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A Comprehensive Guide to Finding an Apartment in Sweden for New Immigrants


Moving to a new country is both exciting and challenging, especially when it comes to finding a place to
live. If you’re a newly arriving immigrant in Sweden, you might find the apartment hunting process a bit
overwhelming. But fear not! We’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the Swedish rental
market and find the perfect apartment to call home.

Step 1: Understanding the Swedish rental market

Before diving into the apartment search, it’s essential to understand how the Swedish rental market works. In
Sweden, there are two types of rental contracts: first-hand contracts and second-hand contracts. A
first-hand contract is an agreement directly with the property owner, while a second-hand contract involves
renting from a tenant who holds a first-hand contract.

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First-hand contracts are highly sought after due to their stability and regulated rent prices. However, the
demand for first-hand contracts far exceeds the supply, especially in larger cities like Stockholm,
Gothenburg, and Malmö. As a new immigrant, you might find it challenging to secure a first-hand contract, so
it’s essential to explore the more accessible option of second-hand contracts.

Step 2: Register for housing queues

In Sweden, housing queues are the primary method of allocating first-hand contracts. To increase your chances
of securing a first-hand contract, register with as many housing queues as possible. Most cities have their
own housing queue system, such as Stockholm’s Bostadsförmedlingen or
Gothenburg’s Boplats.

Keep in mind that the waiting time for first-hand contracts can range from a few months to several years,
depending on the city and the type of apartment you’re seeking. As a newly arriving immigrant, it’s
essential to have realistic expectations and consider temporary housing options while waiting for a
first-hand contract.

Step 3: Explore online platforms and local newspapers

Many second-hand apartments are advertised on various online platforms and local newspapers. Some popular
online platforms include Blocket, Qasa,
and Samtrygg. These websites offer both short-term and long-term rentals,
making them ideal for new immigrants. Additionally, local newspapers often have rental listings in their
classified sections, so be sure to browse them regularly.

Step 4: Network with locals

Networking with locals can be incredibly beneficial when searching for an apartment in Sweden. Many rental
opportunities are not publicly advertised, and word-of-mouth can be the key to finding hidden gems. Join
local Facebook groups, attend meetups, or connect with colleagues and acquaintances to expand your network
and discover potential rental options.

Step 5: Be prepared to act quickly

The Swedish rental market can be fiercely competitive, especially in major cities. When you find a suitable
apartment, be prepared to act quickly. Gather your documents, such as proof of income, references, and
identification, so you’re ready to submit your application promptly. Being proactive and organized will
increase your chances of securing your desired apartment.

Step 6: Understand your rights and responsibilities

As a tenant in Sweden, it’s crucial to understand your rights and responsibilities. Familiarize yourself with
the Swedish rental laws, including regulations on rent increases, security deposits, and notice periods. In
addition, be sure to thoroughly read and understand your rental contract before signing. If you’re unsure
about any aspect of the contract, seek advice from a professional or a knowledgeable friend.

Step 7: Secure temporary housing while you search

As a new immigrant, you may need to secure temporary housing while searching for your ideal apartment.
Consider staying in a short-term rental, hostel, or Airbnb during your initial weeks in Sweden. These
temporary options will give you the flexibility to explore different neighborhoods and take your time
finding the perfect apartment.

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