Living accommodations in Sweden
When you have received your letter of acceptance for studies in Sweden, Swedish HealthCare will help you find suitable living accommodations in Sweden for you and your family. Below you will find useful information about practical issues relating to living accommodations in Sweden.
Click the +/- symbol beside each topic listed below to find information about it. If you need any further information, do not hesitate to contact us.
In Sweden, you can either buy or rent a house or an apartment. Buying can be in the form of ordinary ownership (typical for houses) or by becoming a member of a housing co-op (standard for apartments and common with semi-detached houses). In the rental market, you will find both private and municipal landlords. Rental apartments are more common than rental houses—though those can also be found.
Even if you prefer to eventually buy a house or an apartment, you may want to start out by renting your accommodation. This will give you time and opportunity to get to know your new surroundings and scan the housing market and decide which areas and what type of house/apartment you prefer.
Most rentals are unfurnished. Whether you buy or rent accommodation, you will find a cooker, fridge and freezer in place. There may also be a dishwasher and a washing machine. Most apartment buildings, whether rental or housing co-ops, have a bookable laundry room. Heating and hot water are generally included in the rent. Other services such as electricity, broadband etc may or may not be included.
Swedish HealthCare Academy will assist you in finding appropriate housing in Sweden, but it is important that you clearly communicate your preferences regarding type of housing, approx. size, location and cost limit. If you would like to see what is available on the market and current price levels, you can check out these websites:
www.hemnet.se (only properties for sale)
Website only available in Swedish, but you can try an internet translator. To search, in the top search
field enter city name (for example Stockholm, Malmö or Uppsala). Check the appropriate boxes
regarding type of housing: “villa” (detached house), “radhus” (semi-detached) and “bostadsrätt”
In your search you can also specify (drop down menus):
- Rum – minimum number of rooms
- Boarea – minimum number of square meters living space
- Pris – minimum and maximum price
- Avgift – maximum monthly fee
www.blocket.se/bostad (properties for sale and rentals)
Website only available in Swedish. In top horizontal menu, choose “SÄLJES” for properties for sale
(default mode) or choose “UTHYRES” for rental properties. In the first drop down menu “alla typer av
objekt” choose either “lägenheter” for apartments, “villor” for detached houses or “radhus” for semidetached houses. In the second search field “lägg till fler platser” enter the city name (for example
Stockholm, Malmö or Uppsala) and then enter. You can add several cities/regions in the search field.
You can also specify your search in the drop down menus below and specify minimum and maximum
price, square meters, number of rooms, and monthly fee (see translations above). Press the search
button and results will appear below.
Remember before you move in:
- Make sure you have a home insurance contract (valid from the first day of your lease)
- Sign a new electricity contract
Checking the condition of the apartment
Before you move in, the apartment has been inspected by the landlord along with the previous tenant. The landlord will check that the apartment is in good condition before you move in. But if there should be any problem with the condition of the apartment when you move in, such as damaged fixtures, cabinets or broken refrigerator, or if the apartment has not been not properly cleaned, immediately contact the landlord so that they can correct the situation. As the new tenant, you will be responsible for the condition of the apartment for the duration of your lease. Therefore it is important that you report any problems with the apartment to the landlord immediately, otherwise you can become responsible for damages that you have not caused.
Moving in meeting
We recommend that you request a “moving in” meeting with your landlord, so that they can show you around the apartment building, explain important information and answer any questions. They can also explain the rules regarding waste disposal, recycling, smoke detectors, home insurance, service notifications, keys, and being a good neighbour.
Care & maintenance
When you move into an apartment, you are responsible for keeping it in good condition and taking care of the maintenance properly. Here is some simple advice on how to care for your apartment:
- Be gentle with your floors and vacuum in the first place. Wipe the floor with a damp cloth occasionally, but do not use any harsh detergents.
- Wallpaper with a plastic surface can be cleaned by wiping them gently with a damp cloth. Other wallpaper, you should only dust dry.
- Wipe the ventilation valves and wash any filters at regular intervals.
- Regularly clean the kitchen fan, filters and valves as fat accumulation increases risk of fire.
