HOW TO AVOID FRAUDS - The Ultimate Guide



Frauds related with rentals are more or less common in whole Sweden, especially in areas where there a few available places to rent, like Stockholm. In addition, some tenants might become frustrated after realizing that finding accommodation it is not as easy as they were expecting. These circumstances and the lack of information, makes the Stockholm rental market a target for scammers.

In this post, we explain the most common scams, so everyone can recognize a fraud, and avoid it.

Types of Scams

In our journey to find flat or room in Stockholm we might find different types of frauds, also called ‘scams’. In this section we will focus on the most common cases.

Email/online deposit

With no doubts, the most common type of scam is the one we call ‘email/online deposit’ (in advance). In this case, the scammer pretends to be a landlord who is abroad. He usually pretends to be in countries such as UK, Ireland or Egypt. The most common excuse to explain why the landlord is in a foreign country: work. He might explain that he had to move there due to an unexpected job assignment.

In this case the scammer sends you an email with a (fake) ID information (passport), pretending to prove his identity. You might think this is legit, but unfortunately, it is not. Professional scammers normally gather passports from other frauds’ victims. So, the passport scammer is sending to you was probably stolen.

 




You will start a conversation with the landlord that looks legit. they can ask you about where you work and why you need to rent, then they will send you some photos (probably just stolen from a legit rental posted online)

Then the landlord will ask you for your passport to “prepare the contract”, that way even if you don’t proceed with the payment, they will have a copy of your passport to use in their next scam.

After some emails back and forth, the fake landlord will always ask you to pay a deposit in advance. Moreover, the payment is normally a wire transfer to a UK account, or using services like Western Union. You need to know that these payment services do not allow you to get your money back.






To recap, these are the warning signs:

  1. Landlord is abroad, so, he cannot schedule a viewing of the rental.
  2. You need to pay the deposit through either wire transfer to UK or Western Union.
  3. Landlord is pushing to close the deal (fraud) quickly.
  4. Monthly rent is lower than market price (too good to be truth).

Note: The pictures provided in this scam example are from a real scam. 



Meet and greet deposit

Unlike the email/online deposit scam, in this type of scam you get to see the property.
After contacting with the (fake) landlord and getting all the information you need (address, rent, deposit...), he will schedule a viewing.

During the viewing he will show the flat or room, so the tenant will be convinced that landlord wants to rent out the property. Once the tenant is happy and reaches an agreement (moving date, deposit and rent), the landlord will ask the tenant to pay a deposit (usually in cash) before moving. After the tenant pays the deposit in advance, the person who showed the apartment will be nowhere to be found and not contactable.

In this case, the tenant should be cautious. The viewing is important since tenant can verify that the property exists, however, it is not enough to guarantee that it is a legit deal. Therefore, a tenant should never pay before signing the contract, and double checking that the landlord’s information stated in the contract is exactly the same than the one in the provided documents (id card).


 Sophisticated Meet and greet deposit

This is a variant of the scam described above. In this case, once the tenant has paid the deposit, the landlord give her the keys.

When tenant turns up at the property, she discovers that the keys do not work and the landlord is no longer contactable. The tenant may also arrive at the same time as other “tenants”, who were equally scammed.


In both Meet and greet variations, the key elements to detect that is a scam:
  1. The landlord usually just tries to convince you to rent but you will notice that they ask little about you… and you know that a property is legit when the landlord wants to know everything about you because he wants to be sure that you are the right tenant.
  2. After making the viewing, they propose to pay a deposit BEFORE signing the contract
  3. In case that you sign the contract, they will ask you for your ID but they will not show you theirs to see that all matches
  4. The deposit has to be paid in Cash
  5. Landlord is pushing to close the deal (fraud) quickly.
  6. Monthly rent is lower than market price (too good to be true).
Are all services equally safe?

There are multiple services a tenant might use in order to find accommodation in Stockholm. However, we can classify in 4 different groups: high-touch agencies, online agencies, ad websites and social networks. All groups have pros and cons, and it is important to understand how they work, so we know what to expect.

