me, myself & andrei

06 Feb 2009
Open letter to Svenska Bostäder

To: Svenska Bostäder
Re: Survey on security camera in Kista Ärvingevägen 14-16

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am one of your tenants, yet I am writing more as a concerned citizen than a tenant.

Last week, you started to survey your tenants, at least the ones in Ärvingevägen 14-16 (Kista) regarding the option to have security cameras installed on the premises. You mentioned that the premises’ public order has been disturbed in a variety of ways and that people complained about it.

1. As a tenant (from August 2008 until March 2009) I can confirm those complaints to the following extent:
- during the first couple of weeks of staying here, public trash bins have been used instead of the garbage dump and miljöstation
- during Christmas, when the garbage dump and miljöstation were out of order, public trash bins were used once again improperly, and garbage bags were left outside the miljöstation, making it possible for it to be dispersed by wind
- once there has a small party, only to get one aware of it, but not to disturb anyone
- people don’t keep the entrance tidy, nor the laundry rooms and laundry machines

  • ** 2. Please allow me to counteract the above.**

I will first mention that although you mentioned in your letter that you had several attempts to counteract the unpleasant actions, I cannot think of any, if there was any public attempt.

During the past few years, there has been an increase in immigrants to Sweden. At least, that is way too clear in Kista, and in the Ärvingevägen dorms as well.
Due to this, one cannot expect the immigrant tenants to know where the garbage dump is, or what a miljöstation is.
Around the dorm premises there is absolutely no sign that explains how this works, yet I see that you demand that they are used properly.
There is no sign of where to find these facilities, or how to use them. Maybe you think that it is common knowledge, yet it is not.
Even I (EU citizen; after being in and out of Sweden for 7 years now) had to take 2 days to figure out where these facilities are located. Needless to say how non-EU people tackled this.

During Christmas, when the garbage dump and miljöstation were out of order, it took you 3! weeks to put a notice letting us know what to do with the garbage.
Once again, it may be common knowledge for the residents to use the metal container, yet it is not for people that arrived here a few months before, and barely figured out how to use the miljöstation.
3 weeks. Exactly my limit. On the same day, I took it upon me to inform my fellow tenants about what to do with the garbage.
As you can see from the image attachment, your sign lacked the GREEN marker, because it was photocopied. Nobody saw where the container was on the map.
And your map, although theoretically good, it doesn’t show the Ärvingevägen building, which would be at the top-right corner
Above all, the container was not _beside_. I don’t want to compare the sheet on the left (mine), but I would say it conveys the message quicker and properly (since the notice was put on a door that people use for a few seconds, while they rush out of the dorms).

Regarding the entrance, I cannot even count how many mailboxes have the sticker “Ingen reklam!”
Yet, we still get newspapers that we don’t want, and flyer’s and so on. It’s inevitable that people just get sick and take their mail, while they throw away the advertisements!

And regarding the laundry room.. Once again, after 1 month of staying here, I had to take it on me and print translations for using the washing machine and the tumble dryers.
Once again, you need to understand that there is a considerable number of young people that either didn’t see a washing machine in their life, or if they did, it was their parents that used it. And I’m not being sarcastic here.
Keeping the laundry room tidy falls under the same category. I have cleaned it every time I was there, and I found it both clean and messy. Should I have complained? To what outcome?

Other than the above, I have no witnessed any other problem, and I admit on my own that I have a good critique eye.

  • ** 3. A few solutions**

Instead of wasting money on “security cameras”, which actually are “surveillance cameras” and instead of letting yourself fall in the trap of the Big Brother, why not:
- send someone now and then, and kindly ask a few tenants about their lives here, if there’s any problem now and then.. Once again, lots of people are just not at ease to phone the landlord and complain. Some have it in their minds that this won’t solve anything, some are shy, some are not that good at English - and unfortunately the houselord’s English is not that good either.
- put posters at all entrances that explain where the garbage dump is, where the miljöstation is, what’s the purpose of the miljöstation, etc
- put posters that make it clear that the those tenants that do not want advertisements should buy a “Ingen reklam” sticker, and also let the advertisement-people know that the residents of this house do not want advertisements at any costs, if they have the sticker on
- put posters that make it clear that it is each one’s responsibility to keep the place, and especially the laundry room as clean as possible.. that there is a mop, a broom, etc, etc
- maybe instate a cleaning-shift to clean the laundry room, once every month, and that complaints made on that day will be accounted
- let us know that if we find the laundry room in an improper state, we should.. take a photo, or just write a complaint. I’m sure you can track down which key has been used to book the time-slot before the complaining person went in. Give warnings, fees to the people that are found responsible for the unpleasant actions.
- let the tenants know that is not actually ok to use the ICA or COOP trolleys to bring their goods home and leave them around on the premises

  • ** 4. Come forward!**

Make a step and say “It is a good business to have you here, and we would like all of you to have a pleasant experience here. Tell us what we are missing here. Tell us why people do this, do that”
Most people are aware that Sweden is genuinely a good place to live in. But that was and still is because of a good mass of concerned people that take initiative. It is surely not the “troubled” tenants wish to have the garbage dispersed all around, or to leave the place in a bad shape. Some people are reckless, but that can be fixed. Bad intentions can never be fixed! Only suppressed. Fortunately, I don’t think this is the case here.

So please take a step in the right direction. Surveillance cameras, I’m afraid, are not that step.

With an open heart and mind!
Thank you for your time reading this!

Med vänliga hälsningar,


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