Keeping apartment after breakup

FRÅGA
Hi, I have been together with my sambo for almost 10 years. We have lived in Sweden together for about 7 years. My sambo supports me financially. I just received my permanent residence permit which was tied to my sambo's application. He had to prove that he could support me financially and that we would be living together. Before that I was here on a permit which was also tied to his for the same reasons. My sambo purchased our apartment and he is listed as the sole owner, but we moved in to it together at the same time and the intent was for us to both live in together. We have lived in this apartment for 6 years now. A couple weeks ago my sambo left the apartment without warning and texted me that he wants to end the relationship. He has stopped giving me any money. He is now trying to get me to force me to leave the apartment and I have no where else to go and hardly any money since. He is not offering me any help or support. Do I have any legal rights in this situation? Can he force me to leave the apartment? If I do leave do I have any financial rights to the property? Thank you.
SVAR

Hello!

Thank you for turning to Lawline with this question

Sambo relationships are regulated by the eponymous law, Sambolagen. This law contains a few statutes that might be of help in this situation.

Residency permit

From your question I understand that your residency permit was tied to your ex-sambo. This might mean that you risk losing it. You should contact the Migration Authority as soon as possible to ensure you are allowed to stay in Sweden. Usually there is a requirement of self-support or being supported by a family member, spouse or sambo. I suspect you will need to arrange some form of income.

Also, if you choose to leave Sweden, you will lose you permit after a while.

Concerning the apartment

The sambo law states that the apartment is sambo-property (3, 5 § Sambolagen). This is because you moved into it together, with the intent of living in it together while involved in a relationship of romantic nature. This means that you have rights to the apartment. The question is rather who has better rights to it.

When a sambo relationship ends, either party can request within one year that all sambo-property be divided between the former sambos (8 § Sambolagen). When dividing property in this manner it might be possible to stay in the apartment as an interim solution. Also, there are rules against unreasonable results to this type of event (15 § Sambolagen), so I doubt that he can have you evicted when you have nowhere else to go. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis, though. If you manage to keep the right to live in the apartment, you will need to compensate your ex-sambo for its value.

In the unlikely event that you fail to prove that the apartment is sambo-property, you can demand make a 22 §-request to overtake it. This means however that you will need to compensate your ex-sambo for its value. Unless you have children, the chance of this being successful is low. It is important that you make this request within three months of the end of the relationship, else your right to make these requests expires.

My advice

You are in a very difficult situation. First try to see if our residency permit is going to remain.

Second, the part with the apartment will require you to get legal counsel if you can not reach an agreement. Therefore, I advise you to get a source of income soon. Arbetsförmedlingen, the Swedish public employment agency, will be of great assistance to you in this regard. They can help you apply for financial support, direct you to other agencies in case you need it, and help you find a job. There's also the chance that you can find legal counsel to help you pro bono. This depends on sheer luck however.

Having a steady income will gives you a lot of advantage to your current situation. You should apply for unemployment benefit as soon as possible, and start searching for a job. Meanwhile you should try to reach a settlement with your ex-sambo. Most likely you will be allowed to stay in the apartment, but at a steep cost in compensations to him. Devise a plane to pay of this debt in instalments. He clearly has got somewhere to stay, so your chances are good here.

The worst-case scenario might be that you need to consider returning to your home country. Contact your family to see if they can help you with legal costs or other costs that arise.

I wish you the best of luck and look forward to any other questions you might have

Yours sincerely,

Adam Novak
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