AF Bostäder has developed a new rent model based on the customers’ appraisals of their housing. The switch to the new rents began in 2019, after an agreement with the Swedish Union of Tenants (Hyresgästföreningen) and will take several years to complete. Due to a sensitive approach and thorough preparations, the change can be implemented with no hassle for customers.
Rent models are used in the appraisal and rent-setting of rented property. In Sweden, a number of different rent models are applied, as needs and appraisals differ between cities, districts and types of housing.
“Students value qualities and services differently compared to families with young children, for example”, says Claes Hjortronsteen, Rental Manager at AF Bostäder. “As views on student housing also change over time, the rent model should be updated regularly.”
“Rent models have a tendency to be complicated and based on a number of different combinations of housing qualities,” says Claes Hjortronsteen. “This is with the good intention of making the rent as fair as possible. However, there is a risk that the customers can’t follow it and rent-setting becomes incomprehensible. Instead, we are striving for simplicity and want the model to have as few qualities as possible. It is to be fair, but also easy to understand.”
Due to the annual customer satisfaction index survey, Nöjd Studbo (SKI), complementary questionnaires and discussions with customers, AF Bostäder has a good picture of what is important for the students regarding housing. The students want clean housing, preferably with a practical kitchen so that they can cook together and, not least, a rent that includes everything.
“Based on the students’ wishes and views, the new rent model uses a standard that describes the basic qualities of the accommodation,” says Claes Hjortronsteen. “If specific housing has a lower or higher standard, this is reflected in the rent. The overall results mean both rent reductions and increases for housing.”
“The rent transition is a considerable undertaking internally that is being implemented over several years. We have prepared thoroughly so that the customers will be affected as little as possible. The tenants concerned have received notification of the new rents in good time before the adjustment and no one will need to be affected by price rises in their current housing. Even though the new agreement with Hyresgästföreningen applies as of 1 July 2019, any rent increases will not be introduced before a change of tenants at the housing. On the other hand, we have already introduced the reductions,” concludes Claes Hjortronsteen.
Latest update April 6, 2020