You should plan for a temporary arrangement, such as a youth hostel, before moving into permanent accommodation.
Stockholm is quite a small city and public transportation works well, so don’t get obsessed with getting a room close to the university. If you look for rooms over a large area you will have a better chance of obtaining housing. Look at www.sl.se/en/ (public transportation journey planner) to see how long it will take to get to the university from your accommodation.
For more information, check SSCO's useful and up-to-date guide via the students' union, which is about how to look for housing in Stockholm.
The second-hand rental market
Many young people in Stockholm rely on the second-hand rental market - subletting - for housing. Renting second-hand can be a great way to find accommodation quickly. However, finding something affordable and secure can be a challenge. Unfortunately, there are people who try to profit from this situation, so it is not uncommon for “fake ads” to be found on websites, but they can normally be spotted if the rent sounds too good to be true.
There are several websites with private advertisers. Most of the advertisements are legitimate and serious. However, never pay anything in advance if the person does not have a Swedish bank account, cannot show the apartment or room in person, and cannot provide you with written proof from the landlord that they are allowed to rent out their apartment or room. We recommend that you only pay in advance if you are using a real estate agency (they usually charge a service fee).
This is a guide to how to spot a false housing ad: How to avoid frauds - The Ultimate Guide
Helpful accommodation links
Housing anywhere (user-friendly database with map)
Easy rental (receive email alerts when rooms become available via Blocket, AkademiskKvart & Rumakuten, in English)
Qasa (subletting without the risks)
Bostad direkt (long-stay hotels and private residences)
Akademisk Kvart (for students only. Adverts may be in English)
SSSB (biggest student housing provider in stockholm, queue system)
Important! International students who have just arrived in Sweden do not automatically obtain a Swedish personal ID number (personnummer). They may therefore initially experience some difficulty in finding accommodation.
There are housing companies that do not require visiting students to supply a personal ID number. The Stockholm Housing Foundation, SSSB, is one of them.