The Labour Market and Social Welfare Board in Tyresö municipality is criticised in a case on income support for making a home visit to an apartment where, in addition to the person who had applied for assistance, the landlord (and others) also lived, without first obtaining the consent of the landlord

As part of an investigation into a woman’s right to income support, the Board carried out a home visit to an apartment where the woman rented a room. The woman’s landlord and the landlord’s children also lived in the apartment, which the Board knew. The woman consented to the home visit. During the home visit, staff from social services went around the apartment and some of the areas which were only at the disposal of the landlord and her children. The home visit was carried out without the Board having checked in advance with the landlord what her position was on this.

According the Chapter 2, section 6, of the Instrument of Government, everyone is protected against public intrusion into their home. The Parliamentary Ombudsman has stated in several previous decisions that the Board, in certain cases, may have a legitimate interest, in the context of an income support investigation, in carrying out a home visit to an individual’s home to gain an understanding of the individual’s assistance needs. In order for such a home visit to take place, however, it is necessary for the individual to give their consent to the measure. The Board must also ensure that it does not infringe the right of a third party to protection against public intrusion into their home when a home visit is carried out.

According to the Parliamentary Ombudsman, the Board should have checked with the landlord whether she consented to the home visit in so far as it concerned the areas that were not available to the woman applying for assistance. The Parliamentary Ombudsman also stressed that it is the Board’s responsibility to ensure consent is obtained and that it is not a task that can be imposed on the person applying for assistance. Nor can he or she give consent on someone else’s behalf.

Date of decision: 2024-01-26