SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

RENTING

Five essential words you need when renting a home in Norway 

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. 

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

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.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

READER INSIGHTS

READERS REVEAL: What is it like to rent in Norway as a foreigner? 

Renting in another country can be a daunting prospect, and many won't know what to expect. Here's what The Local's readers have said about renting in Norway. 

READERS REVEAL: What is it like to rent in Norway as a foreigner? 

Finding a place to call home is a big decision that can have a massive impact on your quality of life.

While research can help give you an understanding of how the rental process works, nothing is more valuable than hearing the experiences of those who have actually been there and done it. 

Luckily, some of The Local’s readers have been kind enough to share their experiences, both good and bad, on what it’s like to rent in Norway. 

Unscrupulous landlords? 

Unfortunately, the country’s landlords can be a mixed bag, according to those who responded to the survey. 

Mritunjay, from Oslo, who has lived in Norway for three years, said that in the last property they rented, the landlord inspected the property three times and waited until after they had moved out before notifying them of any damage. By this point, it was too late to rectify the issue, and the landlord then demanded a significant amount to repair the damage. 

Other readers also had issues with landlords trying to cling onto deposits. 

“The landlord of the previous apartment won’t return the deposit. We stayed there for four years and two months. We endured noise when he renovated his house and turned the basement into another apartment. There was constant drilling noise and whatnot for 4-5 months. Now he’s looking for tiny wear and tear damage and demanding the deposit. It’s still going on, and it’s completely frustrating,” one resident told The Local. 

READ ALSO: How to resolve disputes with your landlord

Some landlords are better than others

Some residents had much more positive encounters with landlords though.

Alyssa, who has lived in both Trondheim and Oslo, cited “responsive and friendly landlords” as a positive of renting as a foreigner. 

Another reader said they were a fan of some landlord’s hands-off approach. 

“My landlord is super easy-going. He gave me the contract, everything was fine. I paid, he gave me the keys, and we haven’t not spoken for two years,” Diego from Adger said. 

There were other positives too 

Overall, more readers said they had a positive experience of renting in Norway than bad. 50 percent of readers who responded to the survey said they had positive experiences of renting a place in Norway. This is compared to just over a quarter who said that they had mixed feelings about signing a lease in Norway, and just over a fifth who said that their experience of being a tenant in Norway was negative. 

Positives that readers pointed out about being a tenant in Norway were agencies being quick to take care of any issues, the process being relatively straightforward, and there being a good amount of furnished options available. One other respondent said that landlords not being able to enter the house without permission or arranging an appointment first was a plus. 

Large deposits, being ‘ghosted’ by landlords and potential tenants ignored due to the colour of their skin 

Renting isn’t without its drawbacks, though. A reader from southern Norway said that they found that landlords wouldn’t respond based on the colour of their skin. 

“As an American woman of colour, doors (were) closed because of my exotic name and lovely skin colour,” the reader responded when asked about the drawbacks of renting in Norway. 

“Old houses, high electricity prices, (its) difficult to secure a rental house, high rent, bad neighbours and terrible landlords,” Martin, from Oslo, listed as his issues with renting in Norway. 

The most common downside mentioned by international residents was sky-high deposits. The typical deposit is equivalent to three months’ rent, which is a significant outlay for many.  

READ MORE: How much can the landlord ask for as a deposit?

Another issue some tenants said they had was being ghosted by landlords, meaning they never heard back if the apartment had already been let out. 

Is it harder for foreigners to rent in Norway? 

This was the final question we asked readers in our survey, and respondents were split on whether it was easy or not for a foreigner to let a place in the Scandinavian country. 

Slightly more readers said that it was easy to find a place as an international residential than said it was hard. 

Some found it easier because their employers helped with the process or they had agencies to help with the contracts and papers. Others said the process was straightforward if you had an identification number and a Norwegian bank account. 

READ MORE: What are the best banks for foreigners in Norway?

A reader from the US living in Østerås said that they found the process easy due to their nationality and that Norwegians seemed more willing to rent to Americans than other foreigners. 

Those who found the process harder said it was due to a language barrier and some landlords viewing foreign tenants sceptically. One respondent said enquiries sent in English were often ignored.

Another said they didn’t hear back about apartments unless their Norwegian partner handled the process. 

“When I enquire about an apartment, I get no response, and when my Norwegian husband does, he gets responses almost immediately,” one participant said. 

If you have a story on renting in Norway that you feel other international residents could benefit from, you can contact us

SHOW COMMENTS