Finding housing in Sweden is much more difficult than in other EU countries. Renting a house is having so much competition in Sweden that there is a specific black market for leasing the house or apartment on a long-term basis. You will have to struggle in finding the apartment in Malmö or Stockholm as these are the busiest cities. Foreigners who intend to live in Sweden for a longer period of time may opt for buying a house rather than being a part of this renting fray.
While you start to search for a house or apartment in Sweden, you will come across the terms known as first-hand and second-hand rentals. These two terms refer to the apartments rented directly from the landlord (first-hand rentals) or rented and/or sublet through a tenant (second-hand rentals). First-hand rentals are really scarce and in some famous areas, there might be years’ long waiting lists. Sublets or second-hand rentals may be the best option in this case, but you should know that you can be allowed to stay in that unit or house for only one year.
A great benefit of Swedish housing is that you can hardly go wrong with any type of housing situation. There are a lot of options in any area of the country to choose from, whether you are looking for an apartment in the countryside or in the city. You will have a lot of different options like standalone homes or high-rise apartments depending upon your choice. You can also find furnishes as well as unfurnished house and it depends upon the duration of your stay in Scandinavian or Nordic countries.
Average rent in Sweden
Swedish rental prices may vary widely depending upon whether you lived in rural or urban areas. It may differ greatly in different cities. However, rents are usually high and consume on average 30% of the salaries of the residents. To have control over rental prices, the Swedish government sets price caps of house rents every year. As a result, since 2000, rental prices haven’t increased above 2% annually. Most of the people prefer to live in the big 5 cities like Stockholm, Malmö, Gothenburg, Solna, or Uppsala. The minimum house rent in Sweden rarely dips below 10,700 SEK per month in most of the cities. Second-hand leases are more expensive than that of first-hand ones. According to a recent statistic, second-hand renting can cost you 65% more than first-hand renting.
Rental process in Sweden
Whether you are looking for a house on rent as a foreigner in Sweden or you are a native Swede, the biggest problem, in any case, is the lack of housing opportunities. This is the case in most of the Scandinavian countries and specifically in Swedish cities causing serious problems for students and expats.
You may find a first-hand lease or second-hand rentals. You need to have the personummer, an employment contract, and proof of enough income to afford the house in order to get the house on rent. If your income is too low according to the lender, then you may have to provide a guarantor.
A subletting rental will have similar requirements and procedures as that of the landlords. However, you need to ensure that second-hand leasing has been approved by the landlord otherwise it will be considered as illegal. If you caught in violation of this rule, then you may find yourself evicted.
In the meantime, while looking for a house on rent, you can opt for short-term rentals as the average price won’t vary much from annual rental prices in Sweden.