Finding student housing in Stockholm
Publish date: 7 June 2021
So you’ve been accepted to study at a university in Stockholm? Grattis! Sweden’s capital is a diverse metropolis with plenty for you to discover during your time here.
“Stockholm is really beautiful and there are a lot of things to do,” says Christina Neofytou, a PhD student at Karolinska Institutet. “I like that you always have nature close to where you live so you can go swimming or for a hike in the forest, all within the city.”
In the four years since Christina moved to Stockholm from Greece, she’s moved around the city several times. Housing is in high demand in Stockholm and student accommodation is no exception, but fortunately there are many options for finding somewhere to live - you just need to know where to look!
Stockholms Studentbostäder (SSSB)
Christina recommends joining the queue for student housing as soon as you can, ideally before even moving to Stockholm. To register, you first need to join an SSCO-affiliated student union - although it’s possible to collect a maximum of 90 credit days before joining a student union - and you’ll be required to read at least 15 higher education points per term.
When she first moved to Stockholm, Christina was able to live in the temporary accommodation provided by Karolinska Institutet. Since students can only live in the university-owned apartments for up to a year, she joined the student housing queue and began “collecting days”.
“There are different waiting times for different types of student accommodation. It’s usually around 200 days for a shared room with a shared kitchen. So for almost your first year of study you will need to be in the queue. For apartments that have their own kitchens, it’s more - and of course it has to do with the area and the square footage. So for 20 square metres, I waited almost 500 days.”
Rent a sublet
Renting a sublet (a ‘second-hand’ or andrahand rental) is the most common way for internationals living in Stockholm to find an apartment. While waiting on her first student accommodation, Christina used home leasing service Qasa to find a sublet apartment. As a student, the rent was a bit out of her price range which meant the solution was only temporary. But she warns that there are risks attached to finding a sublet without using an external service.
“There were a lot of scammers trying to take advantage of students who don’t really know anything about Stockholm. With these scams, it’s common that they won’t let you see the apartment before you pay a deposit for what turns out to be a non-existent apartment. I do a reverse Google image search of the photos to see if they’ve been used elsewhere before. Sometimes they turn out to be photos from hotels and so on,” she says.
Christina advises coming to Stockholm ahead of your studies to spend time looking around apartments yourself and to always ask to see the landlord’s Swedish ID card. You can then cross reference their details on a Swedish address and telephone directory like Hitta to confirm they are the owner.
Students who choose to sublet should be aware that it’s common to pay a month’s deposit up front - just remember to always get a receipt. The contract should specify how long you are permitted to rent the apartment for and the length of the notice period should you or your landlord wish to terminate the agreement.
Top tip: Stockholm is a well-connected city, so don’t rule out accommodation that isn’t within walking distance of your campus. Look for accommodation near a good public transport link and use the journey planner on sl.se or the SL app to find out how long the commute will take.
Be vigilant: there are fraudsters who try to take advantage of people looking for a sublet. Always ask a potential landlord for their full name, address, and Swedish personal identity number, and never send any money before you’ve signed a contract and have access to the property.
See the bottom of the article for a list of useful links to help you find student housing.
Join relevant Facebook groups
People often use local Facebook groups to share posts advertising available rooms or apartments in a particular area. Try searching on Facebook for the name of the area you want to live in and either scroll through the recent posts or create your own post advertising yourself as a tenant.
“There are multiple Facebook groups,” says Christina. “There are specific ones for students too, often with people advertising to find a roommate in the multiple room apartments or looking for another student to sublet their apartment while they go on exchange. You have to be fast, usually the landlord gets a lot of responses to the ad and they don’t read all of them. If there’s a telephone number, call and arrange to see the apartment as soon as possible.”
Top tip: it might help you to find a relevant group if you add Swedish keywords like ‘bostad’ or ‘lägenheter’ into the search query.
Co-living is an increasingly popular housing option for students and other internationals moving to Stockholm. The spaces are well-designed, cleaning is included in the rent, and you will immediately get to know other people who are new in town.
Useful links to find student housing
Akademisk kvart: A not-for-profit subletting service created in 2011 by the Stockholm Student Union Central Organisation and financed by the Stockholm Housing Agency and the city’s five largest universities.
Blocket: A marketplace site for classified ads where you can search for rental properties or advertise yourself as a tenant.
Samtrygg: Founded in 2013, Samtrygg is a safe marketplace for subleasing homes in Sweden.
SSSB: Sweden’s largest provider of student housing, founded by students in 1958. All of SSSB’s 8,120 accommodations are close to public transport or campus areas.
Qasa: A service offering tools to help you find the right accommodation, manage rental agreements, payments, and all the other things you might find difficult with your rental.