Live-in tenancy

Definition - what is the difference between live-in tenancy and a second-hand let?

Second hand renting means that a person rents out an entire living space (a whole apartment) to a second hand tenant. This means that the second hand tenant has exclusive and independent right to use the space. To have a live-in tenant is therefore not to be confused with second hand renting.

It can sometimes be difficult to draw a line between live-in tenant and second hand tenant. This is particularly true when the first hand tenant lives somewhere else and someone else is living in the apartment but the first hand tenant insists that this is still a live-in tenant. In such cases it is up to the first hand tenant to prove that he/she has not relinquished control of the apartment. It is not enough to e.g. lock one of the rooms so that the live-in tenant does not have access while the first hand tenant is rarely present in the apartment. Renting includes, in this case, even free renting.

In Swedish, being a live-in tenant is called being an “inneboende”. In this case you share your accommodation with the person that either owns the accommodation or owns the first-hand contract. As a live-in tenant you are much more limited in your rights since in the eye of the law you are living in someone else’s home. Both parts in this contract are taking a chance since both risk losing their independence and freedom in their home. 

What laws apply?

If you rent a room from someone with a rental contract Hyreslagen applies for your agreement. 

If you rent a room from someone with a condominium or a private house, normally Lagen om uthyrning av privat bostad applies. However, if your landlord also rents out rooms to other people, different laws apply:  if there is more than one live-in tenant in the accommodation, the first one (that signed a contract) abides to Lagen om uthyrning av privat bostad and the second one, abides to Hyreslagen. So, if you are in a similar situation, you need to know that different laws may apply based on with whom you landlord first signed a contract.  

No approval required

You should know that all owners of a first-hand rental contract, owners of a condominium or houses are allowed to rent out a room. So, you do not have to worry about your landlord having or not having gotten approval to let a room to you. 

Reasonable rent

When renting out a room the rent should be reasonable. A good benchmark when calculating the rent is that the tenant (you) should pay an amount corresponding to the space that your room represents of the total area. To this, the landlord can add the shared costs for e.g. electricity and internet. If you as the tenant has access to, e.g. a private bathroom, or a private entrance, an extra sum can be added to the rent. If you feel unsure if the added sum is reasonable, contact us and we will help you.  

If the accommodation is in a condominium, you as the tenant should pay a cost-based rent (kostnadsbaserad hyra). If there are more than one live-in tenant in the accommodation, the first one (that signed a contract) should pay a cost-based rent and the second one, should pay a rent based on use value (bruksvärdeshyra). If you feel unsure about your rent, you can always send us an e-mail for advice. 


It is common for landlords to ask for a deposit from the tenant as a safety measure. Normally this deposit is to make sure keys are returned, the state of the room and cleaning is done before the tenant moves out. It is important that you clearly state in the contract what the deposit regards so that the tenant knows what he/she has to fulfill in order to get the deposit back. Normally the deposit consists of one or two months’ rent. 


We always recommend that you as the tenant get your own home insurance. If you are an international student, check what your insurance from home covers and also what the general insurance from the university covers. 


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