Renting in Norway: A Comprehensive Guide 2024


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If you’ve chosen Norway as your new home, whether for study, work, or an extended visit, you’re embarking on a unique and fulfilling journey. Yet, as with moving to any new country, there are challenges to navigate, especially when it comes to securing a comfortable place to live.

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Renting in Norway has its own set of norms, which might differ from what you’re accustomed to. Perhaps you’ve heard whispers of the fast-paced rental scenario in bustling cities like Oslo, or maybe you’re wondering about the tranquillity and affordability of countryside living. Regardless, finding the perfect home in Norway is entirely achievable, and this guide aims to make that process as seamless as possible for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Norway’s rental market, while robust, can be pricey, especially in major cities.
  • Norwegian rental agreements prioritize tenant rights, ensuring a fair experience.
  • Housing options are diverse, ranging from urban apartments to countryside homes.
  • While Norway offers high living standards, there are challenges, such as language barriers.
  • Proper preparation, from understanding your lease to cultural immersion, ensures a smooth renting experience in Norway.

Understanding the Rental Market

Norway, known for its mesmerizing landscapes and high standard of living, has a rental market that mirrors its diverse and dynamic nature. As an expat, student, or long-term visitor, it’s essential to grasp the nuances of this market to ensure you find a comfortable home that aligns with your needs.

City vs. Rural Differences

Urban Areas

Cities like Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim boast a lively urban environment, which, understandably, comes with a more competitive rental market. Properties get rented out quickly, especially during the start of the academic year or during major work seasons. While the variety of housing options is broader in cities, the demand is also higher. If you’re eyeing a particular neighborhood, it’s wise to be proactive and swift in your decision-making.

Rural Areas

If serenity is what you’re after, the Norwegian countryside or smaller towns might be your haven. Here, the pace is slower, and the rental market is less aggressive. You might also find larger properties at more affordable rates. However, accessibility to certain amenities or services may be limited compared to city centers.

The Role of Online Platforms

Most Norwegians, and by extension, expatriates and students, rely on online platforms to find rental listings.


Most of these platforms are highly reliable, providing detailed information about properties, including photos, amenities, location, and sometimes even virtual tours. They’re an excellent place to start your search and gauge the kind of homes available within your budget.


Whether you’re looking for a chic city apartment or a cozy countryside cabin, online platforms cater to a broad spectrum of preferences. However, always ensure you visit the property in person before finalizing any agreement.

Types of Housing Available

Dipping your toes into the Norwegian rental market, you’ll quickly discover an array of housing options, each offering its unique charm and features. Let’s delve into the most common types of housing available to help you identify what resonates most with your requirements.

Detached Houses

These standalone structures often come with their own garden or outdoor space. Especially prevalent in suburban and rural areas, detached houses offer a sense of privacy and ample space, making them ideal for families or those who cherish a quieter environment. While they can be on the pricier side in cities, venturing a little outside urban centers might fetch you a beautiful home with a more moderate price tag.


The go-to choice for many, especially in urban areas, apartments in Norway vary greatly in size and style. From modern, minimalist studio flats in the heart of Oslo to spacious multi-room apartments overlooking the Bergen harbor, there’s something for every taste. Apartments are a popular choice for singles, couples, and even small families who value the convenience and vibrancy of city life.

Shared Housing/Student Dormitories

For students or those on a tighter budget, shared housing or student dormitories can be an optimal choice.

Shared Housing

Typically, in this setup, you’ll rent a room in a larger house or apartment and share common areas like the kitchen and bathroom with other tenants. It’s a great way to save on rent, make new friends, and integrate into the local or international community.

Student Dormitories

Many universities in Norway offer dormitory-style accommodation, often at subsidized rates. These are not only pocket-friendly but also provide a supportive environment, as you’ll be living with fellow students, fostering camaraderie and mutual learning.

