Housing in Norway also tends to be expensive. This is true for several reasons:
1. Houses are well built and fully insulated
2. Quality requirements are high, which means that there is little simple and inexpensive housing available
3. Cost of labor is high
The average monthly price of a 50 square meter (538 square feet) apartment in Oslo is about 8,767 NOK. A larger 100 square meter (1,076 square feet) apartment rents for about 15,940 NOK.
However, housing costs are not nearly as inflated as many of the other costs associated with living in Norway. Compared to mainland Europe, the prices are in line with most major cities, although they are still more expensive than North American prices. The further away from the city centre, the lower the price. Outside of Oslo, prices drop considerably. In Bergen, apartments rent for about half as much as in Oslo.
Because of the possible language barrier and time and effort it takes to find housing, hiring a rental agency might be a worthwhile investment. They will research properties, arrange viewings, and finalize the contract. A rental agency will usually charge a fee of around 10 percent of the property fee, but this fee can vary.
There is a housing office (boligkontor) in every bydel in Oslo. Boligkontoret can give advice on housing and services.
Networking with friends, work contacts, and acquaintances can be a great way to locate available apartments. Often times these contacts can act as your references.
Apartments are advertised everyday in the Aftenposten and other local newspapers' classified section. You can also place an advertisement in the "wanted" section of the paper. Classifieds can also be searched for online.
Besides online newspaper classifieds, there are many different search engines geared to searching for housing.
For people between the ages of 17 and 23, Ungbo is a site in which people can search for shared housing and individual flats. You can also visit the Ungbo office:
Tel: 23 47 51 00
Try to make a good impression when looking at apartments. Arrive on time, dress neatly, and be on your best behaviour. Feel free to ask questions about the space like:
1) How long is the lease?
2) When is the move-in date and how long is the lease?
3) How much is the security deposit?
4) Are utilities included in the rent? If not, how much are they?
5) Are pets allowed?
Most apartments require a one year contract. This can be difficult when you are uncertain about visas and the length of time you will be allowed to stay. Leaving before the end of the contract can come with a substantial fine. Try to create a contract that is mutually terminable, meaning the lease the landlord or owner have agreed on the length of notice before the contract can be terminated. Make sure that you understand all aspects of the contract before signing.
Expect to pay a deposit in advance, normally a sum equalling 2 or 3 months rent. This money is meant as security and should remain untouched in an account shared by you and the landlord, until your lease has ended. If you don't owe rent and have not caused damage to the property, the money should be returned to you upon leaving.
Utleiemegleren - rented accommodation (in Norwegian)
Hybel.no - rented accommodation, mainly bedsits or one-room flats (in Norwegian)
Husleieloven - the Act on rented housing (in Norwegian)
Leieboerforeningen - Tenants' Association (in Norwegian) Bazar - public information on housing
Unginfo - more information and links on rented accommodation