guide for housing
First of all, welcome to Lund and we're glad you want to come live here! Finding housing in Lund is not always the easiest thing to do, but don't worry, BoPoolen is here to guide you through the Lund housing jungle. Below we have collected our best tips and recommendations for your housing search and at the bottom is a checklist to help you get started.
Unlike in many other countries, market rents do not apply in Sweden. This means that a landlord cannot charge any amount of rent for a property, regardless of how much people are prepared to pay. According to the law, the rent must be reasonable, which means that it must be reasonable in relation to equivalent housing in the public sector (a municipal housing company) and private housing companies in the local area.
Students' income is about SEK 12,000/month with a full student grant. According to the recommendation of the Swedish National Union of Students (SFS), a reasonable rent should not exceed 35% of this income, which means a maximum rent of SEK 4200/month for a furnished 15 sqm room including electricity and wifi, which may then be adapted to the local rent level in each place of study.
According to BoPool's recommendations, a reasonable rent in Lund should not exceed this level for a normal-sized furnished room with electricity and internet included.
How to calculate a reasonable rent is regulated by the Rent Act if you are renting an apartment and by the Private Rental Act if you are renting a tenant-owned apartment, owner-occupied apartment or villa.
Paying for a rental contract
In Sweden, it is not allowed to request a fee for a rental contract. Such agreements are prohibited by law and have no legal significance. A tenant who demands this can be fined or imprisoned. The fee must be refunded to the tenant upon application to the Rent Tribunal. However, requesting a deposit to be returned to the tenant at the end of the tenancy is allowed.
Landlords often request a deposit for the apartment of one or more months' rent in advance. The deposit is there as security for the landlord in case the tenant damages or breaks interiors or the like. BoPoolen recommends that any deposit does not exceed one month's rent and that it is paid in connection with the signing of the rental contract or after you have received the keys. The contract should state the account to which the money has been paid and the conditions for its return at the end of the rental period. However, in order for the landlord to keep the deposit at the end of the rental period, evidence is required, such as a written list of damages and defects in the property when you moved in, and preferably photographic evidence of both moving in and out. If a deposit is not paid back according to the agreement, you can turn to Kronofogden.
Paying deposits in advance is unfortunately a common method for scammers to trick students out of money, so keep your eyes open. Never pay a deposit without ensuring that the property exists and that your landlord is trustworthy. Below we list some suggestions:
- Ask for a live digital tour of the property through, for example, Zoom or Google meets.
- Ask for contact information and references from previous tenants.
- Check e.g. www.upplysning.se if the tenant lives at the address and call neighbors to make sure the property exists and if the landlord's information is correct.
- Ask to pay the deposit after receiving the keys. A contract is enough to show that you will be living in the property for the time being.
As a tenant, you have the right to a written contract setting out the terms of the tenancy. The contract must be signed by both parties and it is important that both parties read the contract carefully before signing it.
It is in the interest of both parties to have a contract that regulates the rent, the duration of the rental, the notice period, etc. The contract may also contain specific provisions on the use of spaces and equipment in the property. A clear rental contract signed by both parties is the best way to prevent future problems and conflicts.
If the rental contract is more advantageous to the tenant than the Rent Act, the provisions of the contract apply. If a landlord agrees to worse conditions than the Rent Act, in most cases what the Rent Act says applies, not what the contract says.
The general practice in Sweden is pacta sunt servanda, which means that agreements must be honored, both verbal and written. Therefore, do not say yes to several different landlords at the same time as this may mean that you will be tied to two or more rental contracts. In the worst case, a landlord may even demand rent from you.
Feel free to use BoPool's contract proposals - they contain everything you need to agree on and are easy to print out and fill in.
A lease can be for an indefinite period of time (open-ended) or for a fixed term (with an end date).
Fixed term with an end date
Rental period of 9 months or less
The contract expires at the end of the rental period without notice, unless a notice period has been agreed, in which case the contract must be terminated accordingly.
Rental period longer than 9 months
The contract must always be terminated in order to expire.
Indefinite period, until further notice:
Contract must always be terminated in order to expire.
Period of notice
Notice periods vary depending on the law governing the rental.
Notice period for the tenant:
A tenant always has the right to terminate a contract, regardless of whether the contract is for a fixed or indefinite period.
The Rent Act
If no notice period is specified, the tenant is always entitled to a 3-month notice period.