- Remove grease stains from the stove top and the oven as soon as possible to avoid fat burning in. Remember also to regularly clean behind the stove.
- Clean the drain from time to time to reduce the risk of clogging. It is also important not to flush down anything that could cause a clog.
The landlord will inspect the apartment upon termination of the lease. Costs for excessive or abnormal wear of the apartment will be charged to the tenant. If you are unsure on what type of changes or renovations you are allowed to do in the apartment, you can always contact your landlord.
Upon termination of the lease there will be an inspection of the apartment. You need to contact the landlord to arrange this inspection. The new tenants may also attend the inspection. Everything that belongs to the apartment must be in place for the inspection, such as doors and coat rack etc. Fixed cabinets, appliances, loft beds that you have installed or taken over from a previous tenant, need to be removed. If you yourself have installed a dishwasher in the apartment, this also needs to be removed. You then also need to restore the kitchen cupboard and secure that the water is properly stopped. The inspector will go through each room in the apartment to check for damage and excessive wear. If the inspector concludes that the apartment has damages and/or excessive wear, the tenant will have to pay for all needed reparations.
The apartment must be thoroughly cleaned before you move. See the checklist final cleaning. If the final cleaning is poorly done, you will be charged a cleaning fee (approx. 3,000 SEK).
You need to move out of the apartment and hand over your keys no later than the day after the lease expires (if it is a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, it will be the first weekday). When the keys are handed over, the apartment needs to be empty of all your furniture and personal belongings and thoroughly cleaned. If you should leave any personal belongings behind, the landlord may remove these items at the tenant’s expense. It is the tenant’s responsibility to dispose of any bulky waste, such as unwanted furniture and other large waste, and transport it to the nearest recycling centre.
All keys that belong to the apartment and other facilities must be returned to the landlord. This also applies to the keys that you yourself have reproduced and paid for.
What to remember: If you are moving to another accommodation in Sweden:
- Move and/or cancel your home insurance
- Cancel your electricity contract with the electricity network provider (at least one month in advance)
- Cancel and/or move your contract with your electricity supplier (at least one month in advance)
- If you have autogiro (direct debit) or e-invoice for rent payments, terminate the service in your bank
What to remember: If you are leaving Sweden:
- Cancel your home insurance
- Cancel all your electricity contracts at least one month in advance (both with network provider and electricity supplier)
- Cancel any telephone and/or broadband subscriptions
- If you have autogiro (direct debit) or e-invoice for rent payments, terminate the service in your bank
Direct Debit (Autogiro) is an easy and smart way to pay your bills. It allows the money for the rent to be automatically deducted from your bank account each month. To start paying your rent through direct debit, you need to submit a consent form. Your consent is valid until you cancel it with your bank, or until your lease expires. You will still receive your rent invoices quarterly, but the payment will be made automatically each month. All you have to do is to ensure that there is enough money in the account on the due date for the rent payment.
In spring and summer, many people like to barbeque food outdoors. It is not allowed to cook with open flames on the balcony or patio blocks. But you can use an electric grill, if your neighbours are not disturbed by the smell. You can use your barbeque at designated barbecue sites in your area.
Your bike should be parked in the bicycle racks outside your house or in the bicycle room. For everyone’s safety, it is not allowed to park bicycles in stairwells. If a fire should start in your house, bicycles can be a fire hazard as they can impede escape or stand in the way of emergency service
Blinds & curtains
Blinds and curtains over windows are usually not included in the property and as such they are the tenant’s property. Therefore the tenant is responsible for repair and maintenance of these.
Blockage/clogs in plumbing
If you have blockage/clog in the drain, contact the landlord. Remember that you must not flush objects down the drain, such as diapers, cooking oil or tops. In order to avoid blockage in the sink or shower, you must clear the floor drain regularly.
The availability of broadband is different in different areas. Contact your landlord to find out which company supplies broadband in your property. You can also look at the bulletin board at the entrance. Your supplier of broadband can tell you more about available options and what equipment you need. If something is not working, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) directly.
