Perhaps you arranged temporary lodging or rented a room before arriving in Sweden and may want to move as temporary arrangements come to an end. Looking for your own place to stay can be a challenging task in larger cities such as Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, where available housing remains relatively scarce.
You can rent ‘first-hand’ or ‘second-hand’ in Sweden. First-hand (första hand) means you sign an agreement with the owner of the building, while second-hand (andra hand) means you sign an agreement with someone who owns the flat or has the first-hand contract on the flat.
To get a first-hand contract, you need to register to be put on the municipal waiting list (bostadskö) and it can take anywhere from a few days in some municipalities to up to ten years for central locations in cities like Stockholm for a first-hand contract to become available. Contact information for all municipalities can be found here.
As a new resident, you’ll probably be renting a flat from someone who sublets in a second-hand arrangement. It is extremely important to make sure that the tenant co-operation board of the building (bostadsrättsföreningen) or the landlord has signed off on second-hand leasing. If you rent a flat from a subletter who doesn’t have permission, you run the risk of being evicted (to make a long story short).