stock as the main problem, and as the main solution to the problem.
Stockholm should build more so that the waiting times for the municipal housing queues will get shorter. I guess that makes sense, if you have to wait 2 years instead of five, you are probably less likely to spend your life savings on shady rental contract deals.
People who can afford it are able to cut in line. Even though this is illegal, and the punishment of getting caught selling can be up to two years of imprisonment, the black market for first-hand rental contracts is booming.
Directly trying to tackle the sale of these black market transactions would probably not be very fruitful, considering that it is a result and not a cause of the current situation. Written by Sascha Benes.
Swedish passports hot property on black market - The Local
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