If you needed a rental in New York City in the 1980's, your best go-to was the obituaries. It was a tough market. Sweden's rental market is also tough, especially in the peak season when most expats relocate to our country. We see the peak season as running between March and July. We have been helping families find their dream home in Sweden since 2003 and due the volume of data and experience, it makes it easier to pinpoint what makes some people successful in their house hunting in Sweden and also what makes others fail.
We have seen some companies out in the press moan and groan about the lack of housing in Sweden. Yes, our market is challenging but if said companies mobility policies are sinking their employees and making them not competitive in the market, then perhaps that issue shall be revisited internally. There are two things to check with your company: a. Will they sign the lease on your behalf?. This will make a big difference for you. b. What is the budget they allot for different types of employees and size of family? If the budget is not in line with the market, you may have a difficult time. Check out our rental calculator at the bottom.
The basics of economics is supply and demand. There are more people looking for housing than available rentals. Hence, the landlord will choose the tenant that is most to their liking. We have seen many tenants in the beginning of their search completely sink their own efforts, despite guidance, by not adjusting to the existing market. In Sweden, the squeaky wheel does not get the grease. Humility and preparedness goes a long way. We had a lovely family that came with a smaller company (a challenge as many landlords prefer Fortune 500 type of tenants) that prepared a PDF with information about them and their family with pictures. They were LOVELY to everyone they came in contact with and were super easy going. They actually managed to secure a top rental in a high demand area because the landlord genuinely liked them and they were easy for the agent to recommend. So, be a nice human and you will see that it will be get you into a great home. We call it "rental kharma".
Generally, if you snooze then you lose. The market is fast and furious, minus Vin Diesel, so when you see something that you like...confirm quickly and try to move into the contracts phase as quick as possible. To fulfill this, ensure that your HR has its ducks in a row early in the process so that when you get to this point, that the process will will not be held up by internal minutia. For instance, you do not want to be caught in the middle of when the Swedish office is not aware that they are signing the lease vs. headquarters in another country. We have seen this disconnect cost many expats their dream home. Unfortunately, the landlord will seldom wait for HR to get it get sorted whether or the US or Swedish company division will sign the lease but simply move on to a less complicated tenant.
These three tips are crucial in determining your success. If you are a quick adopter and learner, you will find a great rental in Sweden. We have never seen anyone fail that has done 1-3 above. Best of luck and don't hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance in your relocation to Sweden.
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