One of the struggles is to know how to find an apartment in Stockholm. I’ve been living in Stockholm for 1.5 years now, and since 2018, I’ve been trying to find an apartment — cheaper apartment, and outside the inner city. The apartment that I had was in the inner city and it costs 12.000 SEK per month on rent (furnished and including water, electricity, and internet).
While it is normal that 30-50% of your salary goes to rent, I still find it unreasonable to spend that much especially when I live alone. I also had a bad taste in that apartment because I had to pay for my rent from January to April when I only moved in May due to some issues with my documents.
Anyway, it took me a while to finally find an apartment in Stockholm. It took a lot of patience, applications, and rejections, but when you find one, it’s worth the trouble!
How to find an apartment in Stockholm
In case you do not know, there is a housing shortage in Stockholm. You can buy an apartment, but if buying is not yet an option, then you have to go through the difficult process of finding an apartment in Stockholm.
There are two types of renting an apartment in Stockholm:
- First-hand contract.
- Second-hand contract.
The first-hand contract is an agreement between the owner of the building and the tenant. People who want to have an apartment in Stockholm are usually in the queue for up to 10 years or more. There are a few websites that do not have a queueing system; what they do is choose someone randomly (lottery).
The rental cost is way cheaper; probably half of the rental cost on second-hand contracts, and most probably you’ll get a long-term contract. The downside is the waiting time.
You can signup here and wait in the queue:
This contract is an agreement between the tenant and the person who has a first-hand contract. It is costly because the rent is usually at least twice the supposed monthly cost. I also found out that some people who sublet their apartments put up their apartments as much as 4x than usual.
Good thing there was a new rule that was passed around October wherein the second-hand tenants should pay the same rent as first-hand tenants. The total rental cost for second-hand tenants could be higher if it is furnished. As long as the price is reasonable.
Since I have a second-hand contract now, I am going to talk about how to find an apartment in Stockholm for second-hand contracts.
Where to find an apartment in Stockholm
I found my current apartment in Qasa. It took me some time in finding an apartment in Stockholm. I checked my applications in Qasa, and I submitted 49 applications. But only 9 contacted me. I even had to widen my range: unfurnished or furnished, smaller apartment, higher rent, room for rent.
Qasa is also my go-to site in finding an apartment. I like Qasa because it also gives you an idea of the cost of the apartment is too expensive or not based on the normal distribution of sublet rental levels after bidding of similar homes. Qasa is safe for both the tenant and the landlord. It acts as a mediator and your security deposit and rent will be paid directly to Qasa, and Qasa sends the payment to the landlord.
I have used Renthia before, but the majority of the apartments listed here are not within my budget. Renthia is one of the safe websites in finding an apartment in Stockholm, Uppsala, and Gothenburg.
Cheaper apartments can be found in Samtrygg. I like browsing here because you do not need to wait for the landlord to contact you; you can just book a viewing immediately, if available.
Some apartments do not require a deposit so it is a bit more difficult to find an apartment in Stockholm on this website.
One of the recommended websites, Bostadssurf also has a lot of apartments that you can choose from. I have not personally used this, but I saw that it is easy to navigate on the website.
I rarely refer to Residentportalen because the apartments being rented here are mostly in the posh (or more expensive) areas.
6. Ikano Bostad
If you got lucky, you get a first-hand apartment in Ikano Bostad.
How much is the rent in Stockholm
Generally, the average rent in Stockholm is 12.000 SEK. It varies on the size of the apartment and its location. The farther you live, the cheaper the rent is.
When looking for an apartment, you will often see the number of rooms. Don’t be too surprised if you see a half room (like 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, etc.) for rent. In Sweden, 2 room apartment means a living room and a separate bedroom.
More often, apartments in Stockholm have kitchen and living room together. The half room depends on how you want to use the space. It basically means ‘small extra space without a door’.
How to set up a profile
Because the competition is high, you need to have a good profile that would encourage the landlord to offer his/her apartment to you. There are different ways on how to set up a profile, but if you are a member of any websites for apartment rental, all you need to do is fill out your profile.
Basically, you need to upload a photo and write an introduction about yourself. This should be short and it is your selling point.
In my introduction, I mentioned my job and where I work, and what type of apartment I am looking for. Mentioning your job lets the landlord know if you are capable of paying the rent. It is also important to indicate if you are living alone or if you will be living with your partner (or someone else) so the landlord can have an idea of how many persons will live in the apartment.
You can also get personal. In Qasa, there is a field for you to write about what you enjoy doing.
Verifications and guarantees
To boost your profile, I recommend that you provide all verifications that you can, and also add references.
What if I need to write an email to the landlord, what should I write?
I found this guide on how to write a great rental application.
Move-in date & availability
Most of the time, the landlords have a 3-months notice period if they want you to leave the apartment before the end of the contract. But, for the tenants, the minimum notice period is 1 month; but some have 3 months notice period.
If you will leave at the end of the contract, then you don’t need to provide a notice period to your landlord.
Before applying for an apartment, the landlord will already mention the apartment’s availability and how long you can rent the apartment.
You can rarely find a long-term apartment. Usually, it is only around 6 months, but you can extend. In my experience in my previous apartment, I had the contract for 2 years. But, when I wanted to extend, it still took a while because the landlord still needs to get approval from the association.
- Get home insurance & mention it in your profile. My current home insurance is Hedvig. It’s cheap & they have an app which is convenient too.
- The likelihood of fraud is very high so only register to reputable websites.
- Ask for your landlord’s full name and full address. Double-check online if the apartment exists.
- Do not pay your deposit or send money until you signed your contract.
- Send a message to the landlord after viewing the apartment. Show how interested you are, and let your landlord know what you like about the apartment.
How was your apartment-hunting experience?
It can be a struggle to find an apartment in Stockholm, especially when you have a smaller budget. If you do not mind commuting, then I suggest that you get an apartment that is outside the inner city.
I now live outside the inner city, but my apartment is bigger, newly-built, has an elevator, and I have my own washing machine & dryer. Everything is included in the rent too, and my rent now is cheaper.
I hope this short post gives you an idea of how to find an apartment in Stockholm! Check out my step-by-step guide on moving abroad.