The students' own tenant association - with no monthly fee
Kårservice negotiates, together with residents’ associations, the terms of rent, maintenance and renovations with Studentbostäder i Linköping AB, ByggVesta Bo AB and Studentbo i Norrköping AB. We also negotiate conflicts between specific tenants and the landlord.
There are residents' associations in most student housing areas (Linköping) or student properties (Norrköping). Those who live in the area or property act as council members. Kårservice's negotiating team invites these associations to participate in reference groups during the rent negotiations.
How does it work?
Kårservice has a written negotiation agreement with all the landlords. This agreement regulates with whom the landlord should negotiate and what the procedure are for these rent negotiations – ground rules for the negotiations.
All our negotiation agreements state that the leasing year is from July 1st to June 30th. (The municipal housing companies and most other property owners have a leasing year from January 1st to December 31st.) This means that any changes in rent normally take place on July 1st, so that you have the same rent for the whole academic year. We believe that this arrangement is beneficial to students because most are planning their future and finances based on the academic year.
The landlord initiates negotiations
Normally the landlord initiates the rent negotiations in January or February if they want to raise the rent for the next rental year. In Linköping, we negotiate separately with Studentbostäder and ByggVesta Bo. In Norrköping, Studentbo usually negotiates both for themselves and for other property owners in Norrköping who have student housing.
We put together a negotiating team and a reference group for each negotiation that is initiated by the landlords. The reference group consists of representatives from the residents' associations at the concerned properties.
The negotiations begin
At the first negotiation meeting, the landlord usually reviews the results of the previous year and then presents their arguments for how much and why they need to raise the rent. Common causes are inflation, increases in taxes, increases in interest rates and increased costs for electricity, water, heating and garbage collection.
Particular attention is usually placed on renovations. In student housing, this is part of the rent (this is not always the case for the municipal companies and private landlords). This is also the cost that the property owner can influence to the greatest extent, by deciding what they should or should not do during the year.
The negotiations proceed
The parties normally meet several times to discuss and negotiate the material that the landlord has presented as a basis for their position, as well as the material our negotiating team produces to strengthen our counterarguments.
Between these negotiations meetings, our negotiating team meets to discuss the material. We try to find more facts and decide how to convince the other party to see the issues from our perspective. The negotiating team also has meetings with the reference group to inform them and discuss the material with the residents' associations.
Finally, the parties find a compromise acceptable to both and sign a negotiated agreement. The negotiations are typically completed in mid or late May.