Your contact person in Oslo and Akershus University College can help you rent your first apartment or house. Learn more about how to find housing and how your contact person can assist you.
Residence in Norway
Residence in Norway comes in various shapes and sizes, ranging from cozy apartments with few rooms, to real estate wonders with gardens and lakes. The vast majority of advertisements are found on websites such as finn.no, where one can go through extensive galleries of available apartments and houses, and some are also advertised in local newspaper and the biggest Oslo newspaper called Aftenposten. Some real estate agents also deal with property for rent, such as Utleiemegleren where you can sign up to get available rental listings.
You can choose between furnished, somewhat furnished and unfurnished housing. In the beginning, newcomers are recommended to get a ready furnished place to save time and money, but should you want to get your own things, Oslo has several inexpensive furniture stores such as IKEA that has a free shuttle bus to/from downtown.
Rent or own?
Rent is usually seen as a temporary solution in Norway. Owning a house or an apartment is one of the cornerstones of Norwegian culture. As the old Norwegian saying goes: “paying for rent is like throwing money out of the window”. Banks in Norway are secure and offer good interest rates. You can often support a loan for the same money as paying rent; therefore, many people choose to buy as soon as they have a stable income.
The contract between the property owner and the tenant describes the exact terms of the lease, such as monthly rent and deposit amount. It is common that the deposit is 3 months’ rent. Note that electricity and heating expenses are often included in the rent, and apartments in Norway always come with electrical appliances.
While prices can vary significantly, depending on the size of the house and its proximity to the city center, a typical rent in Oslo for an one-bedroom apartment can easily exceed NOK 10.000 (Norwegian kroner) a month. Larger apartments with more bedrooms cost around NOK 16.000 and can even break the barrier of NOK 20.000 a month. If you come on your own and do not mind sharing a place to save on rent, you can opt to live in shared housing (Norwegian: kollektiv).
Buildings and floors
The first floor in a Norwegian building is the ground or street floor. One flight of stairs upwards leads to the second floor, and so forth. If you come from a country where the first floor lies above the ground floor, your first few months in a Norwegian city can be somewhat confusing, but it is only a matter of time before you get used to it.
Mandatory fire protection
Keep in mind that fire protection is mandatory in Norway. Smoke detectors must be installed and maintained properly in every home. If you are considering living in Norway even for a short time, you should familiarize yourself with the procedures.