Why it’s almost impossible to rent an apartment in Stockholm

Why it's nearly impossible to rent an apartment in Stockholm

Trying to rent an apartment in Stockholm is as close to a real nightmare as possible – anyone who has experienced it will agree. But why is it nearly impossible to rent an apartment in Stockholm? What it is that makes the renting process so difficult and frustrating?

Lack of open market
Unlike most of the European countries, Sweden has an official queue system that consists of almost all renting options available. With very few private apartment buildings, it is hard to rent a place, not due to a high rent, but due to the official Swedish queue system that will make you wait 10+ years to get a chance to rent an apartment and that’s if you’re qualified…

The backlog of new housing constructions
Even though the queue renting system opens up a huge gap of people who are willing to rent but unable to, new housing constructions are not built with the speed they should be. A common practice for building entrepreneurs is converting factories to apartments, but even this is a rather slow process and the demand is so high they sometimes get rented without any advertising. This, unfortunately, leaves newcomers, expats, and students with no way to find out about these options. Add to this the fact that only about 10,000 new homes are expected to be built annually over the next 15 years and you’ll get that the housing picture in Sweden is not getting prettier.

The black market
Even though there are regulatory organs that guarantee you reasonable (and legal) rent rates when you sign a second-hand contract, the truth is that many first-hand contract holders include the legally-approved rates in the written contract and then demand the rest in cash. With rentals in such a high demand, it is no wonder that many people who are desperately in need of housing while in Stockholm are compelled to agree with such illegal terms.

The renting period limitations
Let’s say you have found a renting option that fits in your budget (second-hand contracts) and your potential landlord is not participating in the black market. You like the apartment, the rent is reasonable, the location is good. Then there is the common problem – the renting period limitations. Let’s say you need a place to rent for 3 months, but the landlord only rents it for 6+ months. Or you need a long-term rent (12 months) while the place you have fallen in love with has a short-term tag added to its price and can be rented for just one month. The list of unfortunate circumstances can go on and on, drawing you into a vicious circle of renting hell with no way out.

The scammers
It is only normal that in a market with such a high demand, scams and fraud find the perfect soil to grow and flourish like garden flowers in a sunny spring day. The main aim of such fake landlords is to get the money from the deposit and then disappear into thin air. Some of them lure potential victims with a “too-good-to-be-true” rental options, others try to get your money by asking you to pay the deposit to a foreign account.

Is your experience finding an apartment to rent in Stockholm bitter or sweet? Share with us in the comments below!