Access to cable television is different in different areas. Contact your landlord to find out which company that supplies cable tv in your property. You can also look at the bulletin board at the entrance. Your cable tv supplier can give you more information about available services and what equipment is needed. If the tv service does not work, contact the cable company directly.
Dishwasher & washing machine
In some apartments, there is the possibility to install your own dishwasher and/or washing machine. You are responsible that the installation is carried out professionally, by the supplier or a hired plumber. You are responsible for any damage caused by the dishwasher and/or the washing machine. Also check with your insurance company for what damages are covered by your home insurance.
Living in an apartment block, means that many people will live and coexist together. It is therefore important that you respect your neighbours and show consideration. Certain sounds from neighbours have to accepted, such as sound from TVs and/or small children. It is possible to prevent most of the potential irritation by communicating with those who live around you. Notify your neighbours, for example if you are having a party.
A tenant who disturbs their neighbours and does not stop after being reprimanded and/or receiving warning letters, runs the risk of being evicted from their apartment. Remember that you are also responsible for your family members and your visitors.
Examples of sounds that should not be accepted:
- Loud noise from music players or personal music-making
- Dogs that bark loud and long
- Repeated fights and screams
- Recurring disturbing events
- Drilling and hammering at inappropriate times
What if a neighbour disturbs?
Firstly, we recommend that you contact your neighbour. It usually solves the problem in most cases. It may be that he or she is not aware that you are disturbed.
Secondly, call your house manager during working hours. If the disorder is severe and occurs after business hours, call the emergency number posted on the bulletin board at the entrance.
In general, electricity is not included in the rent of your accommodation. Therefore before you move into a new home in Sweden (apartment or house), you need to sign a contract with the local electricity network operator, to ensure that you will have electricity by the time you move in. The local electricity network operator can also be you electricity supplier, but you can choose which electricity supplier you wish to buy from. If you choose an electricity supplier other than your network operator, you need to sign a separate contract with your chosen electricity supplier.
As a consumer, you have two separate contracts, one with the electricity network operator and one with an electricity supplier. One contract is a network contract that you have with the electricity network operator that owns the power transmission and distribution network where you live. The other contract is an electricity supply contract that you have with the company from which you buy your electricity – your electricity supplier. If the electricity supplier and the network operator are part of the same company, you will usually receive just one invoice. Otherwise you normally receive two invoices – one from the network operator and one from the electricity supplier.
What do I pay?
The network operator charges you for the operation and maintenance of power lines. You often pay a subscription fee and a base rate charge for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity that you consume. Since you cannot choose a network operator, you cannot shop around for the best operator price. You are however free to choose your electricity supplier.
Your electricity supplier charges you for the electricity you use. It will offer you a choice of contracts, e.g. for electricity at a fixed price or a variable price. Normally it will also charge a fixed annual fee. If you sign a contract for electricity at a fixed price, this contract will be binding for the duration of one, two or three years. A variable price follows developments in the electricity market and changes without any prior notification.
In addition to what you pay the network operator and your electricity supplier, you will have to pay an energy tax, a RECS fee and other fees payable to authorities (for electrical safety, network monitoring and stand-by electricity) plus VAT. The energy tax varies throughout Sweden, while VAT and other fees to authorities are the same throughout Sweden.
The network operator is responsible for reading your electricity meter at least once a month. This is done by remote reading. This means that the network operator can read your meter automatically without having to come to your home.
Everyday things can cause a house fire, such as a forgotten plate on the stove, candles or smoking. Since a fire can grow fast, you have to act immediately! Think carefully how to act and how to escape if a fire should start. The four basic rules during a fire are:
- Save yourself and others
- Warn others
- Alert the fire brigade
- Extinguish the fire
If you cannot extinguish the fire yourself:
- Leave the house together with all others and shut the door behind you.
- Call 112 to alert emergency services
- Close the door to the room on fire
If a fire starts in your house, but outside your apartment:
- Keep the door closed and shut windows and balcony doors
- Call 112 to alert emergency services.
