AF Bostäder has initiated the process of selling one third of the biggest Student Housing area in Lund, Vildanden. Two of the reasons behind the decision are that the apartments would need expensive repairs and that they don’t serve their purpose. It is yet unknown what the new stipulations will be or who the new buyer is.
By: Hedvig Wrede Translated by: Cecilia Eriksson
At the end of January, every student that is currently renting a residence at Vildanden received an email from AF Bostäder. The company has made the decision to sell one third of their apartments at Vildanden, 313 residences in total.
It is the family owned apartments at Vildanden that will no longer be student apartments, specifically the three and four bedroom apartments. According to AF Bostäder the reason for the decision is that the apartments will be in need of repairs within the near future, which will be better handled by another property-owner. These apartments aren’t considered up to the standards of today’s students, and selling the residences would help finance some of AF Bostäder’s new building projects.
A New Landlord – an Uncertain Future
With a new landlord, the stipulations will change for the residents. Nathalie Heed Torstensson is subletting a four-bedroom apartment at Vildanden with two friends and a dog. For her, and for others who are also subletting or has a dog, the future becomes uncertain after AF Bostäder makes its sale.
“I have no idea what is going to happen, especially if the new landlord renovates and then increases the rent. My position in the AF Bostäder’s rental queue isn’t the best and if you have a pet, a room in a corridor isn’t an option.
AF Bostäder ensures everyone who is currently living in apartments at Vildanden that they will get to stay after the sale. The rest will be decided in negotiations with the new property-owner.
“We still don’t know what the final negotiations with a possible buyer will result in. But there are certain rules we will follow, like the right of possession. Concerning a lot of things, the new owner might need to negotiate with each resident individually,” says Henrik Krantz, CEO of AF Bostäder.
Neither Henrik Krantz nor Pehr Andersson, chairperson of AF Bostäder, want to speculate about who the buyer will be or when the deal closes.
“We are gathering a number of different interested parties and we will take it from there. But we are certainly looking for a serious property-owner who has a good track record. We don’t know precisely when the deal will go through, but we are counting on it to happen sometime this spring,” says Pehr Andersson.
At the moment, it’s hard to predict what the future renting situation will look like for the current residents of the family owned apartments at Vildanden.
Residents: It’s up to Standards
In the email sent to their tenants, AF Bostäder writes that the bigger apartments at Vildanden are not ideal as student housing. The students interviewed by Lundagård disagree.
“I understand it would be costly for AF Bostäder to improve all of the apartments, but I don’t believe their decision is made because of the changed demands from students,” says Johannes Mortenlind who is living with his partner in a three-bedroom apartment at Vildanden. Johannes Mortenlind says that many students are looking for somewhere quieter to live at the end of their studies, which is something that has been provided by the family owned apartments at Vildanden.
Nathalie Heed Torstensson agrees with the fact that the three- and four-bedroom apartments has important functions.
“The apartments are close to nature and are great for those who have children or pets. You could say they are well suited for collective living, and there are no drunk students running around all the time,” she says.
Henrik Krantz says AF Bostäder chooses where students live based on the company’s rental queue and where the students in the queue want to live.
“I’m sure the residents at Vildanden are happy where they are, but we take our queue into account and where the students would most rather like to live. In those cases, Vildanden is not a top priority, it is usually last. Our mission is to offer affordable and purposeful student housing, not to live up to the demands of those who have finished their studies.
Understandable that AF Won’t Invest
Max Dagerman is currently living in a four-bedroom apartment at Vildanden with two friends. He understands AF Bostäder’s decision, but, much like Johannas Mortenlind and Nathalie Heed Torstensson, he claims that the apartments work fine as student housing.
“The apartments are working very well as a collective home at a favourable rent, but I suppose there is a need to renovate in different ways. Considering the fact that Blekingska Nation is moving to Väster and that the student life out here will phase out, I understand why AF Bostäder doesn’t want to invest in Vildanden. It’s a bit sad, but probably mostly for nostalgic reasons,” says Max Dagerman.