The chances to find frauds depends on how easy it is for a scammer is publish fake properties, so, potential tenants contact him.

It is important to understand how much effort each service group makes when it comes to fraud detection and prevention.

  • High-touch agencies: company which handles all rental process. They talk personally with the landlord, check the property before renting it, and arrange viewings for potential tenants. They also provide assistance with the contract and the house insurance.

  • Online agencies: companies with websites where landlords post their properties. They usually perform landlord validation in order to avoid frauds. They offer the properties online, after the tenant has signed up and provided personal information. Some of them offer free contract samples.

  • Ad websites: websites where everyone can post an ad. They usually have an accommodation section, where landlords post their properties. In this case the validation is not as accurate as in other services, such as high-touch agencies or online agencies.

  • Social networks: there are specific groups where people look for a rental offers. Landlords posts their properties in these groups and people contact them, usually by sending PMs (private messages).


The safest places you might use are high-touch agencies. They usually are in touch with landlords, so, they have his personal information, and they normally visit the rental before offering it to tenants. These services also provide assistance with the contract and home insurance.

The opposite side are social networks like Facebook. You might find interesting groups where people post available flats and rooms. The problem here is that social networks like Facebook do not perform any control on the rental offers, so, the responsibles of double checking that the  rental is legit are the admins and the users. Therefore, unless the rental post it clearly looks like a fraud, the scammer will get a lot of private messages before being reported and banned from the group.

Most scams you might find will come from social networks. This is due the is a lack of control and the easiness of creating fake user accounts.

Here you have a list of different places and the risk to find frauds:

  • Low or 0 risk: high-touch or online agencies such as Qasa, Samtrygg or Akademisk Kvart (a student service mainly for rooms).

  • Medium-Low risk: ad websites such as Blocket. We need to say here that Blocket is working hard on this issue. They gather more information about the landlord and they just allow landlords to pay with Swedish credit cards. Moreover, users can report the ad. If that happens, the ad will be removed in a few minutes.

  • Medium risk: online services with poor landlord information control. This allows fake landlord to gather fake information (ex: flat/room pictures) and easily post a fake rental in their sites.

  • High risk: social networks (e.g. Facebook)




Golden Rules to avoid Scams

These are some tips that will definitely help you to avoid frauds:

  1. Ask always for the landlord personal information. The information you need is: name, surname, phone number and id (personnummer).

  1. Double check that the provided address really exists. You can user services such as Eniro or Google Maps.

  1. Googling name and surname of the landlord might help you to find people who has reported this person in previous frauds. You might find this information in blogs and forums.

  1. Never send your scanned id (passport). This id can be used in future frauds.

  1. Never pay the deposit before the viewing and signing the contract.

  1. Sometimes, legit landlords ask for the deposit transfer in advance. Normally, this is due personal circumstances of either the landlord or the tenant. If this happens, you should use safe payment services, such as PayPal or wire transfers to Swedish accounts.

  1. Never pay in cash. Paying in cash means that it is really difficult to track the payment. If you have any issue with the landlord, it will be very difficult to prove you have paid.




Useful links
eniro.se and hitta.se (to check the landlord’s address)
Swedish Police (Swedish)



Rent a room in Stockholm - Students Edition

Are you a student looking for a room in Stockholm?

Maybe you already heard some horror stories about how difficult it is to find a room in Stockholm but we have your back, it’s difficult but it can be done if you do it right ;)

So here you have a step by step guide that will help you find a room.

Rent room stockholm


Initial things to keep in mind

Location
  • Stockholm is not so big and the public transportation works really well, so don’t get obsessed with getting a room in front of your university. Instead, just check in Google maps the time to go from the room that you are checking to your campus. If you look for rooms in a broader area you will have more chances to get one.

Monthly Rent
  • The average price range for rooms is 3000 SEK to 6000 SEK a month (additional expenses can be included or not, remember to ask the landlord about that)

  • Rooms in the center of the city can cost monthly up to 9000 SEK, so if your budget is in the 3000-4000s, then it’s better that you look a bit further.

