Housing in Norway

Having a roof over your head is one of the most important things in Norway. Before making any steps into studies, research, job seeking or whatever reasons take you to Norway, you will buy a house or secure an apartment.

Anyone who has lived abroad will tell you that the safest place people move to after long days of hustles and bustles is their home. So, you will never make a mistake to ignore getting an apartment or home from where you will draw calm and satisfaction every evening.

Norway is not your ordinary place where you can think of being homeless and survive. The weather there is chilly and nobody stays out of their heated rooms unless it is necessary. So imagine how life can be for a homeless person.

When moving to Norway as a worker with a contract ready at hand, the employers in Norway will include accommodation arrangements as part of the information package. No one wants to downplay the necessity of having a proper house in Norway because without one, life will just be unbearable. 

A beautiful neighbourhood with classic homes to buy

If you are someone planning to move to Norway without making plans for accommodation and just  kill time by running endless errands in the night, it’s unfortunate for you.  Norway is not a country where you want to be outdoors if nothing important keeps you out there.

Most people will tell you that they rarely go outdoors unless in very heavy clothing for short periods. Otherwise, people just drive in their air conditioned cars, get off and enter the enclosed premises or their homes. 

Tactics for getting a Housing in Norway

Now that you are already aware of how important having a house is in Norway, the attention shifts to means of getting a suitable one for yourself. Good news is that you will not be the first expatriate in Norway and the housing sector there is always forward looking in providing various housing options that meet the specific needs of newcomers and their financial situations. 

Housing Companies

At any point in time, you have a way to contact a housing company and make proper arrangements with them in time for your occupancy. As already mentioned, a few inconveniences may arise in cases where you had no prior plans or reservation of a housing.

 In the event that you failed to plan ahead of time, it will force you to seek temporary accommodation elsewhere as the housing company proceeds to get one that meets your specifications. 

There are various housing companies in Norway with lucrative offers for any new person interested in renting with them. The best option for you is to contact an estate agent (eiendomsmegler). 

Housing Websites

The housing industry in Norway has also embraces the power of internet in connecting new home seekers and available houses. Therefore, you can be proactive enough to always check out the internet for advertisements.

You will find all types of properties for rent and sale on the internet. There are also adverts on newspapers but may be a replicate of what is already on the newspapers because some of these adverts are accessed from crowdsourcing. 

To make your housing search in Norway as easy as possible, we recommend  that you check out Finn.no. Finn.no is a popular channel where buyers and sellers of property in Norway meet. On this channel, you will likely get a property that meets or even exceeds your expectations. Rentals are also available on Finn.no and Hybel.no. 

Municipal Housing

Another option for you is to apply for municipal property renting. Although it may not get to the point where you completely become unable to get accommodation through all other means, if the worst gets to this, you can turn to renting a municipal property.

Municipal property is also good if you have personal disabilities and need a house with all aids such as lift, ramp etc.  if moving to Norway as a student, it is advisable that you proactively contact the student organisation (studentsamskipnaden) in the institution you are admitted. The student organization will organize student accommodation.  

Types of property to buy or Rent in Norway 

Housing in Norway is so versatile which means that the available property meets the diverse needs of potential clients. So before you decide which specific housing option to take, be aware of the costs involved. As a matter of fact, your ability to pay rent and other utilities should be key consideration so that you do not end up taking an offer that will be so costly. 

There are three main categories of accommodation facilities in Norway from which you can always choose. After a thorough should search and considering your financial situation, you can choose to take any of these properties; 

  • self-owned property 
  • rental property 
  • tenant-owned flat in a housing company house

Self-owned property in Norway 

The world has become a global village which means that anyone with proper documents in Norway can buy a housing property. Nordic citizens or people from the European Economic Area (EEA) can easily buy the property in Norway because of the strong ties in the region. 

Buying own property in Norway is a good way to avoid paying monthly rent but it also comes with its fair share of costs. You will be required to regularly pay municipal charges for water and sewage, waste collection and chimney sweeping. These costs may vary depending on where your house is located in Norway and the municipal requirements. 

Cost of Rent in Norway 

Housing is relatively expensive in Norway which means that you must be very careful to only take an option within your financial limits. The costs are even higher in big cities such as Oslo, Stavanger, Trondheim and Bergen.

It is recommended that if you have a private car, you can opt to get a housing away from the major cities even if you work there. It would be cheaper and convenient for you to drive to your workplace than rent in the big cities. 

In Norway, a single bedroom will be NOK 3000 per month across most cities. A bedsitter will set you back between NOK 4500-6500. The costs increase depending on the location, size and facilities fitted in the house.

While some housing facilities in Norway come with costs of utilities already included, most of them will have separate bills for water, electricity and heating. 

Buying a housing property in Norway

As much as it is the desire of most if not everyone to have their own homes in Norway, the financial requirements to meet this ambition can be daunting.

It will set you back several bucks to fully finance a housing facility in Norway. As a result, of the high financial implications, it would be proper that you be very much aware of possible options for paying for your house.

Here, we recommend that getting mortgage or other loan facilities to buy a house is a good way to purchase a home instead of just relying on your savings.

To buy a house in Norway, you will need to present to the housing company a loan commitment certificate issued to you by the bank. The mortgage commitment by the bank is a good option because it spreads the cost over a long period sometimes even up to 20-30years. 

A rental apartment with adequate parking space

Provided that you are working in Norway and have a bank account, its proper that you contact your bank and get financial advise on how much loan they can extend to you. They will always be kind enough to provide you some insightful information about mortgage and house financing.

As a practice, the banks will determine your eligibility for a mortgage after doing thorough tax assessment and checking thorough your salary slips.

Ordinarily, the banks will require you to pay part of the cost from your own capital before they can accept a loan commitment. You will be asked to pay up to 15% of the cost from your own savings.

Renting a house in Norway 

While everyone may desire to have their own homes where they do not have to contend with rent bill every month, it’s just not possible. So many people in Norway still have to rely on renting property located in various cities  and suburbs across the country. 

Renting is probably the most common mode of housing in Norway. Today, you will have access to various rental arrangements in Norway including renting a house, flat, or studio/room from another private individual.

In the highly populated cities with extreme demand for accommodation such as Oslo, sub-letting contract (framleiekontrakt) is a common practice. In sublets, someone who has rented a bigger house gives you part of the house at a fee. So you pay to the other primary owner of the house. Although it is prohibited for another tenant to sublet a house without the full authorisation of the owner, it happens all across Norway. 

To rent in Norway, the owner of the house or housing company will typically require that you pay a deposit alongside the first month’s rent. The specific requirements may however differ from one renting company to the next. As a tenant, you have the obligation to pay rent and cost of other utilities in time while the owner will reserve a duty to ensure that the house remains fully habitable with heating and all other requirements.

To cement your relationship with the house owner, you need to insist on having a tenancy agreement. It is the tenancy agreement that will bear you forth in case of any disagreements during the life of a tenancy. 

Being that Norway is committed to providing the best human welfare for all, it sometimes provide housing support to the people whose incomes are low and unable to meet the renting costs. You must however express the need to be considered for a housing assistance.

Rules for Renting in Norway

Just like any form of contract or agreement, renting in Norway is not an open ended thing. There are specific  requirements before you can qualify for renting. You need to check out what your obligations and rights as a tenant are at the Norwegian Tenancy Act.