- If you need help to get out, attract attention for rescue
Recommended equipment to have at home to save lives:
- Smoke detectors / alarms
- Fire blanket
- Portable fire extinguishers, with at least 6 kg powder
Heat is supplied to the apartment to keep a room temperature around 20 degrees celsius. The heat is automatically regulated based on the outside temperature. If you have more than 20 degrees at home, the radiators can feel cold. When the temperature drops below 20 degrees, they will automatically be warm again. When you measure the room temperature, place the thermometer in the middle of the room, about three feet up, for example on a table.
Large furniture and curtains prevent heat from distributing evenly into the room. Make sure you do not place large furniture or heavy curtains right in front of the radiator. When there is enough free space in front of the radiator, the air can circulate and distribute heat in the room properly.
If you have problems with the heating, you can check the following things:
- Make sure that the hand knobs on your radiators are fully open for maximum warmth
- Allow air to circulate in the apartment. Do not place furniture in front of the radiators
- Clean and open all valves
If you still have problems with the heating, contact your landlord.
As a tenant, it is important to have a home insurance policy. The insurance protects you against financial loss by burglary, fire, water damage or if something happens where you become liable. The landlord’s insurance does not cover your property. Always contact your insurance company if something happens to your home.
Examples of when it’s good to have a home insurance:
- If there is a flood in your basement, you will receive compensation through your home insurance
- If there is a fire, you will only receive compensation for your loss through your home insurance
If you lose your keys, contact the landlord. If keys that you received when moving in are missing when you move out, you will be responsible for the replacement cost.
The laundry room is a co-operative facility intended to be used by all tenants in an apartment complex. It is the tenant’s responsibility to keep the room in good condition and to clean up after themselves. Therefore, please:
- Respect the booking rules of the laundry room and finish your washing on time.
- Clean up after yourself:
- Clean machines and driers
- Sweep and clean the floor
- Clean the filter in the dryer
- Dispose of empty detergent containers in the proper place
- Follow the laundry rules posted in the laundry room
Measuring water usage
Some properties have individual metering of water. If you live in a property with individual metering, you only pay for the water you use. Consumption in each apartment is measured automatically and the cost is billed separately on your rental notice/bill.
Mopeds & motorcycles
Mopeds and motorcycles may not be parked in the basement. This is due to the risk of fire, as they contain gas or diesel. Mopeds and motorcycles must be parked only in designated and marked locations. You can rent a garage or parking space for your motorcycle.
We want all tenants to enjoy and get along, so it is important that you show consideration to those around you. Here are a few simple rules:
- Do not shake bedding or rugs from windows or balconies.
- Show consideration to your neighbours and do not disturb between 22:00 – 7:00.
- Inform your neighbours if you are having a party.
- Do not feed the birds from the window, balcony or in flower beds outside the house.
- Only use barbeques in the designated areas.
- Do not drive motor vehicles on sidewalks and lawns.
- Park only in designated areas.
- Help prevent break-ins, do not leave the entrance door open and always lock basement doors.
- Respect the rules regarding booking of the laundry room and finish your washing on time.
- Clean up after yourself and follow the other rules posted in the laundry room.
Painting & wallpapering
Before you begin the process of painting or wallpapering in your apartment, always contact your landlord. If you choose to carry out work in the apartment, such as painting and wallpapering, the work must be done in a professional manner. Remember to choose colours and wall coverings that are acceptable for the average person. If you choose extreme colours or patterns, or if the work is not professionally done, you may be charged for the cost of restoring the apartment.
Parking & garages
If you want to rent a parking space or garage, please contact your landlord for more information.
If you find pests or vermin such as cockroaches, mice, flour beetles or ants, you are under the law obligated to report it to your landlord. If you do not report, there is the risk of pests or vermin spreading rapidly in the house. The landlord usually has insurance to cover the cost for extermination.
Check with your landlord what rules apply regarding pets in your apartment building.
Rents are negotiated between the landlord and the tenants association. Your rent can be changed, depending on the following factors:
- Each year there is a general rent re-negotiation between the landlord’s association and the tenant’s association. These general negotiations mainly take into account the overall increases in cost.
- Through a re-evaluation, where the apartment and the property is compared to the surrounding properties with comparable standard. A re-evaluation is only made when requested by the tenant or the landlord.
