First there are some golden rules to remember:
- Never pay any rent or deposit for an apartment or a room before you have seen it and signed the contract.
- Become a member of the Student Union and put your name on the SSSB waiting list for student housing as early as possible. The queue is quite long though, so you cannot expect to get accommodation during your first semester.
- Use social media, sublet websites etc, the majority of all advertisements are legitimate and serious, but always be careful about frauds trying to take advantage of people, abuse them and/or scam them for money.
- Don’t lose hope! Don’t stress! Most people find an accommodation in the end.
When you find a room or an apartment, remember to look at the room/apartment before accepting it. Don’t pay any money before you have signed a contract. Agree on rules before you move in, e.g. access to common areas. Be sure to always have a receipt of your paid rent, like a bank statement. Get more smart advice on Akademisk Kvart, they also provide examples of rental agreements. Furthermore we advise you to read this article from Study in Sweden about how to find accommodation in Sweden. Among other things they give some good insight into how the private market works, what student flats usually look like in Sweden and how much you should expect to pay for them.
Housing provided by the university
Many students travelling within exchange programs get housing provided by their university. At Stockholm University it is the Housing Office that offers rooms or apartments to students from universities with which Stockholm University has a signed co-operation agreement and to students who receive scholarships via Stockholm University Scholarship Scheme.
As we mentioned, the first thing you should do is to put your name on the SSSB waiting list for student housing. First, you need to be studying at least 15 higher education credits per term at a higher education institution in Stockholm. To rent student housing from SSSB you also need to be a member of a student union that is affiliated to the SSCO (the central organization for student unions in Stockholm). There are several unions and you should become a member at the university where you study. Here is a list of all the student unions that are affiliated to the SSCO.
There are three student unions at Stockholm University; the biggest one is Stockholm University Student Union. DISK is the student union for students at the Department of Computer and System Science (DSV) and SSAS is the student union for students at the department of Social Work at Stockholm University.
There are other alternatives to SSSB if you want to live in a student apartment. At Campus Roslagen in Norrtälje (a 50 minute bus ride from Stockholm University) you can get a student apartment even if you study at another campus. There is no waiting list. Kista Studentbostäder works as SSSB but does only provide apartments and rooms in the Kista region (30 minutes with subway/tube from Stockholm University), so it has less people competing for housing.
Many students live in sublet apartments or rooms since the student housing does not cover the demand in big cities such as Stockholm. Here is a list of different sublet websites where you can look for ads:
- Akademiskkvart was launched in August 2011 and replaced the student unions webpages for the public’s ads and offers. It’s a joint effort from the universities and student unions in Stockholm and the city of Stockholm to try and help both Swedish and international students in their search for housing.
- Blocket is a Swedish version of Craigslist. Once you visit the site, translate using Google, then choose apartment on the drop down list and check the rent box. Here you will find ads for both rooms, apartments, roomies or other housing solutions. Be aware of frauds and never pay anything in advance.
- Bostaddirekt is a real estate company that helps you to find a place that matches your need. You have to pay between approximately 45 dollars/32 euros and 100 dollars/77 euros to use their services for a month.
- Hyralya is a useful site for finding a short term stay (2-6 months) but they also have many long term ones that lasts 12-24 months. It's a sublet site where owners can post by themselves. You need to pay approximately 38 dollars/28 euros per month to see the owner contact info.
- Bostad Stockholm is the agency of the city of Stockholm for finding apartments to rent. The fee for queuing for their apartments is approximately 34 dollars/25 euros per year. They have some apartments that are allocated to students only.
- Andrahand is a website in Swedish (only) with advertisements for rooms and apartments. It is free to be a member and use their service, but they also offer an upgraded membership service that costs approximately 22 dollars/16 euros per month.
- Lappis is a site where students living in the student housing area Lappis put up ads for renting out their rooms.
- Sök Studentbostad is a website with links to different student housing companies in Stockholm and Sweden (in Swedish only).
- Studentlya is a website with advertisements for student accommodation to rent all over Sweden.
- Bopunkten is a website in Swedish (only) with advertisements for rooms and apartments in different cities in Sweden.
- Alla Annonser is a website that collects all the ads from other sites, only in Swedish.
- Jagvillhabostad.nu is a website with useful advice about the Stockholm housing market; with some information in English. They have also compiled a list with private landlords and housing agencies in Stockholm. It is a good idea to contact private landlords directly, if you are lucky they might have short term contracts that they rent out on a first come first served basis.
A suggestion is to find a room that has relatively good communications to the university, instead of just looking at rooms near the university or the city centre. You can go to the SL website to find a journey planner in which you can type the address of the room and the University to find out how long the journey will be.
You can also try to find a room by searching through and posting on the relevant Facebook groups, such as Stockholm University Student Union groups or groups of different student dormitories: Student Union selling/exchange/accommodation group, Lappis group and Kungshamra group.
There are a number of sublease agencies in Stockholm. Most of them have in common that they charge a fee for access to their registers of available flats and most of these flats have high rents and are for short term rental only. Remember to be careful with making any money transfers before you are sure you have the room and can trust the landlord.
A few more tips when looking for housing: contact your embassy in Stockholm to see if they have any contacts or information to offer, or if you can place an ad with them. Also check if the embassy knows of any organizations that might be able to help you.
Check the notice boards at Stockholm University for notes on subletting of apartments and rooms. The Student Union has a notice board for housing ads in Allhuset, the International Office at Stockholm University has their own notice board in the B-house, 4th floor, in Södra Huset. Also check the notice boards in for example Lappis.
You can also check the local newspapers for available accommodation. An alternative is to put in your own ad in a local newspaper. You can try to get some help from a Swedish student, maybe your Swedish Buddy, and look at the site www.mitti.se, which is in Swedish, and then decide which local paper you would like to put an ad in.
If you are in desperate need
Visit Stockholm gives you a list of short term accommodation in Stockholm such as hostels and hotels. Also see the Swedish Youth Hostel Association. Alternatively, you can contact one of the visitor centers in Stockholm before or on arrival in Stockholm. Staying at a hostel/hotel should only be considered a short term solution (since it is a pricy one) while trying to find long term accommodation. An advice is to try to find hostels outside the city centre; they’re often cheaper and not as full as the ones in the centre of Stockholm. Here are examples of some (centrally located) hostels:
- City Lodge, Klara Norra Kyrkogata 15, Phone: 08-22 66 30 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- City Backpackers, Phone: 08-20 69 20, E-mail: email@example.com
- Fridhemsplans Vandrarhem, S:t Eriksgatan 20, Phone: 08-653 88 00, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hostel Bed and Breakfast Address: Rehnsgatan 21, Phone: 08-15 28 38 E-mail: email@example.com
- Långholmens Vandrarhem Address: Långholmsmuren 20, Phone: 08-720 85 00, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Skanstulls Vandrarhem Address: Ringvägen 135, Phone: 08-643 02 04, E-mail: email@example.com
- STF Stockholm Gärdet Address: Sandhamnsgatan 59, Phone: 08-463 22 99, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are in desperate need for an accommodation, you can try to find a temporary place to stay for some time and make friends in the new city through Couchsurfing.
The following Couchsurfing pages and groups can be helpful for you:
- Stockholm couchsurfing group
- Stockholm emergency couch requests group
- Stockholm couchrequest group
- Accomodation in Stockholm couchsurfing group
We hope this guide has been helpful. Best of luck with your search!