FAQs about housing via Umeå University

The Accommodation Service at Umeå University helps to arrange accommodation for international employees and students. Here, we have compiled FAQs relating to the Accommodation Service and in particular the changes taking place within this area during 2023–2024.

Returning apartments to AB Bostaden

Are all the apartments we had with AB Bostaden being returned?
Yes, all visiting research fellow apartments that we rent via a block agreement with AB Bostaden will be returned in four stages. This is expected to be completed by 31 July 2024.

How will the research fellows/doctoral students who currently rent accommodation via Umeå University be affected?
The research fellow/doctoral student who is currently renting the apartment may need to move to another apartment. This will be arranged by the Accommodation Service. Remember that the tenancy period is limited to two years, so it is always important that the tenant registers with AB Bostaden, Heimstaden and others to secure a primary tenancy agreement.

What does the department need to do?
The department does not need to do anything in connection with the change. The tenant will receive information about what is happening and what they need to do.

How is AB Bostaden justifying the termination of this agreement, and why is this happening?
The apartments are student apartments, and AB Bostaden has the legal right to terminate agreements with people who are not considered to be students. Most of our visiting research fellows are not authorised to live in a student apartment. AB Bostaden wants more students to have the opportunity to rent accommodation.

If you rent an apartment via the University in a new area, will the same conditions apply as before? Will the apartments still include furniture and equipment?
The same conditions as before will continue to apply. The apartments will be part-furnished, and bed linen and cleaning equipment will be provided.

Are the new rental properties at Lasarettsbacken apartments, and what type are they?
All 167 properties are apartments spread across three buildings. These are studios, one-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom apartments.

New procedures for housing administration

Are the conditions for renting the same? In other words, is it still only one year for employees?
The new procedures mean that all visiting research fellows are entitled to a two-year agreement (24 months). For students, the same rules as before will continue to apply: An exchange student gets one semester, with the opportunity to extend this for one more semester. A fee-paying student gets two semesters. This cannot be extended.

Are visiting research fellows who are employees entitled to accommodation?
According to the procedures, the following are entitled to accommodation: University employees who have been employed for a maximum of six months and who work primarily with research/artistic research and who have completed a doctoral degree no more than five years before their employment began.

What will happen to visiting research fellows who are already in the queue and are not entitled to accommodation under the new procedures?
If a request has already been received, it will be treated like any other request. The visiting research fellow has been added to the queue and can apply for accommodation via the University.

New fees for housing

What will the new fees mean for tenants?
From 1 January 2024, the monthly rent will increase by 2%–20% for those tenants who rent accommodation from Umeå University.

What will happen to the previously agreed surcharge on the rent?
The previous surcharge on the rent, the 15% service charge, will be removed and replaced by this increase.

The departments currently pay an agreement fee (SEK 4,000). Will this still apply when a new agreement is signed?
Yes, the department will continue to pay an agreement fee of SEK 4,000 per new agreement.

Do the new fees apply to all visiting research fellows, including those who signed agreements in March 2023?
Yes, the new fee will apply to all tenants from 1 January 2024.

Other questions

How does the queue system work?

From the day when we receive the application from the department, the visiting research fellow is registered in our Accommodation Portal and their queue points begin to accrue at a rate of one point per day. The number of points required to get accommodation depends on how many people are in the queue at that particular time and how open the visiting research fellow is to different accommodation options. For example, it is easier to be offered a smaller apartment than a larger one. Tenants can see which available apartments/student rooms they can register their interest in via our Accommodation Portal. All available apartments and student rooms have a descriptive text detailing what is included, including images of the housing and a map of where the housing is located.

What determines who receives a housing offer?

When the Accommodation Service receives an expression of interest, other people may also have registered an interest in the same rental property. The queue system determines which individual receives an offer by email. The applicant has one day to accept or decline the offer.

How and when is an agreement signed with the visiting research fellow?

If the visiting research fellow accepts the offer, the Accommodation Service draws up an agreement with start and end dates and sends it to the visiting research fellow for digital signing, together with a welcome email containing practical information about the accommodation.

What types of accommodation are offered?

The Accommodation Service offers apartments and student rooms of various sizes. Most of these are within a 20–30 minute walking distance of the campus, but some are located in areas such as Böleäng, Ersboda and Umedalen. All accommodation is rented out furnished, and cleaning equipment is included in all apartments.

How is the rent paid?

Invoices are sent to the tenant by email. The rent must be paid in advance, and all the payment details can be found on the invoice. The rent is set by decision of the University Director using a compensation model that is compatible with the Swedish Tenancy Act, which means that the tenant pays reasonable rent for accommodation rented via the Accommodation Service.
The University Director has decided on new fees for the Accommodation Service from 1 January 2024. From 1 January 2024, the monthly rent will increase by 2%–20% for those tenants who rent accommodation from Umeå University. The previous surcharge on the rent, the 15% service charge, will be removed and replaced by this increase. From 1 January 2024, the rent charged for housing rented out by Umeå University will consist of three parts: basic rent, any supplement for furnishings and equipment, and administrative costs.

The department will pay the rent. What should we do?

In those cases where the department will pay the rent, your contact must also sign the agreement digitally, thus acting as a co-signatory alongside the tenant. The tenant will receive all practical information via the Accommodation Portal, but the rental invoices will be sent to the department. The agreement is needed in order to provide the visiting research fellow with an address and to collect the key.

How does the tenant terminate their agreement?

All agreements are limited in time, which means that the tenant does not need to terminate their agreement at the end of their tenancy. One month in advance, the Accommodation Service will send information about moving out and returning the key via the Accommodation Portal, as well as to the email address registered with the Accommodation Service. In those cases where the tenant wishes to end their agreement earlier, notice must be given three months in advance. Confirmation of termination will be sent to the tenant, together with information about moving out. Any further questions about moving out should be directed to the Accommodation Service.

Can agreements be extended?

The Accommodation Service offers initial accommodation for a maximum of two years, and takes a restrictive approach towards extending the accommodation period.

What are the costs for my department?

The Accommodation Service charges a fee of SEK 4,000 per agreement to the department in question, by decision of the University Director.

 

Lena Bohlin
2/22/2024