- As a result of standard-raising measures, such as bathroom or kitchen renovation etc. Standard raising measures that can affect the rent level usually require the tenant’s approval.
What happens if I do not pay my rent? If the tenant fails to pay his rent on time, the rent notice/bill will be sent to a claims company for debt collection. If the tenant, despite the debt collection claim, does not pay the rent including all late fees, the matter will be sent to the Enforcement Authority for eviction.
What happens if I pay my rent a couple of days late? If you pay late, you have to pay interest on the amount due. This sum will be added to your next rental notice.
I have not received any rental notice/bill, do I still pay my rent? Yes, the tenant is obliged under the signed agreement to pay rent without notice by the landlord.
I will go away and have not yet received the rent notice/bill for the next month. How do I pay rent before departure? You can use the previous months’ notice/bill and make a payment in advance. The recipient will then make an adjustment and place the amount on the appropriate month.
If you want to put up a satellite dish, you must always apply for permission from the landlord. The satellite dish must be properly mounted, otherwise there is risk that it may fall down and injure someone.
Smoke detectors & alarms
Smoke detectors help save many lives each year. The landlord is responsible for putting up smoke detectors in your apartment and these belong to the property. The tenant is responsible for periodically checking that the smoke detectors work, to keep them clean and to change the battery when needed.
How do I clean the smoke detector?
Take down the smoke detector and vacuum it carefully.
Should I replace the battery?
The tenant is responsible for replacing the battery when needed. We recommend changing the battery once a year.
How to test the smoke alarm?
It is important to continually check that the smoke detector is working. Push and hold the test button for a few seconds. The detector should produce a loud noise. Test the smoke alarm at least once a year. If the smoke alarm does not work (even if you replaced the battery), contact your landlord to replace the smoke detector.
Due to allergies and for fire safety reasons, there is a smoking ban in all public areas of the apartment building such as lobbies, stairwells, laundry rooms, basements and garages. It is allowed to smoke in your apartment, unless otherwise stated in your contract. When you move out, your apartment must be free of smoke odour. If the apartment has been damaged by smoking, you may have to pay the cost for renovation. In general, it is permitted to smoke on balconies and patios, but check what rules apply in your building. But be aware that tobacco smoke can be disturbing and annoying to your neighbours. Always show proper consideration to others around you when you smoke and do not throw cigarette butts from your balcony.
It is not allowed to store anything in the stairwell. Neither bikes, strollers, doormats or garbage. These things can cause a fire hazard. Facilities need to be free for emergency services, cleaning staff and the newspaper delivery.
The landlord is not responsible for property stored in your storage. Therefore do not store valuable items in your storage. In case of damage or theft, contact your insurance company.
Strollers, prams & baby carriages
It is not permitted to keep strollers in the stairwell. If a fire should start in your house, baby carriages can obstruct the escape route or stand in the way of emergency services. Therefore strollers in stairwells pose a fire hazard. In some buildings, there are storage rooms where you can store your baby carriage. Otherwise you have to store them inside your apartment.
Subletting is not permitted if not pre-approved by your landlord. If subletting is approved by the landlord, it is still the first tenant who is responsible for the apartment. This applies both financially (responsibility for the payment of rent) and the potential damage and disruption.
Termination of lease
Termination of the lease should be done in writing, and at least three months before the desired moving out date. Example, if you want to move October 1 must give notice by June 30.
After having given notice of the termination of your lease, you are required by law to show your apartment to new prospective tenants. If you are unable to show the apartment during the notice period, somebody else must fill this responsibility. You can ask for help from the maintenance manager, a family member or friend who you trust.
Upon termination of the lease, there will be an inspection of the apartment. The new tenants are welcome to attend this inspection. The inspector will go through the apartment to check for damage and excessive wear. The cost of excessive wear will be fixed at the expense of the tenant. If the inspection of done on the day of moving out, the inspector will also check the final cleaning of the apartment (see check list for final cleaning).
The apartment must be left at the latest the day after the date the lease expires. If it is a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, it will be the first working day thereafter.