Cost of Renting

In Norway, known for its high standard of living, the cost of renting can be a substantial part of your monthly expenditure. However, with thorough knowledge and a clear understanding of what influences these costs, you can make well-informed decisions that align with your budget and preferences.

Factors Influencing Rent

  • Location: Urban centers like Oslo or Bergen generally have higher rental prices compared to smaller towns or rural areas.
  • Property Type: A modern apartment with a fjord view will have a different price tag than a modest countryside home.
  • Amenities: Properties with additional amenities like a balcony, garden, garage, or even in-house gym facilities can command higher rents.
  • Furnishing: Fully or partially furnished homes might have slightly higher rents, considering the convenience they offer.

Average Rent Costs in Major Cities

CityStudio/1-bedroom Apartment (per month)2-3 bedroom Apartment (per month)Detached House (per month)
OsloNOK 12,000 – 15,000NOK 18,000 – 25,000NOK 30,000 – 40,000
BergenNOK 10,000 – 13,000NOK 15,000 – 20,000NOK 25,000 – 32,000
TrondheimNOK 9,000 – 11,500NOK 13,500 – 18,000NOK 23,000 – 28,000
StavangerNOK 8,500 – 11,000NOK 13,000 – 17,500NOK 22,000 – 27,000
TromsøNOK 8,000 – 10,500NOK 12,000 – 16,500NOK 20,000 – 25,000

Legal Aspects of Renting in Norway

Embarking on your Norwegian rental journey, one of the crucial areas to acquaint yourself with is the legal framework governing rentals. Here’s a concise guide to help you tread confidently:

The Importance of a Rental Contract

A rental contract, also known as a tenancy agreement, acts as a binding document between you (the tenant) and the landlord. This contract details the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement, ensuring both parties are protected.


While many contracts are in Norwegian, it’s perfectly reasonable to request an English translation or version. If your landlord doesn’t provide one, consider having the contract professionally translated to ensure you understand all its stipulations.


Rental contracts can be short-term or long-term. While short-term contracts usually last for a year or less, long-term ones can span several years. It’s essential to know the duration and what’s involved in renewing the contract or ending it early.

Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities

As a tenant in Norway, you’re afforded specific rights, but you also have obligations to fulfill:


  • Rent cannot be arbitrarily increased; any hikes should be mentioned in the contract or be based on the consumer price index.
  • The property must be in good condition, and the landlord is responsible for major repairs.
  • You have a right to privacy; landlords cannot enter the property without prior notice, except in emergencies.


  • Pay rent on time.
  • Maintain the property’s condition, barring general wear and tear.
  • Notify the landlord of any damages or needed repairs promptly.

Deposits and Their Return

A security deposit, typically equivalent to three months’ rent, is standard in Norway. This amount is to cover potential damages or unpaid rent.

If the property is in the agreed-upon state and all rent/utility dues are cleared, the full deposit should be returned when you move out. Any deductions must be justified with proper explanations.

Ending the Contract

While many tenancy agreements in Norway are for an indefinite period, both the tenant and landlord usually have the right to terminate the contract with a three-month notice. Always check your contract for specifics about notice periods and conditions for termination.

Finding a Place to Rent

The hunt for a perfect home in Norway can be an exciting adventure filled with anticipation and discovery. Let’s walk through the essential steps to finding your ideal rental property in Norway.

Start with Research

Before jumping into the rental market, it’s wise to invest some time in research. Understand the neighborhoods, their vibes, accessibility, and the kind of amenities they offer. Websites, forums, and blogs dedicated to expats in Norway can be excellent resources for firsthand experiences and insights.

Utilize Online Platforms

There are several reputable online platforms where landlords list their properties:

  • Arguably the most popular platform in Norway for rentals. It offers a wide variety of listings across the country.
  • Particularly helpful for those looking for shared accommodations or smaller apartments.
  • UTLEIEmegleren: A rental agency platform that can provide assistance throughout the rental process, albeit with a fee.

