Migrants have been living rent-free in Norsjö, Sweden, for over two years, according to local media.
Officials are developing individual repayment plans to retroactively claim the 717,314 SEK ($75,436) in missed rents while also blaming themselves for failing to send rental leases, giving the new arrivals the benefit of the doubt.
“You might think you should react when you don't get a [rental lease],” said the municipal councilor. “But on the other hand, it is also our responsibility that the tenants [receive them]. Therefore, we are very cautious about what we will demand in times, sums and interest rates.”
“But it must be paid back.”
In the final report, it was found that the city forgot to charge the migrants rent from October 2016 to February 2019.
The cause of the “incredibly unfortunate” oversight was pinpointed to failed practices that officials have ensured won’t happen again, says city manager Katarzyna Wikström.
“This is incredibly unfortunate and we have not had enough routines,” said Wikström. “It has been thought that it worked despite the fact that it has not.”
“This is a mistake that affects people who have not had a clue that they have suffered this. We do not want to make such mistakes, but we must ensure that it works.”
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