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Five essential words you need when renting a home in Norway 

These are some of the key words to make renting a home in Norway easier. Pictured is several apartment blocks in Trondheim.
These are some of the key words to make renting a home in Norway easier. Pictured is several apartment blocks in Trondheim. Photo by Gunnar Ridderström on Unsplash
Renting a home in Norway can be a dizzying process due to the breakneck speed of the property market, especially in the big cities. We can't find a place for you, but we can offer some essential vocab. 

Nailing down a few key words in a second language can make a number of everyday activities and important matters that much easier and stress free, as well as helping you put your existing skills and proficiency to good use. 

You’ll also need to have at least some Norwegian language proficiency when looking for a place to live in Norway because even though some landlords will communicate in English, and some will even do the contracts and paperwork in the same language, popular property search sites such as Finn.no and Hybel.no will only be available in Norwegian. 

This means having a few keywords and phrases handy could help you figure out some of the essential aspects of house hunting at a glance. 

We’ve put together an outline of some of these words, their meanings and the context in which you might use them. If there’s anything important you think we’ve missed, let us know. 

Husleie 

The husleie is the rent you will be paying on the property, and related words include utleier (landlord), leietaker (tenant) and leiekontrakt (rental contract). 

The word stems from the verb å leie (to rent)

Møblert/Umøblert 

This is a two for the price of one and crucial depending on what you already own and what tools you might be using to search for a property. Møblert means furnished and umøblert means unfurnished. Some places will also come delvis møblert, or partly furnished. 

When searching on sites like Finn.no and Hybel.no (not to be confused with hybel, the Norwegian word for studio or bedsit), for a property, this is a crucial box to tick or untick when searching for a place to call home. 

This is because many apartments that come unfurnished will typically be advertised with pictures of the place fully kitted out. Therefore, it’s always worth double-checking with a quick glance at the ad or site you are scrolling through. 

Other phrases to look out for include strøm og varm, (electricity and heating) vann og avløpsavgifter (water and sewage fees). This will tell you what utilities are and aren’t included in the final price. 

Depending on your needs, boligtype, (property type) is something worth looking into when house-hunting. For example, if you need a lot of space, a leilighet (apartment) might not be as suitable as an enebolig (detached house). And if you like your privacy, a rekkehus (terraced house) won’t be for you. 

Depositum 

Depositum, meaning deposit, is an easy word to decipher and in important one to be aware of. In Norway, deposits typically range from six weeks up to three months of rent. So keeping tabs on this could be essential, depending on how far your finances can stretch. It’s also worth pointing out that in addition to the hefty deposit, you will also be expected to stump up a month’s rent upfront. 

This could mean you may need up to four months worth of rent to hand, depending on the size of the deposit. 

READ ALSO: Is it better to buy or rent property in Norway?

Oppsigelsestid

Oppsigelsestid means notice period. The way rental contracts are structured in Norway makes this an important word to keep an eye out for when going over contracts and terms and conditions. 

This is because many rental contracts in Norway will be multi-year leases, usually 2-3 years, although in reality, you aren’t expected to stay the full duration of the contract. 

Contracts with these multi-year agreements will have notice periods before the first, second and third years where tenants can end the contract without incurring any financial responsibility for the remainder of the let. The notice period is typically three months. 

Make sure to note these notice periods down when you sign the contract so you can plan ahead accordingly. 

Your landlord can also terminate the contract, but will need to have a solid reason to do so. You can read more of the legal ins and outs in English via the Norwegian government website here

Forfallsdato 

Forfallsdato is the due date, so be sure to put this in your calendar. This is the day the rent is to be paid to the landlord or the person managing the tenancy on behalf of the landlord. This will typically be the first day of each month. If you rent through a service such as Hybel.no, the money will go out as a direct debit or avtalegiroIf not, you may have to pay the bill manually.


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