It is important to let the air circulate in your apartment! Therefore, the valves in your apartment must be kept open. Otherwise you may experience unpleasant odour and the heat may not spread properly in the apartment.
If you feel that ventilation does not work in your apartment, even though you have opened the valves and cleaned them, contact the landlord.
Living room and bedroom
Open all the valves so that air can get in and circulate. You clean them most easily with a vacuum cleaner and damp cloth. On very cold days, you can temporarily shut the valves.
Kitchen, bathroom and walk-in closet
Keep the vents clean by vacuuming and wiping them with a cloth, without changing settings.
The kitchen ventilation
Regularly clean the kitchen ventilation filter by allowing it to soak in warm soapy water for 5 minutes, rinse and let dry.
Make sure you use the right kind of wall hooks when you hang pictures, so that the wallpaper and wall are damaged as little as possible. It is not allowed to drill holes in the bathroom walls.
Wall mounted TV
If you would like to mount a TV on the wall, contact your landlord for advice how to do this properly. Any costs, due to damage caused to the wall by incorrect mounting, will be charged to the tenant.
Waste disposal & recycling
Your household waste can contain both hazardous and valuable substances. By sorting your waste properly, many materials can be recycled and others taken care of in a safe manner. By collecting hazardous waste we protect people and the environment. Through recycling we can also save energy and natural resources by using materials more than once. In Sweden it is also an offense to not properly sort your waste. So for the sake of the environment, all households are required to sort their waste, recycle packaging materials and take care of hazardous waste.
The system for collection of recycling and hazardous waste vary between different municipalities. All hazardous waste must be handed into a recycling center (in Swedish: Återvinningscentral (ÅVC). Ask your landlord for information about waste sorting and recycling stations in your area.
The following types of materials are to be collected separately and put in containers for recycling:
All common household batteries, but also mobile phones, toys, electric appliance batteries and button cells (from watches, hearing aids), and lead acid batteries. Automotive batteries can be handed in at your nearest car dealer or at a recycling center. Devices with built-in batteries are collected as electronic waste.
Electronics are products containing lead and/or batteries. IT, telecom and office equipment, electric and battery-powered hand tools and household appliances. All electronic waste must be handed in to a recycling centre.
Hazardous waste constitutes a danger to people and the environment and should never be placed in household waste or poured down the drain. This includes glycol, waste oil, paint, glue, paint and oils, household chemicals, solvents, car batteries, fluorescent tubes and light bulbs. Products marked with labels such as “Flammable”, “Injurious to health”, or “Keep out of the reach of children” often contain harmful substances. Never pour liquid hazardous waste in the toilet or the sink. All hazardous waste must be handed in to a recycling center.
You sort colored and clear glass separately in different containers. However, do not recycle non-packinging materials such as drinking glass, porcelain, glass, mirrors, crystal and vases in this container, these are sorted as household waste.
If your area has collection of food waste, you should collect your household food waste. Use only the paper bags you receive to collect your waste food. Food waste is for example leftover meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and coffee grounds. Do not put plastic bags into the food waste, as this complicates the handling process. If there is no collection of food waste in your area, you add the food waste to the household waste.
Metal containers are tin cans, metal lids, metal tubes, aluminum foil, aluminum trays, caps and tubes for vitamins and effervescent tablets and aspirin. Always remove any plastic cap from the metal container and sort them separately in the plastic container.
Empty milk cartons, cereal boxes, pizza and juice containers, egg cartons, paper bags, toilet paper and kitchen rolls and wrapping paper. Packages should be clean and rinsed before you recycle them.
Plastics can be both hard and soft. The plastic shampoo and soap bottles, detergent bottles, margarine cartons, cottage cheese containers, cans, glass boxes, tins, cans, plastic lids and soda or juice bottles. While the combustible such as plastic wrap, plastic bags, toothpaste tubes and other soft plastics. The packages should be clean and dry before you recycle them.
Newspapers and paper
Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, flyers, and writing paper are to be collected and put in the container for newspaper. Do not recycle envelopes with newspaper, put all envelopes in the household waste.