Remember to act quickly when you find a listing you’re interested in, as the market can be fast-paced, especially in popular areas.

Engage a Rental Agent

If you’re finding the search challenging or prefer a more hands-off approach, consider hiring a rental agent. They can assist in finding properties that match your criteria, handle communication with landlords, and guide you through the contract process.

Visiting Properties

While online photos and descriptions can provide a lot of information.

Always visit properties in person before making a decision. This lets you get a feel for the space, assess its condition, and ask pertinent questions.

If you’re abroad and unable to visit, consider asking a trusted friend or hiring a service to do a virtual tour or inspection on your behalf.

Preparedness is Key

When you’re about to view a property or engage with landlords, make sure you have relevant documents ready, such as income proof or previous landlords’ references. This can expedite the rental process and showcase your reliability.

Prepare a list of questions you might have about the property, neighborhood, utilities, or any other specifics.

Negotiation and Finalizing

Engage in respectful negotiation, if necessary. While it’s common for prices to be fixed, there might be some room for negotiation based on the duration of the lease or other terms.

Review the contract thoroughly. Ensure you understand every clause and don’t hesitate to ask for clarifications or adjustments if needed.

What to Expect When Viewing a Property

In Norway, like in many places around the world, there’s a certain etiquette and set of expectations that come with property viewings. Here’s what you can anticipate and how to best prepare for these visits:

Scheduled Appointments and Open Houses


Most property viewings are by appointment. This ensures that you have dedicated time to explore the property and converse with the landlord or agent. Punctuality is highly valued in Norwegian culture, so ensure you arrive on time.

Open Houses

Some landlords or agents host open house viewings, where multiple potential tenants can view the property within a set timeframe. These can be less personal but offer flexibility in terms of timing.

The Property Condition


Norwegian homes are generally well-maintained and clean. When you’re viewing a property, it’s likely to be in a tidy and presentable state.


Some properties will be staged with furnishings to give potential renters an idea of space utilization. Others might be empty, especially if they’re newly built or recently vacated.

Questions and Discussions

Being inquisitive during a viewing is not just welcomed; it’s encouraged. Some topics you might consider discussing:

  • Utilities: Clarify what’s included in the rent and what isn’t. Ask about heating, water, and electricity costs.
  • Maintenance: Inquire about any recent renovations and the condition of essential amenities like plumbing, heating, and appliances.
  • Neighborhood: Get insights into the local community, nearest amenities, transportation links, and general atmosphere.


While you don’t need to carry all your documents to a viewing, it’s a good idea to have a list ready of what you can provide, such as:

  • Employment references or proof of income.
  • Previous rental references.
  • Any other relevant documentation that could support your application.

Feedback and Etiquette

If you have concerns or reservations about the property, it’s okay to voice them politely. Honest feedback can be constructive for landlords and agents.

Whether the property felt right for you or not, always thank the landlord or agent for their time.

Post-Viewing Steps

If you’re interested in the property, communicate your interest promptly. The rental market can be competitive, especially in sought-after areas.

After the viewing, take some time to reflect on the property. Consider its pros and cons, and weigh it against your needs and priorities.

Moving In and Setting Up

With a mix of practicality and creativity, here’s how to ensure a smooth transition into your new Norwegian abode.

Before the Move

  1. Documentation: Ensure that all contracts and paperwork are signed, and you’ve received copies of everything. This includes the tenancy agreement, inventory lists (if provided), and any other related documents.
  2. Utilities and Services: Depending on your arrangement, you might need to set up utilities such as electricity, water, and internet. Contact the relevant providers in advance to ensure everything’s operational when you move.
  3. Insurance: Consider getting a home insurance policy to cover your belongings and any accidental damages. It’s a small investment for peace of mind.

