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Eight things to know when renting an apartment in Norway

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Every country’s rental market has its idiosyncrasies. Norway is no different, and there are several things you’ll need to know about before you start searching. 

Have we missed anything important in our guide? Let us know, and we may include your recommendations in a future article. 

READ ALSO: Five Essential words you need when renting a home in Norway

Big deposits required 

To secure a roof over your head in Norway, you’ll probably have to stump up a significant sum of money upfront. The deposit is typically the equivalent of three months rent, with the first month also paid in advance. 

This means you’ll need to have fourth months’ worth of rent money to hand to get the keys to your new place. It is possible to negotiate this down, although not all landlords will want to do it. 

Some landlords may charge foreigners more for an added sense of security, but they cannot demand more than six months upfront by law. 

Using your network can save you a lot of cash

Once you’ve established yourself in Norway and gotten to know a few people, using your network to find a place to live can help save you a lot of dough. 

When I recently moved apartments, the landlord I decided to rent from was an acquaintance of a family friend, whom I hadn’t met. However, having the mutual connection came in very handy as it meant the landlord was willing to lower the deposit from three months to one month, which they otherwise weren’t willing to do. 

In addition, the landlord left more furniture than they initially intended to and sold a television for a knock-down price, This was quite handy because the place I rented previously was fully furnished. 

However, while you may know or be acquainted with your future landlord, it is always recommended to have a proper contract in place.

Looking for a place

The first place many start their search for rented housing will be with letting agents, but many properties in Norway are advertised online. 

In Norway, the most popular online marketplaces are Finn.no and Hybel.No. You’ll need some basic Norwegian under your belt to use these sites, as they aren’t available in English. Many Norwegian landlords advertise their homes on these sites, though, due to the cost of using letting agents, so looking online may give you the best selection. 

The rental market moves quickly 

Quality rental properties throughout the country come on and off the market very quickly — often within two to three weeks. At certain times of the market, such as the end of the summer and the beginning of autumn, rentals in cities go remarkably quickly as students look for a place to live. 

December and the late spring tend to be quieter on the property market. 

How much does it cost to rent? 

One thing to note is significant regional differences in rent, with Oslo being the most expensive place to rent. The average monthly rental price of an apartment in Oslo in the third quarter of 2021 was 14,000 kroner per month, according to Statista.

Cities, in general, are much more expensive, with the average monthly rent for an apartment in Bergen being 13,237 kroner. In Trondheim, an apartment costs 12,503 kroner a month, and a flat in Stavanger will set you back 12,982 kroner each month. 

According to Statistics Norway, the average rent for a two-bedroom place in Norway is 9,320 kroner.

You may have to make use of a communal laundry room 

This is much more common in older blocks in bigger cities, but many will have fellesvaskeri or vaskekjeller, communal laundry rooms and laundry rooms in the basement. 

Even if you opt for a place that’s fully furnished, you may not have your own washing machine. If the apartment doesn’t come with a washing machine, then you can probably get one. 

But if you aren’t settling down in a place for a while, you might not want to lug the machine around wherever you go. In that case, you’ll need to make the most of the laundry facilities. 

Each apartment tends to have its own system for scheduling your turn to do laundry, but it’s better to be early to get the best spots. Your neighbours will show no mercy in filling them up. 

Notice periods

Many rental contracts in Norway will be multi-year leases, usually 2-3 years, although, in reality, you aren’t expected to stay the full duration of the contract. 

Contracts with these multi-year agreements will have notice periods before the first, second and third years where tenants can end the contract without incurring any financial responsibility for the remainder of the let. The notice period is typically three months. 

Make sure to note these notice periods down when you sign the contract so you can plan accordingly. 

Knowing your rights

It’s vital that you know your rights as a tenant to avoid falling afoul of rogue landlords who might try and take advantage. 

Your rights should be outlined in the lease and will be subject to the laws of the Tenancy Act. 

One of the most important rights you need to know about protects you against landlords hiking the rent price up suddenly after you move in. Rent can only be increased in step with the consumer price index and not within the first 12 months of the agreement. 

Among other rules that you should be aware of are landlords being unable to ask for more than one month’s rent in advance. In addition, the landlord cannot enter the home without the tenant’s consent. In addition, if a tenant wishes to terminate a lease, they do not need to give a reason for doing so, while a landlord does need to provide a written explanation. 

The Tenancy Act is available in English on the government’s website



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Census 2022 – what difference does it make?

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Next Sunday, April 3rd, is Census night. Millions of people in homes countrywide will fill in page after page of questions, some of which are deeply personal and many of which might be unfamiliar.

But what it is it all about?

At a basic level, Census 2022 will be used to inform planning of public policy and services in the years ahead, according to the Central Statistics Office.

The questions will cover a range of environmental, employment and lifestyle issues, including the use of renewable energy sources in homes.

