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How to find housing in Umeå

Here are a number of suggestions concerning where to enquire and how to go about finding a place to reside in Umeå.

Student's Personal Responsibility

As per the Swedish system, it is each student's personal responsibility to find accommodation in the area during the time that he or she studies at the university. As it is forbidden by Swedish law, accommodation is not provided, administered or arranged by the University. This law applies to Swedish and International students. The only exceptions to this law are the exchange students who come to the university under formal exchange agreements between their home university and the Swedish university, and tuition fee-paying students that are residents of countries outside the EU/EEA.

Bostaden

The first thing that you should do is to sign up with the main provider of student housing: Bostaden is the municipal housing company in Umeå. Please read all of the information on their website carefully so that you completely understand their system and what is required of you. We advise you to register with Bostaden as soon as possible (the sooner the better), as this will increase your chances of obtaining housing through them. Registering does not entail any obligation to rent from them. When you register with Bostaden, please note that when you are asked for your "Personal ID-number" you should fill in your date of birth in the first box and in the following order: year, month, day (YYMMDD). For example, if you were born on the 20th of May 1978, you should write 780520. If you do not have a Swedish personal ID-number, just leave the second box blank.
Bostaden - information for applicants

Other Landlords

In addition to registering with Bostaden, you may also check the list of housing companies and landlords that are presented on the Umeå municipality website and contact them. Most of these landlords and housing companies are private and have a number of different systems for allocating their vacant apartments. It is quite uncommon for them to have vacant apartments and an empty waiting list, but it does not hurt to try.
Real estate companies

Online Ads

If you know some Swedish, you may also search for accommodation among the on-line adverts of private landlords or people who want to rent out their room or apartment for shorter or longer periods of time. You can search in the on-line edition of the local newspaper VK or on Blocket. (sites are in Swedish).

You can also try to advertise for an apartment on Blocket. The advertisement is placed directly on-line under "Lägg in annons". Even with the aid of the mini-dictionary that can be found on this site, some knowledge of Swedish may be required in order to submit the advertisement. There is a fee involved when advertising on Blocket (SEK 50-90).

Emergency Housing - Your Last Resort

If you have tried everything to obtain accommodation and still not found a place to stay a week or two before the start of the semester, you can, as a last resort, turn to the emergency housing agency. This agency can help by providing students with a temporary place to stay, thus giving them a little more time to find a more permanent solution. The temporary placing could be in a camping cottage, a trailer or a room with a family.
Emergency housing office

Special Cases

Exchange students under formal agreement between Umeå University and another learning institution - providing that they apply before the deadline - have the opportunity to sign up for accommodation through the International Housing Office. The students admitted for studies at the Umeå Institute of Design and the Umeå International School of Public Health should visit their respective department websites (or read the department-specific information that was sent to them after their admission to the programme) in order to get further instructions regarding the securing of housing in Umeå.

Language Aid When Looking for Housing

If you want to search through on-line adds for accommodation, or perhaps place an add yourself, you might need some help understanding the language. The below listed words and expressions should help you to use the search tools on the websites.

First thing to remember is to choose "Västerbotten" as area to look in (the county where Umeå is situated) when searching among on-line advertisements.

  • Sök = Search
  • Uthyres = Up for rent (offering accommodation)
  • Önskas hyra = Wanting to rent (looking for accommodation)
  • Bostad = Accommodation
  • Hyresrätt = Rent controlled apartment
  • Bostadsrätt = Condominium style apartment
  • Villa = House
  • Radhus = Town house
  • Lägenhet = Apartment/Flat
  • Rum = Room
  • 1:a = apartment with one room, kitchen and bathroom.
  • 2:a = apartment with two rooms, kitchen and bathroom.
  • Boyta = Living area/Size
  • Avgift/Hyra= Fee/Rent (per month)
  • Datum = Date that the add was placed (it is usually no use calling on adds that are older than 3 weeks)