Andrahand (Second hand) is the term used for flats which are rented out by people who do not own the place themselves.
There are two types of these flats:
- With permission (i.e. legal): if you own an appartment (bostadsrätt) or live in a regular rental appartment, you can ask for a permission to rent out for a limited time period. Valid reasons are e.g. a temporary stay abroad.
- Without permission (i.e. illegal): if the owner or tenant of an appartment does not want to or cannot get a permission, he may not rent it out - but many do it anyway, often without a contract and for high prices. A very lucrative business for the "landlord", but very risky for the tenant. They often have to live undercover, i.e. they mustn't put their name on the door and have to pretend that their landlord is actually living there.
Unfortunately, the latter type is the much more common one. Since it forms a black market, you have to be very careful when renting such an appartment. Many crooks are out there who try to steal money by promising appartments.
The legal andrahand flats must be priced at the same level as the "landlord" pays, i.e. he may not make a profit. However, he may take some extra money if he leaves furniture in the appartment. This extra should not exceed 15% of the original rent. If you have to feeling you are ripped off, there is an authority called Hyresnämnden. It is like a court which settles such disputes.
Illegal andrahand flats are often very expensive. In most cases you have to accept that as there is always the risk that you have to leave the place if there is any trouble.
Places to look for Andrahand
- Blocket: Sweden's no.1 website for small ads. It's about as popular as Craigslist and Ebay combined. Always call within 30 minutes after the post came up; most emails are ignored because the site is so popular and the demand for flats great.
- Bostad direkt: Popular website with a very special concept. You can only watch the offers after paying 695 SEK for a membership. This membership lasts only 45 days. However, it makes sure that you belong to a small, excusive and committed group looking for a place to live. The potential landlords on the other hand can be sure that all requests are meant serious.
- Annsonsera.se - Also has quite a few rental flats (the link leads directly to rental flats in Stockholm
- Abc-annons - search for "hyresrätter" (rental flat) and "uthyres" (to let).
- Forum of Lappis.org - Lappis is the largest student dorm in Stockholm. Some students rent out their student rooms, especially during the summer months.
- Bovision.se - look for "hyresrätter" and click on "Ej byteskrav".
- hyrbostad.se charges 200 SEK for 90 days. Their concept seems to be similar to Bostad Direkt.
- Craigslist is comparatively little known in Sweden, but offers some ads and may be worth a look.
- Akademisk Kvart is a portal run by the Stockholm student unions which lists available second-hand flats and rooms.