Daily we give advice on how to navigate the Swedish rental market, especially from families looking at rental houses. We won't lie, the Swedish rental market is challenging. There is a severe disconnect between supply and demand and the standard of our housing is generally not up to international standards (most of us are "house poor after paying the mortgage"). However, that does not mean it is impossible.
As in most things in life, it boils down to expectations and preparations. If expectations are aligned with reality, things generally fall in place. Here are a few tips to make the best of our market:
Do your research before arriving to Sweden
Be strategic with your search. First, figure out which schools are relevant for your children. That way, you will not spend precious time looking at areas which are not close to the schools. Use that time to see as much as possible in the right areas instead.
Be in alignment with your spouse/partner
Our market is fast and furious. There will not be time for you to look and then your partner to fly in a day later. Before you come, either be in agreement that you will make the decision for the two of you (lots of trust on this one) or that you make time to fly in together. We have seen so many marriages strained and rentals lost when this is not in place before the house hunting.
Set the right expectations. The market is in Sweden, not New York-Singapore or London.
We return to this topic and we will close this entry with it as it is in the end, the most crucial factor. Rentals in Sweden will not meet your criteria 100%. The selection is simply too limited in order to get 100% of your criteria in place but 70-80% is great and if you can see that when it is in front of you, you will be fine. Often at showings, we spend time conveying just this. You may not get a wrap-around balcony but you got a 3-bedroom in the city is a good example of this. The tenants whom adjust their expectations to our market are the most successful in renting the best properties on the market. Those who are hold-outs and do not align their expectations often, unfortunately, get the scraps at the end of the season.
We are here ready to assist or answer any questions you may have about the Swedish rental market!