Safety
  • Although the majority of rentals posted online are legit, you will sporadically find some “bad people” out there.

  • Just follow these simple rules and you will be safe:
    • Never pay before signing the contract
    • Ask the landlord for his personal id when signing the contract to validate his information (he will do the same with you so don't be shy).
    • Pay the deposit only to a Swedish bank account

Finding available rooms

We are going to check in-depth some of the most well known webs to find available rooms.
If you know another website with rooms and want us to add an analysis of them just let us know!

Ready? Let's check these websites and how to (step by step) use them properly:


Blocket


Blocket is probably the most well known website to find a rental in Stockholm. On average more than 100 rentals are posted there daily only in Stockholm, and a big part of them rooms.

But this is also the place where most tenants are looking for rentals, so you have to be smart to get one here.

blocket bostad stockholm

How to succeed on Blocket

To get a room using Blocket you will need 2 things:

1. Be sure that the landlord sees your email

A landlord receives more than 50 emails in the first 30 minutes after he posts his property on Blocket. Therefore, if you want “to be seen” by him, you have to apply (send him an email showing interest) extremely fast.

And with fast I mean: Less than 5 minutes after a property is posted on Blocket. If you apply later than that, your email will be buried in the inbox, and the landlord will never see it.

I know, it’s crazy and it shouldn't be like that, so we decided to build a tool that will help you with that: Easy Rental.

With Easy Rental you will be notified via email (or even better via mobile notifications if you use the mobile app) each time that a new property listed on Blocket matches your filters. The app allows you to apply extra fast (only 1 tap), but if you don't have an Android phone check out this post so that you can still be faster than average.

The idea is simple, you will know immediately when a room is available and therefore you will be able to apply in a few seconds without having to refresh Blocket manually every single minute.


2. Convince the landlord that you are THE tenant

Now that you are fast as a lightning, landlords will see your email. So, they will take it into consideration.

Now you have to convince the landlord in a few lines that you are the ideal tenant.

In order to write your rental application (the text that you will send to the landlord), just put yourself into the landlord’s shoes: Imagine you were a landlord, what would your perfect tenant look like?
Now you know what to write.

For additional tips about writing good rental applications also check this post.


The best way to convince a landlord: Stand out from the crowd

Landlords have so many tenants to choose from that just writing a good rental application is often not enough. To get a reply from a landlord you have to STAND OUT from the crowd.

To help you stand out, we created "your tenant profile". It is also part of Easy Rental: when you sign up you will set up the alerts (to be fast) and your profile (to stand out).


The idea is that you can have an extended description of yourself with plenty of information and a beautiful photo to complement your rental application.

We noticed that the photo really makes a difference when you want to stand out. You stop being just "another email address" and suddenly you have a face that the landlord will remember.

So write a compelling rental application and add your tenant profile link at the end of the email to guarantee that you truly stand out:

Blocket application form, add your profile url at the bottom to stand out from the crowd

Following up

It goes without saying that if you get a reply from a landlord, you must reply him back as fast as possible!

Usually, landlords send 3 or 4 emails to the tenants that they think are more interesting, if the first one answering looks good after a phone call or a visit, he will get the place.

As you can see, getting a reply is difficult, so don’t waste the opportunity by replying late!


Facebook


Facebook is becoming more and more popular as a place to find a rental in Stockholm.

Everything happens in Facebook groups, usually you have to join them first, wait until you are accepted by the admin (from hours to days depending of the group), and then you can post your demands or reply through a private message to landlords posting rentals.



There are dozens of Facebook groups where you can find available rooms, we listed below the ones with more activity at the time of writing this post:

Since using these groups is not really intuitive, let’s check that step by step.

First join all the groups of the list in order to increase your chances.

Once you are accepted you can do 2 things: Apply to a post or Post your rental request.


