Every international student is going to undergo one of the Lund folklore - finding an accommodation. I went through this hell about a half year ago and I would like to share some information from the student perspective, not from the organization(s) point of view.
Do I find a place?
First of all, you are very probably going to find a place. As a matter of fact, I don't know about anyone who would be so unlucky not to get a place at all (at least after September).
How does it work?
Usually you should start to look for an accommodation when LU ACC (Lund Accommodation) open its registration site. Then you should get some information after a while, usually the fact that you are going to be put on waiting list and that you cannot rely on the LU ACC any more. Then you might or might not go through the waiting list. I've got about few days for the decision, so you must be kind of quick. During the time you'll be on the waiting list you should already been looking for an accommodation on your own in case it won't work.
There is no recipe for finding a place on your own. I would love to give you some good advice, but there is none.
As an international student you probably won't have a possibility to go to Lund before and work around houses - internet is the only choice here.
Besides LU ACC there is lottery going on under AF Bostäder, where you might sign up and hope to get a place. Probability of success is probably low [citation needed - someone should write them :) ].
You probably already know about aggregating sites such as BoPoolen. There you might take a look. Besides that, there is Blocket and some people also find a place using Air B&B and eventually asking for longer period of time. As you see, number of possibilities is immerse.
If you don't have a place
There are actually some people who, even if they try or for whatever other reason, don't find a place before they arrive to Lund. In that case, as far as I know, it's common to book some cheap hostel or in my case find a couch surfer for a few first days. There will be more people like this and you should be able to find some group and eventually find some householder or someone who is looking for some other persons to already booked apartment.
Even if you are not successful with this, there is always a lot of new opportunities during September. That is because master students ends there studies this time and leave Lund after that. After that time, everybody I know about had a room already.
It is true that there are many of scammers. You are advised not to send any money before hand, but in reality most of the students does this, because householders know that they have an advantage. Many students are already so desperate that they risk it and householders prefer them.
There are not necessarily scammers, but just weirdos you won't probably live with.
This is part of text from one of my blog posts about Lund:
Hence, I left with 4 girls to sit in front of the cathedral and spent an hour or so chatting about their life. No one of them have accommodation from LU accommodation so they had to find it on their own. Apparently, there are really crazy people out there when you want to find a room in Lund. They haven't just met scammers, but also some crazy people who rent only to males or Christians. Everybody wants to pay in advance (even thought no one should want that and we were explicitly warned by LU not to do that). They also have an offer like: I hope we could spend some weekends together so I could lower your rent. Disgusting. One of the landlord could accommodate the girl only during the week days. On weekend, she should have gone out, because his house serves as a church. Another guy rents a "house" and somehow forget to mention that it does not have walls inside, so it's basically one big room. Another woman wants to know when exactly you want to go to toilet or bathroom, so she could write it inside the contract. Crazy, crazy, crazy. They all pay at least about 3 500 SEK per month, 4000 SEK or even more. And it's not even in center or they have to share a room.
Some data from Lund Accommodation
Lund Accommodation is extremely helpful. I wrote them an email with demand for some data and they immediately answered me basically with everything I wanted. I am very sure that if you would need any additional data or have any other questions, you can easily ask them by an email. Here is just what I've asked (some questions were apparently easily findable).
Q: What are the rules for prioritizing between tenants (is it really only first-time-first-serve)?
It is not only ‘first come-first served’, but dictated by student type, exchange programme and faculty, and only in the last instance by application date. This too is available on our website. If you have any more detailed questions as regards to priority and allocation, we will do our best to clarify further.
Q: How many people are successful to find an accommodation who applied through LU Acc?
We have a total of approximately 1400 accommodations within our service, and on average, 1200 of these are allocated during the summer for the newly arriving students for the Autumn semester. In the beginning of the Spring semester the number of accommodations available are usually around half of that in Autumn.
Q: How many people are put onto waiting list and how many of them are successful then?
This will take slightly longer to assess, as there is no easy way within our system to identify which students have been put onto the waiting list before being offered housing. We will get back to you during next week with an approximation. [I have never got an answer]