Sweden: Rent rebate scheme to support sectors affected by the COVID-19 outbreak

By Karin Tukiainen

04-2020

The COVID-19 virus outbreak has had a major economic impact across Sweden, especially on companies operating in the restaurant, hotel and retail sectors. In order to support otherwise viable companies through the crisis, and to reduce the number of jobs lost, the Swedish Government has presented several crisis packages with measures to reduce costs, strengthen liquidity and improve access to financing.

Among other generally applicable initiatives, a specific rent rebate scheme has been introduced for the hotel, restaurant and retail sectors. The scheme was approved by the European Commission under the State aid Temporary Framework on 15 April and the Government introduced the scheme on 16 April through the Regulation (SFS 2020:237) on state aid when certain tenants obtain a rent rebate ("Regulation").

The rent rebate scheme is designed for tenants that have had their revenues heavily decreased due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The scheme aims at weathering the sudden decrease in income, and at preserving the continuity of economic activity. In addition to restaurants, hotels and shops, the scheme also covers certain other sectors such as dentists and beauty salons.

According to the Regulation, if a landlord and a tenant agree on a rebate on the rent for the period between 1 April and 30 June, the Swedish state will cover a part of the rebate. Compensation may be paid up to 50% of the rebate, however not more than 25% of the ordinary rent amount. Tenants cannot obtain an advantage of more than 800,000 EUR and the scheme expires on 31 December 2020. In an amended budget, the Government has allocated 5 billion SEK (approximately EUR 453 million EUR) for the rent rebate scheme.

Compensation can be applied for by the landlords at the relevant county administrative board from 1 July 2020 until 31 August 2020.

Last reviewed: 28 April 2020