How should I pay my first rent?

Now that you have booked your accommodation, what's next?

Hopefully, you have found your accommodation, especially from housing agencies with an agreement with Chalmers. There is also accommodation guarantee from Chalmers for students who pay tuition fee and/or get a scholarship, and exchange students*. If you haven't, don't give up! There are other services and alternatives, such as Boplats1, Blocket2, and other private landlords. I was struggling with looking for accommodation last year, but after having tried many options and patiently waiting, I finally got my housing. So, be patient and don't give up! When you have booked your accommodation, it’s time to keep your place and pay the first rent. If you are still deciding whether to pay from your home country (pre-departure) or pay in Sweden (post-arrival), I will share some experience for both payments.

*Bilateral agreements, Nordic 5 Tech, UNITECH, Erasmus Mundus, Double Master's Degree.

Pay from your home country (pre-departure)

Housing agencies usually want you to pay the rent in advance, for example, SGS Studentbostäder. If you start in August, then you should have paid at the latest by the end of July.

The first installment of housing rent usually can only be paid through bank transfer. Students from outside Sweden might not have Swedish bank account yet. Thus you should use international bank transfer and prepare:

  • Name of the landlord/ Recipient of the payment 

  • Name, address, and account number of landlord’s bank

  • BIC and IBAN of your landlord 

Bring the information to your bank and ask the officer to help you with the transfer. I used this method last year because I found it more comfortable and wanted my rent paid before I came. However, you should keep your fingers crossed that the exchange rate will be reasonable, and also be prepared that usually there is an extra transfer charge for the international transaction. For some countries, you can use an online service like ‘Transferwise’ as an alternative for international bank transfer. Don’t forget to check the due date payment for your accommodation and pay it on time. International transactions usually take more time than domestic transactions. Check with your bank and send a notice to the landlords if you have some difficulties or delay when paying the rent. If you miss your payment, you might lose your place.

Pay in Sweden (post-arrival)

Some other housing agencies would still let you pay after your arrival. Don’t worry, the landlord will still let you in and use the apartment as long as you keep good communication. 

You might not have a bank account in Sweden yet, so you have to pay with cash. Note that not all landlords would accept banknote or cash. Therefore, you have to bring your money to the bank and ask them to transfer it to your landlord’s bank account. Not every bank in Sweden accepts cash, so you can’t just go to any bank. I remember last year my friend was trying to pay directly to Handelsbanken, which was the landlord’s bank account, but the bank did not accept cash (anymore). So, he looked for another bank and found Forex Bank, which accepts cash and could transfer it to another bank account. It is very convenient to do actually, but you will be charged 50SEK for every transaction. When you already have your Swedish bank account, you can transfer to your landlord using online banking, so you don’t have to visit the bank anymore.

Extra note: Some of you might get housing from private landlords or other housing agencies. If so, make sure you contact them properly, so you know if they are reliable and trustworthy. It is highly recommended that you send money only after seeing the property and meeting the landlord in person, which means you pay after your arrival. Be sure that you have a clear contract or agreement as well. Best of luck and I hope you could get the most suitable housing for you. 

That’s my experience, hope it is useful for you! See you in Gothenburg!

  1Boplats is a marketplace for looking for a place to stay in Gothenburg by sharing information about the housing market to applicants and other parties involved.

  2Blocket is a marketplace in Sweden to help people buy and sell goods.

Text and images by Nurina Heratri

Page manager Published: Tue 11 May 2021.