(Bloomberg) -- One of Sweden’s biggest landlords has turned to its tenants to help conserve cash in the face of a sector-wide jump in financing costs.
Privately owned Heimstaden Bostad AB wants to hike the rent for 6,000 apartments in the Southern town of Malmo by 2%, only about five months after reaching a deal to increase rents by 5%. In Sweden, rents are usually negotiated annually by landlords and the tenants association.
“Rent levels must reflect cost trends over time,” Heimstaden’s Chief Investment Officer Christian Fladeland said in emailed comments. With tenants having benefited from low costs in recent years, it’s “natural they also take part in the cost increases during this time,” he added.
Like other landlords in Sweden and beyond, Heimstaden amassed a sizable debt pile via the bond market in the era of ultra-low interest rates. The property firm “has significant debt maturing over the next two-to-three years of more than 56 billion Swedish kronor ($5.2 billion),” S&P Global Ratings said at the end of last year when it revised its outlook on the company to negative.
The company has “good control” over its interest costs thanks to a strong liquidity position, long loan periods and high degree of fixed interest rates, Fladeland said. The firm has also bought back 20 billion kronor of bonds since last summer, he added.
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