Moving Day

  • Hiring Movers: If you have a lot of items, consider hiring a moving company. Getting quotes from multiple companies and checking reviews is advisable to choose a reliable one.
  • DIY Move: If you move with fewer items, rent a van or ask friends for assistance.
  • Inventory Check: If your landlord provided an inventory list, go through it meticulously as you move in, ensuring all items are present and in the stated condition.

Related: Car Rent in Norway: Complete Guide for Foreigners in 2023

Setting Up Your Home

  1. Essential Amenities: Begin with setting up the essential spaces—your bedroom for a good night’s sleep, the kitchen for meals, and the bathroom.
  2. Personal Touch: Introduce elements that make the space feel like yours—photos, art, cushions, or any personal items that add warmth and character.
  3. Adapting to the Climate: Norway’s climate can be cold. Invest in good quality curtains or blinds for insulation, cozy throws, and maybe even some indoor plants to add a touch of green.
  4. Tech and Entertainment: Set up your internet, television, or any other tech amenities you have. With the long Norwegian nights, having your entertainment ready can be quite comforting.
  5. Local Community: Introduce yourself to neighbors and join local community groups or boards. It’s a great way to feel integrated and gather recommendations for local services or shops.

Additional Tips

  • Recycling and Waste Management: Norwegians take recycling seriously. Familiarize yourself with the local recycling guidelines and waste collection schedules.
  • Emergency Numbers: Ensure you have a list of essential numbers, not just 112 (emergency number), but also local services like the nearest pharmacy, doctor, or handyman.
  • Public Transportation: If you don’t have a car, acquaint yourself with the local public transportation system, its timings, and routes.

Living in Norway: Cultural and Practical Tips

renting in norway

Settling into a new country goes beyond finding a comfortable home. It’s about intertwining with the local culture, understanding societal norms, and making the most of everyday experiences. To help you seamlessly adapt and enjoy life in this Scandinavian gem, here are some cultural and practical tips:

Cultural Insights

  • Respect for Nature: Norwegians have a deep connection with their natural surroundings. Whether it’s weekend hikes, skiing trips, or simply taking walks, embrace the country’s natural beauty, and always remember to leave no trace behind.
  • Punctuality: Time is valued in Norway. Whether it’s a business meeting, a social gathering, or even just catching a bus, it’s considered courteous to be on time.
  • Independence and Privacy: While Norwegians are friendly and helpful, they also value their privacy and independence. It’s common for neighbors to greet each other warmly, yet maintain a respectful distance.
  • Direct Communication: Norwegians are known for their straightforward communication style. Directness is appreciated and isn’t considered rude.
  • Equality: Gender equality is deeply rooted in Norwegian society. Both men and women share domestic responsibilities, and it’s common to see men pushing strollers or women in leadership roles.

Practical Tips

  • Weather Preparedness: Norway’s weather can be unpredictable. It’s always a good idea to check the forecast and dress in layers. Having waterproof and insulated clothing is a plus, especially in the colder months.
  • Tipping: Service charge is typically included in your bill in restaurants. While tipping isn’t mandatory, it’s appreciated if you’ve experienced exceptional service.
  • Shopping: Many stores in Norway close relatively early, especially on weekends. Plan your shopping trips, and remember that Sundays are quiet, with most shops closed.
  • Public Holidays: Norway has several public holidays, many of which are celebrated with great enthusiasm. Familiarize yourself with these dates as businesses and public transport might operate differently.
  • Language: While many Norwegians speak fluent English, learning a few basic Norwegian phrases can be beneficial. Not only does it make daily interactions smoother, but it’s also a gesture that locals appreciate.

Connecting with Locals

  • Join Clubs and Groups: From hiking clubs to book groups, joining a local club can be an excellent way to meet locals and share common interests.
  • Attend Local Events: Festivals, markets, and community events offer a glimpse into Norwegian culture and traditions.
  • Be Open and Curious: While it might take time to form deep connections, showing genuine interest in learning about Norwegian ways of life can open doors to enriching friendships and experiences.