Apply to a Facebook post

If you see an interesting room, to contact the landlord you have to do 2 things:

1. Send her a private message (“PM”) showing your interest. To do that place your mouse over the name of the person that posted the rental, a pop up will be displayed, now click in “message”.


When you write the message, you will see that the traditional “facebook chat window” is opened with your message there as the beginning of the conversation, if they reply you will see that in the chat window.

2. The second thing to do, which is optional, is to reply the post saying “PM”
PM means: I sent you a private message, please check it.

A tenant PMing the person that posted the room

This is because your message could go to the “others” chat folder (we will see that later), so replying with PM in the post is a good way to remind the landlord to check the “other” folder.


Post your rental request in the group

You can also proactively post in the group defining what you are looking for.



Usually tenants don’t write really long messages, maximum a couple of paragraphs long.

If you try to write a longer text, Facebook will hide part of the message under a “read more” link, so be careful about the length and put the most important things at the beginning!


Make your Facebook post stand out

Your Easy Rental tenant profile is going to help you in Facebook as well. Why is that?

Your profile picture will be properly displayed into the Facebook post, so in addition to your brief presentation text you will have a big photo, your name and some of your profile details displayed there.

All this will draw the landlord’s attention. Then he can just click in the photo and see your full profile that will give him enough information to realize the you are the one he was looking for!

Standing out like a pro

In summary: The combination of a one paragraph presentation text and the link to your profile at the bottom is the best strategy to stand out.


Being contacted in Facebook

Now you are going to be the one receiving PMs (private messages) from landlords, so you have to check your “other” folder quite often. Sometimes they will even put the words "PM" in your post, in order to remember you that.

To do it just go to the chat bubble icon in the topbar of facebook, and click in the small link that says “other” (and that I am sure is the first time in your life that you see it ;)

In black and bold, the link to "Other" messages, surprise!


Followups in Facebook

Remember that a fast follow-up is key.

To do that, download the Facebook and Facebook Messenger mobile apps (yes it's two different apps...), to be alert at any moment and manage everything on the fly.


Akademisk Kvart


Akademisk Kvart was created by the joint effort of universities, student unions and the city of Stockholm.

The steps to succeed here are pretty much the same as in Blocket:

- Be extremely fast (With Easy Rental you will also receive alerts when a property is listed in Akademisk Kvart).
- Stand out sending a good rental application with your profile link in it.
- Follow up fast!


Last minute solutions


If you persevere and follow the steps listed before you should be able to find a room to stay, but if you ran out of time you can go for one of these solutions:

Look for a short term rental in Blocket or Facebook
Everyone is looking for a long term rental (more than 6 months) so if you aim for a short term one (one or two months) there will be less competition. Once you are in Stockholm you will have some more time to keep looking.

Airbnb
Airbnb is a website where you can find really short term rentals, usually up to 15 days. It's aimed for tourism but at least you can get a place to land and buy yourself some time until you find a long term room.

Couchsurfing
Couchsurfing is a thrilling community where people share their places with travellers for a short period of time. It’s another good way to have somewhere to land until you get your own place.


Last thoughts


Remember: Be fast, stand out from the crowd, and follow up as fast as possible.

And to greatly increase your chances of getting a room, signup to Easy Rental, you can use it for free and after you find a place you have the option to pay what you want (including zero of course).

Thousand of students get a room every year to study in the beautiful Stockholm so persevere and don't lose your motivation. It can be done and it's going to be worth it, trust me ;)




How to apply much faster to Blocket ads

Applying very fast to Blocket rental ads is critical to get replies from the landlords. In this 6-step guide we look at how to send our applications more efficiently by autofilling the form to send an email to the landlord.

1) Install Firefox if you don’t have it already, download it here: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/ 

2) Open Firefox, and go to this url to install autofill : https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/autofill-forms/

3) Open a Blocket ad, and click the button to contact the landlord


4) Fill the form, and right click in any of the fields, then click on “Add complete form as profile…":


5) This window will open, just close it:


 6) Done! From now on when you open the same form to apply to an ad, you can simply click on the “autofill” pencil as shown in this picture:


How to succeed finding a place to rent on Blocket

Finding a room or apartment to rent in Stockholm can be an extremely difficult task.
We will show you how to succeed using Blocket.

