Rental laws for foreigners in Sweden

When it comes to doing fun and exciting things, the only thing that beats traveling to a new country is staying in one for a while. Sure, going on a short trip is interesting and you get to enjoy yourself. But when you live in that place, you get to really know the culture and the people, and you live like a local, which can be quite a fascinating experience. One of the best places you could move to for some time is Sweden. The country has gorgeous natural scenery, and the culture is quite unique and interesting. It goes without saying, the Swedish people are some of the nicest you could ever meet. If there is one thing you need to do before relocating there, it is knowing rental laws for foreigners.

A fierce market

Before we get into the actual laws, you should know that the rental market in Sweden is quite competitive and fierce. It is so crazy that there is actually a black market for long term leases. This is why it is definitely not easy to find a rental in Sweden, and why you need to carefully consider your options before going to just any lease.

Subletting a leased property

Because it can be so difficult to find a place in Sweden, you usually have two options. You can rent directly from a landlord, which is considered to be a first-hand rental, or you can rent from the current tenant –- second hand. The first option isn’t quite common, and for most foreigners, they will end up leasing the property from the current tenants rather than the actual landlord. You need to understand how that works so you can avoid getting scammed or anything. If you are someone renting an apartment and you want to sublet it to another foreigner, you will need the landlord’s permission to do that.

As for costs, a foreigner should expect to pay a fair price in Sweden, usually covering utility costs as well as capital costs, if they’re leasing from the owner. If a foreigner is leasing the property from a tenant, then they should pay what the current tenant is paying in addition to around 10 to 15% in additional costs for furniture, if the property is furnished. You should know that if the current tenant can’t overcharge you as a foreigner, because that is actually a crime in Sweden.


If you are renting a first-hand property, the landlord can’t just decide to increase the rent without properly notifying you. They should notify you of the proposed increase, and you can accept or reject it. Yes, it is well within your rights to reject the proposed increase, and the landlord can appeal to the Rent Tribunal to forcibly apply it. In either case, you should have a law firm in your contacts just in case things go south. There are several points to take into consideration when finding one, but the website design should be the first indicator. You can learn more about website designs by checking several different websites and finding law firms that hired experts to create their sites. It shows that they care and are meticulous enough to spend money getting the best web design possible, which is the kind of attorneys you should be dealing with.

How long are the contracts?

Well, even as a foreigner, you can keep renewing your lease for as long as you want. The landlord can only terminate your contract if they have a powerful reason to do so, like wanting to do a makeover of the premises or something. If you want to terminate the lease, though, you can do it at any time by serving a 3-month notice whenever you want to end your contract. You also don’t need to pay a deposit when renting a property in Sweden.

What is the tenant allowed to do?

Well, unless otherwise stated in the contract, you may redecorate the place as much as you want. You can paint, change the tiles, and do just about anything without needing the landlord’s approval. You are also entitled to get all the amenities needed from heating and water to electricity and electrical appliances, unless you wish to lease an unfurnished property.

Things are definitely a bit more complicated in Sweden when it comes to renting a property. This is why you need to spend some time reading up and learning about the different rental laws and regulations, so you could take the next step in knowing what you are entitled to and what is needed of you.