Finding a rental in Sweden

Finding a rental property in Sweden can be very tricky. In the major cities like Stockholm and Gothenburg rentals are in high demand and very competitive. Arriving in Sweden I did underestimate how difficult it was trying to land a longterm rental, which is why I felt obliged to share my experiences with others who are moving to Sweden.

How can I find a rental property in Sweden?

First hand contract

Finding a first hand contract in Sweden is like stumbling across the Holy Grail. A first hand contract means you are renting your apartment off a company that owns the entire complex. The benefit of a first hand contract is stability, as the apartment is yours for however long need it. The rent you pay per month is also much less than you will find if you are renting from a private owner. 

In order to obtain a first hand contract you will need to basically sit on a waiting list from the organisation that places people in these apartments. If you are moving to Gothenburg Boplats is where you will need to register. Boplats works by calculating the number of days you have been registered and gives those priority who have been waiting for the longest period of time. A word of warning, unless you have 8-10 years to wait for a centrally located apartment in Gothenburg then kiss this option goodbye.

It is vary rare that you will find a person giving up a first hand contract. Most people will pass them down to family members or gain permission to sub-lease their apartment. It is of no surprise that there is a housing shortage, there is not enough people passing up their rentals and with limited new apartments being built, the waiting list becomes ridiculous.


Sub-leasing is really the only option you have if you don't have a chance of obtaining a first hand contract. Blocket is the best place to look for a private lease, however this is also very competitive and in some cases risky. Be suspicious of a property that is to good to be true and make sure you actually see the apartment and sign a contract before handing over any money. It is normal for people to take a total of one months rent as a security deposit however, if they are asking for anymore upfront I would recommend walking away from the deal. There are plenty of people that will prey on peoples desperation in these situations. There are loads of cases of people handing over money for apartments that simply do not exist.

My tip would be to stalk apartments that get released on Blocket daily, make sure you are quick to contact the owners of the apartments as they will probably receive like 200 emails in the first few hours. One apartment that I rented, the guy told me that I was like the third email he received and he only read the first 10 before making his decisions. Don't waste your time contacting owners who had their apartments listed for more than a few days, they would have received a tonne of emails and yours will be just get lost amongst them all.

If you have a partner who is Swedish, get them to write up an email template that you can just copy and paste once the apartments are released. This saves you time and energy if your Swedish is a little dusty. My opinion is that you will get a better response if your contact them in Swedish, so do utilise your Swedish parter if you have one in this situation.

If you are lucky enough to get a call from Blocket and you have a chance to meet the owners, come prepared with income statements and also references of previous apartments that you have rented. Even if these are in English it will make you look a little more credible than just turing up without any information about yourself. It is a must that you can actually show you have a steady income if you are going to have a shot of gaining a lease. Do also make yourself look presentable, basic I know but this will leave a better impression with the owners.

I understand the pressure of trying to rent in Sweden, so if you do have any further questions feel free to drop me a comment and I will do my best to answer them.

1 comment:

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