Swedish word of the day: ockerhyra

Swedish word of the day: ockerhyra
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
You'll want to be aware of this word, and what it represents, when apartment-hunting in Sweden.

Ockerhyra means 'overpriced rent'.

The word ocker means 'usury' and refers to crimes like loans with unfairly high interest rates or are otherwise unethical, especially when taking advantage of the victim being in a vulnerable situation.

Ockerhyra isn't part of the same Swedish law. It can be used in general to refer to overpriced rentals, whether they are legal or not. But in some cases ockerhyra is against the law. 

Hear how to pronounce it in the Tweet below:

Sweden regulates sublets strictly; in general you aren't supposed to rent for profit and landlords should only charge a 'reasonable' rent. That means you should pay no more than the amount the landlord pays, plus an additional 10-15 percent if the apartment is furnished, and fees for any other services included in the contract.

That's fairly easy to calculate if you're subletting from someone who rents the apartment themselves, but it's harder if your landlord owns the apartment. In that case, the basic rent can be calculated based on the market value calculated at a monthly rate, which might be worked out based on recently sold similar properties. Then, four percent is usually added on to cover the cost of capital.

So even if your landlord owns the property outright, they can charge you based on how much they would be paying for a brand new mortgage on it – which can be quite high in Sweden's current property market. Some people might refer to a highly priced sublet as ockerhyra even if the landlord is legally allowed to charge that amount.

If you suspect you have been a victim of ockerhyra, though, you can file a complaint with the Swedish Rent and Tenancy Tribunal, and may get your money back.

Examples

Många vill ha tillbaka pengar för ockerhyra

Many want their money back from overpriced renting

Han frågade 15.000 för en tvåa, är det inte ockerhyra?

He was asking for 15,000 kronor for a two-room apartment, isn't that a rip-off?


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