Blocket: Your best friend and your worst nightmare

In Blocket you can find a lot of properties posted everyday, but there is also a lot of people applying to get them so you have to be smart to get a rental there.


Understanding the landlord point of view

We decided to ask a lot of landlords about their personal experience and we learned how they choose tenants:

After posting their apartment or room they will start to receive a lot of applications, with a lot we mean around 50 emails in the first hour for an interesting property (i.e. any apartment below 8.000 SEK falls in this definition).

They feel completely overwhelmed so they just go through the first emails trying to find somebody that looks like a great tenant.

Then, they reply only to these few lucky flat hunters, the rest will not receive any answer.

He was using Blocket, True Story.

The “wrong” way to use Blocket

So based on this, if you just check Blocket when you arrive home after work and apply for all the flats or rooms posted today you are going to be “late” for most of them.

You need to apply no later than 30 minutes (ideally 5 minutes) after the property was posted or nobody is going to see your email.

Doing that you will know that the landlord sees your application. Now you need to get their attention with a compelling application:

Imagine that you are renting out your home, you are scared to death because somebody is going to live in the place you care the most about!!!, You want some information about this future tenant that calms you down.

Then you see an email like this:
- "Hi, my name is Joe, I like your apartment, can I see it? , Thanks."

You have another 100 emails waiting in the inbox, some of them well crafted emails with a lot of information about this future tenant, would you answer instead this guy?


The “right” way to use Blocket

Ok, now that we have the basics defined, it’s easy to define a solution, you just need 2 things:
  • Apply as fast as possible
  • Write a compelling application
To apply as fast as possible you should check Blocket at least every half an hour.
I know, I know this is just nuts, but this is what it is, sorry.


And for the compelling application, well, just keep reading ;)



The “smart” way to use Blocket

Once we realized these 2 things we decided that there should be a better way to use Blocket and not get crazy in the process and the good news is that we have some solutions:

Apply as fast as possible:

What if, instead of you checking Blocket every half an hour,  you receive notification immediately after a property is posted on Blocket?
That way you can apply really fast without being on Blocket 24 hours a day.

But more than 100 properties are posted in Blocket every single day, so how to get only the ones that are interesting for me?

When you check Blocket you click on a lot of ads and only after reading them you notice that they are not a good fit.
Don't you feel that you are wasting hours going through all these properties trying to find a single one that fits you?

Blocket has some filters that should help you with that, but based on our personal experience when looking for flats these filters are completely useless.

Really?, Blocket, REALLY??? , Are these the options for Maximum Rent? 

Personally I was missing filters like “Please just don't show me more cottages in the woods” or even a Maximum rent filter higher than 7000 SEK for an apartment, but Blocket doesn’t have them.

So what if this tool has smart filters so, instead of "dig" for hours looking for a good match, you only receive emails for properties that REALLY fit your needs?


Introducing: Easy Rental

The solution to apply so fast is that you know when a property is posted so you can react quickly.
Easy Rental will send you an email immediately after a property that matches your preferences is posted on Blocket.

Just put a ringtone in your mobile or an alert in your desktop, then each time that an interesting property is posted you will know it right away.

And of course you have smart filters, for example the ability to filter out all the rooms or define any maximum and minimum rent.

No more stugas (log cabin) or fritidsboende (vacational rental)!

Last but not least: Write a compelling application

Ok, now that the landlord is going to read your email because you were really fast, we need to get his attention!

No worries, we wrote a dedicated blog post about this.

But as a rule of thumb: If you were going to rent your apartment, what information would you like to know about the future tenant?
- Now you know what to write.

How to rent an apartment in Stockholm

In this guide we will try to give you all the insider tips that we gathered after renting an apartment in Stockholm several times, we really hope you find it useful!