Private rental law
A tenant can terminate the agreement at the end of the month that occurs 1 month after the current month. If notice is given, for example, on February 18, the agreement ends on the last day of March.
The termination rules for tenants are mandatory and have no exceptions. You can agree on more favorable notice periods for the tenant but not for the landlord.
Notice period for landlords:
For contracts of indefinite duration, the landlord has a 3-month notice period. The law is mandatory and cannot be shortened.
For fixed-term contracts, the landlord is bound to the contract for the entire rental period and is only entitled to terminate the rental contract due to serious breach of contract. 12 kap. 42-44 §§ Jordabalken.
The Private Tenancy Act
The landlord is entitled to a 3-month notice period regardless of whether the agreement is for a definite or indefinite period.
A notice of termination should preferably be in writing as the person terminating the agreement has the burden of proof that the other party has received the notice in time.
All terminations are effective from the end of the next month. The contract cannot be terminated, for example, on the 10th of a month but is linked to the end of a month.
Example: If you terminate your lease sometime in August and have a three-month notice period, the lease is valid until November 30.
Lund is a small city and unfortunately does not have room for all students at Lund University. It can be hard to find a place to stay in or near the center of Lund and many students live in surrounding areas instead. Luckily there are a few bigger cities and a lot of beautiful towns easily accessible by bike, bus or train. It is easy to commute! The rent is usually lower and it is easier to find housing - especially at the beginning of the semester - if you don’t limit your search to Lund city center. You will find more information about distances and commuting times here.
You can always trade up later
The housing situation in Lund is tough and most people have to wait a while for the dream apartment. This does not mean that you should accept any housing standard. You can always demand that your living standard should meet all legal requirements for housing.
It is not only more cozy and less expensive to live with friends, it can also be easier to find a larger apartment. Join others and look for a place to share!
If you have an apartment or perhaps a room in another city, in Sweden or abroad, chances are that a student from Lund is going there. Swapping is a common option and you can find it on most websites that offer ads for housing.
Beware of fraud
Sadly there are those who try to take advantage of the tough housing situation by defrauding housing applicants. Avoid fraud by thinking very carefully before sending money or sharing personal information with anyone. Landlords who claim to be abroad and therefore are not able to show the apartment, or who require large deposits to foreign bank accounts, are often scammers. Read our advice to learn more. If you get suspicious – contact us and we will help you!
There is no legal requirement to have home insurance, although your landlord will almost always require you to have one. In addition, it is good to always have home insurance, regardless of how you live, as it is required if you are to be compensated in case of fire or water damage.
Checklist for housing
If you are an international exchange or degree-seeking student, you can apply for housing through LU Accommodation, who manage a limited number of rooms and flats in Lund, Malmö and Helsingborg. For more information visit the website here.
The membership also allows you to join the AF Bostäder housing queue. Click here to sign up. Studentlund – all of Lund’s student life in one membership.
Sign up for the AF Bostäder housing queue. AF Bostäder is Lund’s largest student housing provider with more than 6000 housing units. You can read more about the terms for joining the queue and how you get housing with AF Bostäder here.
The nations in Lund are student organisations that also have some student housing. The procedure to get housing differs between the different nations, so the best thing to do is to contact them and ask. You will find the contact information here.
5. Use BoPoolen.nu
Use BoPoolen.nu to upload and respond to ads. Here on BoPoolen’s website you can upload an ad where you describe yourself and what type of housing you are looking for. You can also respond to ads uploaded by landlords.
6. Make yourself heard in other channels
Use Facebook and other types of media to reach a broader audience with your housing search. Write about yourself and what you are looking for. It can also be a good idea to put up ads on bulletin boards around town.
7. Other housing providers
Get in touch with municipal housing companies and private landlords. There are also some foundations in Lund that each has a small number of housing units. Not all of these assign housing through a queue system so it's important to show that you are really interested and to make a good impression. You can explore these possibilities here.
8. Temporary accommodation
Unfortunately it can sometimes be hard to find long-term accommodation in or near Lund, at least at the beginning of the semster. Don’t lose hope! Look for accommodation to cover the first weeks or months of your stay, and then look for more long-term accommodation on site. For short-term accommodation, check Airbnb, hostels or Couchsurfing. BoPoolen also arranges a couch surfing campaign at the beginning of each semester so you're welcome to contact us if you are still looking for housing upon your arrival in Lund. For more suggestions on temporary accommodation click here.
We wish you the best of luck in your search for housing!