Renting a home in Oslo

What you need to know when you are renting an appartment or a house.

Finding a place to live

Some employers help their employees find housing. If you are an international student you should check if there are available student housing.

If none of these options are available to you, you will be looking for a home on the private market. We recoomend that you also post ads where you announce that you are looking for a place to live.

Viewings and personal network

Properties that are advertised in the house listings will often have a lot of competition. Most places are rented out after public or private viewings.

Whether you are renting from a commercial property manager or a private citizen, trust is a key issue. If you have people in your network who can put you in contact with a potential landlord, the personal reference might be what tips the scale in your favor.

  • Have your deposit and first month’s rent ready
  • Bring any personal reference from previous landlords, your employer or a guarantor.
  • Act quickly when you find a place you like. Ask for a viewing as soon as possible and of you like it, make an offer.
  • Answer quickly to any requests or questions from the landlord after the viewing.
  • State where you work, if you have a job
  • Know what your budget and be willing to negotiate within reason.

Rent and deposit

You pay the rent monthly and up front.

Average rental prices

Read The housing market for links to statistics and advice on evaluating price levels.

Deposit

The deposit is typically equal to three months’ rent but cannot exceed six times the agreed monthly rent. You get your deposit when you move out again, as long as the property is in the same condition as it was when you moved in.

Utilities

Go to Utilities and public services for information about electricity, wifi etc.

Tenancy agreements and contracts

There are strict regulations in place to secure your rights as a tenant.

Make sure that you:

  • Use a standard contract. This is equally important whether the landlord is a commercial business, a private citizen or a friend in a shared house. See standard contract for renting a home at the Consumer Council.
  • Use a deposit account (see below).
  • Check whether utility bills are included in your rent.
  • Include an inventory list if it is a furnished rental.
  • Take photos to document the state of the property when moving in.
  • Have the landlord’s approval before you make any major changes to the property. Damage to inventory is a common area of dispute.

Deposit account

The deposit should be placed in a designated bank account in where neither party can withdraw money from the account independently.

Using a deposit account is mandatory, as the money is secured in a shared account with strict regulations that prevents misuse on both parties. You have the right to refuse if the landlord wants you to deposit the money into his or her account or that you pay cash.

Note that you need a Norwegain eID in order to open a deposit account. To avoid fraud we do not recommend transferring money before you have seen the apartment. Many landlords will understand that it can take time to open a deposit account for international tenants. We recommend having an open dialogue about this issue.

Renting a home before you have a norwegian bank account

You need a Norwegain eID in order to open a deposit account. You might not want to wait for your bank account before you start looking for a home you can settle in, though.

Negotiate

Some landlords will be willing to negotiate to find a temporary solution if you can’t open a deposit account yet. It will always pose more risk for one or both parties, so don’t agree to part with money if there is anything you feel unsure about, and don’t misuse the landlord’s trust.

Guarantor

You can ask your employer or someone you trust to be your guarantor (garantist), or to put down the money for your deposit. This can be a temporary arrangement until you can open the deposit account.

Rent guarantee

Some landlords and letting agents will offer you to buy a rent guarantee payment instead of paying the deposit. This is not the cheapest or safest alternative – before you choose this option do some research (keywords: husleiegaranti, leiegaranti, depositumsgaranti).

Go to leieboerforeningen.no (Tenants’ organization) for information about rent guarantee (in Norwegian)

Inventory insurance

Finansportalen is a publicly funded price calculator for financial services and insurance. Insurance companies are obligated to report their prices. You enter details about yourself and the property to receive a price comparison list.

Learn about your tenant rights

Below are some of the most authoritative sources of information regarding tenant rights.

The Consumer Council of Norway (Forbrukerr├ądet)

An independent, publicly funded organization helping consumers with information and advice.

On their website , you can file complaints, find standard contracts and get practical advice.

The Consumer Council also operate a phone service where you can talk to a consumer adviser.

The Rent Disputes Tribunal (Husleietvistutvalget - HTU)

An official body that resolves disputes between landlords and tenants over residential property.

The Tenants’ Association (Leieboerforeningen)

Protects the interests of tenants and offer advice and legal services. Their webpage has practical information for tenants and they have a lower membership price for students

Go to leierboerforeningen.no (in Norwegian)

Ungifo

UngInfo is an information centre in Oslo for young people under the age of 27.

Go to unginfo.no for information about housing (in Norwegian). You can also contact them if you need help or have any questions.

Regjeringen.no

Brochures with easy explanations about the tenancy act and your rights (in Norwegian)