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Renting in Norway: The most common disputes between tenants and landlords

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Renting in Norway: The most common disputes between tenants and landlords
There are a number of common disputes between landlords and tenants in Norway. Pictured is an apartment block in Norway. Photo by Anastassia Odincova on Unsplash

There are several common rental disputes in Norway, whether it's deposits, the rent being hiked, complaints about guests, or whether you can have a pet. But what does the law say about them?

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Rent issues

Rising interest rates and inflation have increased costs for landlords. Examples include higher mortgage repayments or more expensive service fees in apartment blocks.

This means they may need to raise the rent on the property. From a tenant's perspective, these raises can seem unfair and unreasonable.

Luckily for both the tenant and landlord, there are clear guidelines on what is and isn't allowed when it comes to rent increases. Landlords can only raise the rent in line with the Consumer Price Index. This can only be done twice a year and not within the first 12 months of tenancy.

The landlord must also give a tenant one month's notice of the rent increase. If the tenant is only on a one-year contract, the rent cannot be increased until the current contract expires. The landlord can set the rent on a new contract to whatever they wish.

READ MORE: When can the landlord increase rent and by how much?

Guests and visitors

Another common issue in Norway arises with visitors. Some landlords like to keep tabs on who comes and goes more than others. This may be the case when renting a hybel from a landlord who lives in the house above or renting a room in your landlord's home.

Essentially, the landlord cannot stop you from having visitors. Nor can they raise the rent if you have frequent visitors, such as a partner staying overnight.

They can't raise the rent if the partner moves in later either – outside of the existing rules for increasing rent.

Although, they may be able to stipulate rules for visitors in the contract. But these terms can be no worse than the tenants' rights, protected under Norwegian law.

The landlord must not keep you from having visitors as the law it gives the tenant exclusive use of the space they are renting.


It is the tenant's responsibility to ensure that the house rules are met. If your guests continually break the house rules outlined in the contract, it can be considered a breach of the contract.

Guest and visitors can increase landlords' costs if water and energy are included in the bill. If this is the case, they may suggest amending the contract so that you cover your water and bills. If sharing a place with other tenants, this may be harder to do.


Rental contracts in Norway will typically state whether pets are or aren't allowed. If the contract doesn't state this, it would be best to get written confirmation from your landlord.

Animals can still be kept if there are good reasons for it, and keeping the animal in question doesn't come to the detriment of the landlord or other property users. One example would be social and welfare considerations or if the tenant's partner is moving in and they have pets.

If the contract states no animals, and you decide you want a pet – it is best to ask the landlord first rather than hope that the Housing Rent Act is on your side. If the landlord does agree to allow pets after all, it is best to get an amendment to the contract to reflect the change.


It's also worth pointing out that if a pet is moved in without a landlord's approval, it shouldn't emit an unpleasant smell or noise or cause physical discomfort such as fear or allergic reactions.

Not only could doing so sour the relationship with your landlord, but it could also be a breach of the contract.

READ MORE: Do tenants in Norway have the right to keep a pet?

Deposits and damages

Firstly, a deposit should always be paid into a separate holding account, not one belonging to the landlord or tenant.

When it comes to settling the deposit account, disagreements can arise about how it should be deposited between the parties.

Tenants must return the rental property in the same condition as when they took over, with normal wear and tear to the property being permitted.

Unfortunately, the law isn't clear on what wear and tear constitutes. One solution is to go through a check-out process when you move out. This would see both parties inspect the property together or separately to ensure they are happy with the property's condition when moving out.


Both parties should take pictures of the apartment's condition. For the tenant, it is best to take pictures both when they first move in and afterwards so they do not get the blame for the damage a previous tenant has caused.

The pictures also illustrate the place's cleanliness when you moved out to prevent you from being hit with rogue cleaning charges.

Keeping any invoices from cleaners also proves the property has been left in good standing.

If a landlord does want to deduct an amount from your deposit for damage, you should ask a professional independent from the landlord whether the damage in question is normal wear and tear and, if it isn't, how much it would cost to repair or replace – to avoid the landlord trying to deduct an overinflated or arbitrary figure from the deposit.

When it comes to repairs and maintenance, the landlord is responsible for general repairs and maintenance. The tenant is responsible for upkeep fixtures that are not part of the building, taps, locks, boilers and switches. If they are broken beyond repair, then it is up to the landlord to replace them.


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