How to rent an apartment in Stockholm

As you may have noticed renting an apartment in Stockholm is a hard task, but if you invest enough time and you are flexible with your demands (price – location) then you will find something. It’s difficult but not impossible.

Moving to Stockholm

If you are living abroad and want to move to Stockholm, things are a bit more complicated but you can still manage everything.

Our suggestion is that you try to find something for the first 1 to 3 months so you have a place to crash when you arrive.
Once you are in the city and you have a clearer idea about where you want to live, how the Swedish apartments are and what your net salary is (in case you already have a job) you can search again for something that really fits your needs.
The main benefits of this approach are:
  • Plenty of apartments to choose from: It’s quite common that landlords rent their places when on vacation or when they have to work abroad even for short periods, so you will not have problems finding short term rental apartments.
  • Less competitors: People already living in the city are looking for long term rentals, because they don’t want to move every few months, so you will find less people asking for these apartments
  • Lower price: And as the landlords know that, the trick to get the apartment rented out is to lower the price, so usually each time that you find an apartment with a good price it’s for a short term contract (1 to 3 months).


Long term contracts

If you are already in the city looking for long term contracts it’s important that you know some things.
Usually the contracts are for 6 months with a possibility of another 6-month extension. And in some cases you can get a 1 year contract, but it’s extremely rare that you find something longer than that.
After 1 year, for most of the landlords that own a “Bostadsrätt” (flat in a building), they have to ask again for permission to sublet the apartment to the board of directors of the building (we are writing another guide about all these ownership issues).
So the longest that you will find is 6 months with possibility of extension or 1 year contract, be happy with that ;)

Why is it so difficult?
Getting apartments for rent in Stockholm, especially with long term contracts, is difficult because there is a big scarcity of available rentals.
Some kinds of apartment are extremely demanded so getting one of them is really complicated.
These apartments usually share these 3 characteristics:
  • Location: As close to the center of the city as possible
  • Price: As cheap as possible
  • Contract Length: At least 6 months

And being more specific we are talking about:
  • Rooms in the city for 6 months and in a price range about 3000-4000 SEK
  • 1-room flats in the center of the city, minimum 6 months, up to 8000 SEK
  • 2-room flats (living room + bedroom) in the center, minimum 6 months, up to 13000 SEK
If this is what you are looking for, you are going to have a hard time finding one, so how can you solve it?

Adjusting expectations: Do you really need to live in the center?

The public transport in Stockholm is amazing in terms of speed and frequency and the area that is considered the “city” is surprisingly small.
That means that this nice apartment that you just found might seem to be “in the woods” according to google maps, but in reality it’s only 15 minutes away from the center (T Centralen T-Bana and train Station)

Stockholm-city-area-and-neighbourhoods

Sollentuna to T-centralen in 18min. Red area is “the city”.

So we recommend you not to be too obsessed with living in the “city” as this will increase dramatically your chances of finding a nice and affordable apartment.
Here you have a guide about where to live in Stockholm that can help you choose the right area.


Where to find Landlords?

There are a lot of different websites that can help you to get a rental in Stockholm, we are going to analyze some of the best well known ones:

Blocket - blocket.se

It’s the biggest classified ads website in Sweden with a lot of rentals posted everyday, but also the place that most people use.

Pros:
A lot of properties posted everyday

Cons:
1) Almost all the ads are in Swedish
2) As most people use it, the landlords receive a huge amount of inquiries so it’s difficult to even get an answer.
To help you with that, check our guide on how to contact landlords so you have more chances of getting an answer.

Insider tips:
1) Use Google Chrome, and right click to select “Translate to English”.
The translation is not perfect but it’s good enough to make a decision.




2) Use pre-filtered searches:
Here you have some handy links that can be helpful until you get used to the different areas:
And, if you want to make filters on your own, this is the list of the areas considered “city” that have the highest demand and higher price:

stockholm-city-neighbourhoods

3) To save time and avoid checking Blocket several times a day, you can receive an email as soon as a new rental property is published using  Easy Rental.
You can specify filters based on rent, size, number of rooms and if you are interested in rooms in shared apartments.