Related: New To Norway: Embracing Life in Norway

Ending a Lease or Changing Accommodation

There may come a time in your Norwegian journey when you need to move to a different accommodation, return to your home country, or want a change of scenery. Let’s delve into what you need to know to make this transition as straightforward and stress-free as possible.

Understanding Your Lease Agreement

Notice Period

Typically, Norwegian rental agreements require a notice period of one to three months. Make sure you’re clear on the specifics of your contract to avoid any potential conflicts or additional costs.

Breaking a Lease

If circumstances require you to leave before your lease term ends, communicate with your landlord as soon as possible. Some leases might have penalties for early termination, while others might offer flexibility if a new tenant can be found quickly.

Preparations for Moving Out

Property Condition

As with most rental agreements, you’ll be expected to return the property in the same condition you received it, minus normal wear and tear. Consider the following:

  • Cleaning: A thorough cleaning, often referred to as an ‘exit clean’, is standard. This includes deep cleaning of rooms, appliances, windows, and sometimes even professional carpet cleaning.
  • Repairs: If there were damages beyond normal usage, it’s your responsibility to fix them or communicate with the landlord about compensation.

Utility Bills and Services

Ensure that all your bills are paid up to date. If you’ve set up utilities or services in your name, remember to end or transfer these contracts.

Mail Forwarding

If you’re moving within Norway, set up mail forwarding with the local post office to ensure you don’t miss any important documents. If you’re leaving the country, inform essential contacts of your change of address.

Transitioning to a New Accommodation

Lease Overlap

If possible, try to have a few days of overlap between your old lease ending and your new one starting. This can give you time to move without rush and settle comfortably into your new place.

Document Everything

As you did when moving into your previous accommodation, document the condition of your new place. Take photos, note any existing damages, and communicate them to the new landlord.

Reconnect Utilities

If utilities aren’t included in your new lease, ensure they’re set up promptly. This will help you settle in faster.

Leaving Norway

If you’re wrapping up your time in Norway:


Notify the local registration office about your departure, ensuring you won’t face any future legal or tax implications.

Close Accounts

If you’ve set up local bank accounts or other services, ensure they’re closed or transitioned as necessary.

Stay Connected

Keep in touch with the friends and connections you’ve made. The world is a small place, and you never know when paths might cross again.

Pros and Cons of Renting in Norway

Renting a home in Norway, like anywhere else, comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. By understanding both sides of the coin, you can make an informed decision about whether renting in Norway aligns with your lifestyle and preferences. Below, we’ve laid out some of the pros and cons to give you a clearer picture of the rental landscape in this Scandinavian nation.


High Housing Standards: Norwegian homes are often built to high standards, ensuring a good quality of living. Modern amenities, insulation, and efficient heating systems are typical.

Protection for Tenants: Norwegian laws offer strong protection for renters, ensuring rights aren’t easily violated by landlords.

Diverse Housing Options: From city apartments to countryside houses, there’s a range of housing options available to cater to different preferences.

Safety and Security: Norway boasts low crime rates, making it one of the safest countries to live in. This peace of mind can make the renting experience more pleasant.

Well-maintained Properties: Most Norwegian landlords take good care of their properties, ensuring timely repairs and maintenance.


Cost: Norway is one of the more expensive countries in Europe. This is reflected in the rental prices, especially in major cities like Oslo.

Availability: In some cities or popular areas, there’s a high demand for rentals, making it competitive to find suitable accommodation.

Language Barrier: While many Norwegians speak English, rental contracts and housing advertisements might be in Norwegian, requiring translation.

Short Rental Periods: Some properties, especially in student areas, might be available for short-term leases, necessitating more frequent moves.

Stringent Requirements: Some landlords may have strict requirements such as income checks, references, or even personal interviews.


Born in Trondheim and armed with a degree in International Relations, Sofia is our go-to Relocation Expert. She combines local know-how with international experience to offer tailored, empathetic advice for a seamless move to Norway.

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