Finding housing in Sweden can be a challenge, but with the right information and strategies you can increase your chances of finding the perfect home.
Regardless of whether you want to buy or rent, it is important to understand the Swedish housing market and the different types of housing in the country. In this article, you can get important information about how to navigate your way through the Swedish housing market.
Housing types in Sweden
There are three main types of housing in Sweden.
- House: You can choose to live in your own house on its own plot of land, or own the house and lease the land it is built on (tomträtt). If you live on your own plot, you are responsible for almost everything relating to your house.
- Apartment in a housing association (bostadsrätt): This means that you buy a percentage of the property itself and own the right to use your apartment within the property. You own the property together with the other residents. Residents in the house own the property and are part of a housing association. The regulations vary from association to association, but you are not allowed to rent out your apartment without permission from the board of the housing assocation.
- Rental property (hyresrätt): You pay a monthly rent.
There are also other forms of housing, such as cooperative rental apartments and owner-occupied apartments (äganderätt), where you own your home without being a member of a joint association.
Foreigners may buy properties in Sweden
Both Swedish and foreign citizens can buy property in Sweden. There is no requirement to be a Swedish citizen or have a Swedish personal ID number, However, there are certain requirements involved in the actual purchasing process. To buy a property, there must be a written agreement that contains information about the purchase price and includes the signatures of both buyer and seller.
Buying a property in Sweden
Buying a house or an apartment in a housing association can be an exciting investment, but it requires knowledge and understanding of the Swedish property market. Here are some basic steps to buying property in Sweden.
- Find your dream property: Start by looking for housing suitable for your needs and budget. You can use property portals, real estate agents, or contact the sellers direct if they are selling privately.
- Visit the property: When you find an interesting property, you should visit it in person. This gives you the chance to inspect the property and the surrounding area.
- Finance: You must be clear about how you will finance your purchase. This can involve a bank loan or your own funds.
- Purchase agreement: When you have found your dream house or apartment, and you are ready to buy, a written purchase agreement is drawn up that describes all terms and conditions.
- Inspection and investigations: You should order a technical inspection of the property and carry out any necessary investigations to ensure that everything is in order.
- Transfer documents: Before the transfer of ownership, make sure that all necessary documents are in place, including the property deeds and any mortgage deeds.
- Transfer: When everything is completed, and the purchase agreement has been signed, ownership of the property is transferred.
- Registration and taxes: Your property must be registered in the Swedish property register, and there may be costs in the form of transfer taxes and stamp duties.
- House and home insurance: Remember to arrange insurance that covers both the property and the contents.
- New property: It’s now time to enjoy your new property in Sweden!
Remember that the Swedish property market may differ from that in your home country, so it is a good idea to seek professional advice and investigate the specific laws and regulations that apply for property purchase in Sweden.
Rent an apartment in Sweden
If you are not ready to buy a property in Sweden, you can consider renting an apartment. Demand for apartments is high, which can make it difficult to find somewhere suitable. You can rent apartments from both municipal housing companies and private landlords. Municipalities have their own letting agencies where you can put your name on a waiting list. Private landlords can also be a good alternative.
Tips to help you find an apartment in Sweden
Demand for rental properties is high, so it is important to be proactive in your search for an apartment. Here are some tips:
- Put your name on the municipal waiting list as early as possible, and be willing to live in a less central part of the town or city.
- Look for apartments rented out by private landlords. They often have their own websites where you can register your interest. Individual private landlords do not necessarily apply a waiting-list system based on waiting time, and instead use their own methods for prioritising tenants.
- Send emails to landlords with a brief description of yourself and show your interest in renting a property from them.
- Consider living in a house share as a way of reducing your accommodation costs and meeting new people. Be aware of what is specified in the rental contract, as in most cases you will be a sub-tenant or you will be sharing the accommodation with others, which means that you can more easily be evicted.
- Use housing portals and social media to look for vacant rental properties.
Sub-letting in Sweden
If you finding it difficult to find a permanent house or flat, sub-letting can be an option. With this arrangement, you are renting from the primary tenant, not the owner of the property, and you do not have the rights of a sitting tenant.
Sub-letting can be expensive and is normally for a limited period. Make sure that you have a rental contract, so that you know your rights and obligations. The original owner must have permission from the housing association or housing company to sublet the property to you.
Student housing and senior housing in Sweden
If you are a student or an elderly person, special housing options may be available. For student housing, you must satisfy certain requirements in relation to your studies. Contact the Swedish municipality in which you live for more information. Senior housing is normally administered by non-profit housing companies, and can be an option for elderly citizens.
Permanent stays in holiday homes in Sweden
If you want to live permanently in a holiday home in Sweden, there are no restrictions. Ask your municipality about what types of municipal service you are entitled to in your holiday home.
You may be entitled to housing allowance if your income is low.
Tax when you sell a property in Sweden
When you sell a property in Sweden, you must pay tax on any capital gain in accordance with the Swedish Income Tax Act. It is important to note that if you move to Sweden and register in the Swedish Population Register before you sell your property in the country you move from, you must pay tax on the capital gain to the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).
If you sell your property before you move to Sweden, you are not taxed in accordance with the Swedish regulations. You should therefore consider selling your property in your home country before you move to Sweden.
In addition to income tax, you must also pay property tax (fastighetsavgift) in Sweden, except when you live in an apartment in a housing association, in which case the association pays this tax.
Regardless of the type of property you are looking for, you can find tips, information and relevant links that will help you in your search on the websites of the The National Board of Housing, Building and Planning (Boverket) and the Consumer Association (Konsumentverket), and on Blocket.se.
Please fill in our contact form if you have any questions or if you have encountered an obstacle in another Nordic country.
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