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 “Bostadsr├Ątt” (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!