Accommodation – finding a home in Uppsala
One of the first things you need to arrange before moving to Sweden is a place to live. It can take a lot of work on your behalf to secure housing. We advise you to contact a landlord or an accommodation agency to have your name placed on a waiting list. You can also ask your department whether they are able to help you in finding a place to live.
Because of the shortage of housing it is important not to be too choosy – all housing in Sweden is of a good standard. Once you have found a first place to live, you can continue searching for more ideal housing.
There are three types of rental contracts: first-hand contracts, second-hand contracts, and contracts through Uppsala University Housing Office.
Uppsala University Housing Office
Uppsala University Housing Office offers apartments to international university visitors, guest researchers and other international guests with an assignment at Uppsala University. The apartments are furnished and equipped for self-catering, and are intended as a first place to stay. They can be rented for periods of one month up to two years. Unfortunately, the demand for housing is very high, and therefore there is no guarantee that they will be able to offer accommodation to all.
For information about housing at Campus Gotland, please contact personal administrator Marie Engegard, firstname.lastname@example.org
A first-hand contract means that you sign a contract with a housing company and not with a private person, but above all it means that it is a simple contract between two parties (tenant and landlord). Respectable housing companies have routines on contract signing, rent, laundry facilities, ending contracts, and so on. A first-hand contract is also a contract that you do not need to leave as long as you fulfil the criteria for having the contract. A first-hand contract usually requires several years in the housing queues.
The term second-hand housing is currently used to describe three different types of living arrangements.
The main definition of second-hand housing is when a private person rents out his/her rented flat/room to another private person. This creates a binding contract (with or without an actual physical contract) between these persons, and thereafter the so-called Renting Law (Hyreslagen) applies.
Another form of second-hand housing is when a villa/flat owner rents out his/her home to a private person. This relationship is identical to the one above with the exception of rent. There are special rules that apply when you decide the amount of the rent in this situation.
The third type of second-hand housing is when a private person rents out a part of his/her flat to another person. In this case, you share your accommodation with the person that owns either the accommodation or the first-hand contract. As a live-in tenant, you are much more limited in your rights because in the eyes of the law, you are living in someone else’s home. Both parties in this contract are taking a chance and putting a lot on the line, because both risk losing their independence and freedom in their home.
It is important that you keep track of the laws that apply to your situation because there are big differences among the three different types of living. You can read more about the laws and what to think about on Studentboet.
Blocket is a popular Swedish website where people buy and sell a wide variety of things, including accommodation. On Blocket you have the option of creating a profile for yourself and stating what kind of housing you are looking for. In doing so, you may be contacted directly by someone who is interested in renting to you. Blocket is entirely in Swedish, but you can find advertisements for second-hand contracts that are written in English. To look for accommodations, choose Uppsala and then the category Bostad.
Studentboet provides housing options, as well as useful tips, for students, doctoral students, lecturers and researchers looking for accommodation in Uppsala. The website includes a large collection of second-hand contracts ranging in type, price, and availability.
Buying a flat
A flat that you buy to live in is called an owner-occupied flat. Besides the purchase sum for the flat, you pay a monthly charge to cover repairs and maintenance, renovations, and other shared costs for the building itself. If you buy a house, however, you will most likely have full right of ownership to both the building and the land it stands on. A real estate agent can help you find and buy a house or flat. The websites Hemnet and Booli are good starting points; you can browse flats and homes for sale throughout the country and get an idea of the offerings and prices in different areas.