BostadDirekt - bostaddirekt.com

BostadDirekt is an online real estate agency, there you can find a lot of rooms and apartments available

The website has an English version (for the menus and help pages) but the available rentals are usually in Swedish.

You can search in their website for free, then if you want to have access to the landlords' contact information you can subscribe for 695 SEK for 30 days.

Pros:
It’s a bit easier to get answers from landlords than in Blocket.

Cons:
1) A bit pricey
2) There is no easy way to spot new listings, so you will spend a lot of time trying to spot the new apartments posted after your first visit.

Insider tips:
1) Once you made a first filter, use the chrome translate this page feature and it will translate all the ads at once (until you make another search)
2) When you pay, you are creating your personal profile and the landlords have access to it. Some landlords prefer to pick tenants manually instead of placing a listing, so if you add plenty of information to your profile you can be contacted by them.

Facebook Groups

There are plenty of Facebook groups where you can post your needs and wait to be contacted or where you can check posts from landlords and then PM (private message) them.
Usually the most common post that you will see there are shared rooms or individual flats (1 room) but even if you are looking for a bigger apartment it’s always worth a try. As an extra you can meet really nice people who already live in the city.
The biggest English speaking groups are:

Insider tips:
Usually they are closed groups, apply to join and then check them daily because when a property is posted there the landlords get PMs quite fast.

Scams and Fraud

From time to time, you may find some scammers during your search for a rental in Stockholm.
These people may try to:
  • Get the money from the deposit and then disappear (and you have no house and lose your deposit)
  • Lure you to apply to an ad and then sell your email address. You will notice they got you when you will receive lots of spam emails of big lottery wins that you can cash in by paying a 1000 USD fee.

It’s quite easy to spot them and avoid troubles, just follow these tips:
  • If you see a “too good to be true” apartment (i.e. 7000 SEK, 60m in the city, long term) there is a high probability that this is a scam, remember there is a big scarcity in the market, there are NO bargains.
  • When a landlord tells you that you have to pay the deposit to a foreign account (usually  located in UK) and that he will send you the keys via UPS, this is SURELY a SCAM
  • Sometimes they even show you the flat, and then ask you to make the deposit in a foreign account, be careful.
  • Only pay the deposit WHEN you sign the contract, if it’s possible via wire transfer so there is some record of it and to a Swedish account.
  • Verify that the personal information of the landlord (ask for his personal id) is right, they will do the same with you so don’t be afraid to ask.
Hopefully these tips will help you find a good place to live in the beautiful Stockholm.
If you want to share your experience, add more tips or you have a question, don’t be shy and comment!

The most important things to get done when you land in Stockholm

If you just moved to Stockholm for work, there are few things that you have to do fast.


stockholm cards


Public transport

If you don't have a car, you can travel everywhere fast with Stockholm public transport. Even if you do have car, it is pretty expensive to ride it in the city center and park it. Public transport tickets are also not cheap, especially if you are buying single tickets.

Go for a monthly ticket from day one. It will save you money and time! It costs 790kr/month (around 80 eur/month) and it covers wide city area by metro, train, bus and even boat.

If you want to see other ticket options go to https://sl.se/sv/kop-biljett/.
For planing you trip around city use http://sl.se/en/.


Getting your ID

To get your ID you first have to get your personal identity number. That means that you are registered in Swedish Population registry. You can do it applying for personal number in Tax office (Skatteverket).
It is assumed that you have an address already, the one you stated in your application to work in Sweden.

Details for applying for personal number: https://www.skatteverket.se/servicelankar/otherlanguages/inenglish/individualsemployees/movingtosweden.4.2b543913a42158acf800027235.html
Once you have your personal number, you can apply for an ID card.

And it will take few weeks until your ID is ready.

Once ready it will be sent to address you stated in your application. If your name is not on the door of the address you stated it will not be delivered, but you will be able to pick it in the Tax office.

