In Stockholm there are 2 kinds of apartments: rentals (hyresrätt) and private (bostadsrätt).
Unlike in other places, a rental apartment in Sweden comes with a whole bucket of rights and privileges. Basically it boils down to this – if you pay your rent, you can live there forever. You call somebody when stuff breaks and (usually) they come and fix it. You have a laundry room you can use free of charge. You have free hot water and central heating. You can even swap your rental for another rental, or swap two against one if you want to move together with somebody. A nice, fine, squeaky-clean system for a calm and peaceful existence.
Then there are private apartments (bostadsrätt). Even though you own the apartment, you still pay a service charge, which can sometimes be substantial. When something breaks – tough, you’re paying for it. And you have a sizeable bank loan to pay off every month. Of course you can sell the flat and earn money, but you also need to spend that money – and more – to buy a new slot on the capitalist roundabout.
There is one way to break free of this vicious circle, which I did last year – I sold a private apartment and, because I was on the Stockholm housing queue for 6 years, could get a nice rental. Now I am 100% debt-free and loving it.
Last month the right wing alliance got into power. These guys hate rental apartments – they fucking hate them! It is possible, you see, to convert a rental apartment to a private one, by buying it out. It is a tricky process, and the whole building has to agree, but it means that you can buy the flat you are renting for half the market value.
The right wing, of course, love this. Private ownership! Free market! And so on. But the only real reason for converting an apartment in this way is to make cash. It dismantles the rental system, forces people to borrow money to exist, ensures that only those capable of getting bank loans can live in certain areas, and tosses red meat to the real-estate feeding-frenzy that is inner-city Stockholm.
You see arguments every day as to why private ownership is so much better – more choice, market prices, even that it reduces segregation. What? The right parties go on constantly about “choice”. Choice is so fucking fantastic (until you realise that rich people, like them, get to choose far more than I do). And yet here are these maggots working day and night to take away my choice to live in a rental!
I saw an article today by a right-wing emigrant, and this complete tool went on about how he had the right to buy his apartment. His apartment? Since when is it “his”? It’s a fucking rental , you dick! You got a rental when you arrived in Stockholm because the system existed to give it to you, and lucky for you that it did! And now suddenly it’s “yours”, and you want to buy it up so that nobody ever again will be offered the same deal that you were, a painless way to get a roof over your head?
If you get your way, then all future generations of immigrants will be forced to get a bank loan to get the opportunity you got for free. So screw you, you complete and utter turd.
Note: It has taken me only 3 weeks to develop this unexpected level of hatred for the new right-wing alliance. I now despise the wankers with every bone in my body, as they slowly take apart only the very few good things that the previous bunch of (social democratic) wankers had neglected to remove. It’s all gone from bad to bad in a slightly different way.
/ paddy (all fired up and nowhere to go)