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Renting For Members

Moving to Norway: How to find a place to rent and what to expect 

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected] • 10 Nov, 2022 Updated Thu 10 Nov 2022 12:55 CEST
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Here are the key things you need to know about finding a home in Norway. Pictured is a tiny birdhouse with a home in Bergen in the background. Photo by Lachlan Gowen on Unsplash

One of the biggest steps when moving to a new city or country is finding a place to live. Here's what you need to know about finding a flat in Norway and what to expect along the way. 

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Every country's rental market has its quirks. Norway is no different, and there are several key things to know when it comes to finding a place to live. 

Whether it's where to look for property or what to expect from the process, this guide should have you covered when it comes to finding a place to call home. 

Where to look

In Norway, there are several places where you can search for rental properties. The most popular among these is Finn.no. Finn.no is a listing site where everything from property, cars and used furniture is put up for sale. 

While this site is the biggest, it isn't available in English (like most property sites). Thankfully, its property section is quite robust and lets you tailor a search to your needs. You will need to go to the bolig (property) section of the site and click on 'bolig til leie' (property to rent). From there, you can filter your search down. 

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You can always use the translate function offered by the browser. But, while the translation feature is pretty robust, some of the critical details in the listing may get lost in translation. However, some listings are also posted in English. 

Hybel.no is another option. The properties listed here are typically smaller apartments, studios, and rooms in a flat share. The listings are also primarily situated in the biggest cities. One upside to Hybel is that more properties come with furniture.

Additionally, the contract and deposit can also be made through Hybel. Furthermore, you can post an ad as a tenant with details on your budget and what you are looking for so landlords can approach you. 

One downside is that there are far fewer listings when compared to Finn.no. 

Other options include sites like Utleiemegleren and Rubrikk

What to do when you find a place

Once you find a place, you'll need to act quickly and contact the landlord for more info or try to arrange a viewing. 

This is because there is generally a shortage of quality rental properties on the market. This means competition is stiff and a decent flat usually only spends two to three weeks on the market before it is snapped up. 

When going to a viewing, try to bring a mini-resume with key information about yourself, your job and how long you would like to rent to give you an edge over other prospective tenants.

On the subject of viewings, they can be privately arranged with the landlord or public where many people may show up. Making an impression at these will be a significant factor in whether the landlord chooses to let out their apartment to you. 

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The next steps (in short)

Once you've found a house and contacted the landlord, they may decide that you're the tenant they'd like to have rent from them. 

From there, you will arrange the formalities, such as rent and deposits. There is a legal requirement for a contract, and you will also need to pay the deposit into a separate holding account- not the landlord's. 

You'll be expected to pay the first month's rent in advance and a deposit in the region of one to three months. If you rent a furnished apartment, you should also expect an inventory. 

Once that's all settled, it's just about moving in. 

You may have a harder time as a foreigner   

Finding a place to live in Norway will be harder for a foreigner than a local, and even in international cities like Oslo, Norwegians may typically be preferred over tenants from abroad.

In a survey among readers, one common complaint about renting in Norway was that enquiries sent in English were very rarely responded to. 

Others said landlords seemed more willing to rent to those from countries like the US than other nations. 

While one said they never head back unless their Norwegian partner handled the process. 

READ MORE: What is it like to rent in Norway as a foreigner?

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Frazer Norwell 2022/11/10 12:55

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