Opening a bank account

In order to get your paycheck you will have to open a bank account in Sweden. It is possible to do that even before you have your ID ready, but you will not be able to use online banking until you provide your Personal number. To open a bank account you will also have to bring your employment contract.
There are few big banks where you can open a bank account in including Swedbank and Handelsbank.
Links:

Cheap mobile operators

Picking the right phone plan is important from day one. You want to be able to use your phone, and be online, so you can get all the info and maps location on the go.
To avoid picking long term contact without thinking and comparing a bit more, just use some free prepaid Sim card.

For example if you use Comviq prepaid sim card, you can refill for 95kr, it in any corner-shop with “Kompis 95” plan and you will get almost unlimited calls and SMS and 1GB of data. If you spend all your data, you can refill 1GB more for 50kr and you can use 50kr from initial 95kr if you haven't spent it already.

Phone operators:

Where to live in Stockholm

Stockholm offers an extremely broad variety of different districts and neighbourhood, each one with its own distinctive taste and charm. Deciding in which neighbourhood you want to live can be a hard task in the beginning.

This guide will give you an initial understanding of the different neighbourhoods to help you have an idea of what are good areas to live in Stockholm based on your needs.

Where to live in Stockholm

In the city

Norrmalm (city center)

There are normally not so many available apartments here, as it is mainly a working and touristic area with offices and shopping malls around the central station. The few accommodations here are obviously very expensive.


Östermalm

The most classy, exclusive and probably most expensive area of the city. Many important business people and local celebrities consider it as the best area to stay in Stockholm and like to live and hang out here. There are lots of bars and clubs. 


Södermalm

The 'hipster island'. Its night-life attracts mainly a younger crowd. Most of the ‘movida’ takes place between Slussen (north) and Medborgarplatsen (center). The other areas (south, east, and west) are more residential with the exception of some streets with an interesting nightlife.
There are also several residential areas for families, and small apartments for single persons and young workers. Beautiful parks and amazing coastlines offer great spots to enjoy summer activities.

Vasastan

Fashionable and expensive area. Many IT companies are located here. The nightlife is not so active, but there are bars and restaurants. Beautiful parks, for example Vasaparken, with plenty of activities during summer and winter.


Gamla Stan

The old town, living there is very expensive as the supply of accommodations is very limited. It offers mainly touristic spots with several souvenir shops, but also a few good bars to chill out in the evening.


Kungsholmen

The second big island in the city after Södermalm, Kungsholmen has a big residential area, although many companies are also located here. The island is more urbanized in the east, and it offers beautiful sightseeing opportunities in the west. Wonderful parks and green areas (Rålambshovparken and all the way westward to Kristineberg) with lots of activities during the warmer seasons. The nightlife here attracts mainly younger crowds and teenagers around Fridhemsplan.


Good Places within 15 from the Central Station

Solna/Sundbyberg

Very close and well-connected to the city center (both commuter train and subway). The housing here is often considerably cheaper than many areas in the city that are actually just a few minutes away. Here you can find nice neighbourhoods with lots of parks and green spaces. The nightlife consists of just a few bars (mainly in Sundbyberg), but it’s not a problem as reaching the city center is very convenient.


Årsta/Älsjö

Areas with both new and old housing. There are vast residential areas with houses especially in Älsjö. The main connection to the city is the commuter train, which doesn’t run late at night, although night buses are always an alternative.


Bromma

Mainly houses, this is a slightly more family-oriented district.


Liljeholmen/Hägersten

There is a brand new and growing residential area in Liljeholmen, with lots of IT companies located here as well.
The residential area of Hägersten, just south of Liljeholmen is very popular among Swedes. It used to be a more affordable neighbourhood, now prices have gone up a bit.


Affordable suburbs reachable by commuter train and metro lines

Commuter train

Sollentuna and Upplands Väsby (North)


Green Line

Hässelby Strand (North) and Farsta and Skarpnäck (South)
Red Line
Morby centrum, Danderyd and Ropsten (North) and Fruängen (South)


Other types of trains or buses

Täby (North) and Nacka (East), Lidingö (North East)