The questions will help inform policy development in the areas of energy and climate action, and the prevalence of internet access, to understand the availability of and need for internet connections and range of devices used to access the internet.

Questions also focus on changes in work patterns and will include the trend of working from home and childcare issues, while questions are also asked about the times individuals usually leave work, education or childcare, to help identify and plan for transport pattern needs locally and nationally.

Other topics covered include volunteering and the type of organisations volunteers choose to support, tobacco usage and the prevalence of smoke alarms in the home.

And of course there is a time capsule – the chance to write something which will be sealed for the next 100 years.

In this episode of In The News, the head of census administration Eileen Murphy and statistician Kevin Cunningham about what it all means for us.

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Oscars 2022: Will Smith makes Oscar history after slapping Chris Rock over joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith | Culture

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Will Smith took the Oscar for Best Actor at last night’s 94th Academy Awards, but he also became the protagonist of the ceremony for other reasons. The night was following the script, until Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on the stage after the latter made a joke about the shaved head of the former’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock had quipped that he was “looking forward to GI Jane 2,” in reference to her look. Pinkett Smith has revealed publicly that she has alopecia. It looked as if the moment had been planned, until Smith went back to his seat and shouted: “Get my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”

The moment, which immediately became Oscar history but for all the wrong reasons, left the attendees with frozen smiles, and asking themselves whether it was possible that a veteran such as Smith could have lost his cool in front of tens of millions of people. After taking the prize for Best Actor, the superstar actor made a tearful apology, saying that he hoped the Academy “will invite me back.” Later on, actor Anthony Hopkins called for “peace and love,” but it was already too late. The incident overshadowed the success of CODA, which took the Oscar for Best Picture. Just like the time when Warren Beatty mistakenly named La La Land as the big winner of the night, no one will speak about anything else from last night’s awards.

At first sight, Smith’s actions looked as if they were scripted. When he first heard Rock’s joke, he laughed. But his wife was seen on camera rolling her eyes, and it was then that the actor got up onto the stage and hit Rock. When he returned to his seat he raised his voice twice to shout “Get my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth,” sending a wave of unease and shock through the attending audience. The fact that he used the f-word, which is prohibited on US television, set alarm bells ringing that this was real and not a planned moment. In fact, the curse word was censored by the broadcaster, ABC, in the United States.

During a break, Smith’s PR manager approached him to speak. In the press room, which the actor skipped after collecting his prize, instructions were given to the journalists not to ask questions about the incident, Luis Pablo Beauregard reports. The next presenter, Sean “Diddy” Combs, tried to calm the situation. “Will and Chris, we’re going to solve this – but right now we’re moving on with love,” the rapper said.

When Smith took to the stage to collect his Best Actor award for his role as Richard Williams – the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena – in King Richard, he referred to the character as “a fierce defender of his family.” He continued: “I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do you’ve got to be able to take abuse, and have people talk crazy about you and have people disrespecting you and you’ve got to smile and pretend it’s OK.”

He explained that fellow actor Denzel Washington, who also spoke to Smith during a break, had told him: “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”

“I want to be a vessel for love,” Smith continued. “I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern. I want to apologize to the Academy and all my fellow nominees. […] I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams, but love will make you do crazy things,” he said. He then joked about his mother, who had not wanted to come to the ceremony because she had a date with her crochet group.

The Los Angeles Police Department released a statement last night saying that Chris Rock would not be filing any charges for assault against Smith. “LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the statement read. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”

On December 28, Pinkett Smith spoke on social media about her problems with alopecia. She stated that she would be keeping her head shaved and would be dealing with the condition with humor. “Me and this alopecia are going to be friends… Period!” she wrote on Instagram.



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House-price inflation set to stay double digit for much of 2022

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House-price inflation is expected to remain at double-digit levels for much of 2022 as the mismatch between what is for sale and what buyers want continues.

Two new reports on the housing market paint a picture of a sector under strain due to a lack of supply and increased demand driven by Covid-related factors such as remote working.

The two quarterly reports, one each from rival property websites myhome.ie and daft.ie, suggest asking prices accelerated again in the first quarter of 2022 as the stock of homes available for sale slumped to a new record low.

Myhome, which is owned by The Irish Times, said annual asking-price inflation was now running at 12.3 per cent.

Price

This put the median or typical asking price for a home nationally at €295,000, and at €385,000 in Dublin.

MyHome said the number of available properties for sale on its website fell to a record low of 11,200 in March, down from a pre-pandemic level of 19,000. The squeeze on supply, it said, was most acute outside Dublin, with the number of properties listed for sale down almost 50 per cent compared with pre-pandemic levels.

It said impaired supply and robust demand meant double-digit inflation is likely until at least mid-2022.

“Housing market conditions have continued to tighten,” said author of the myhome report, Davy chief economist Conall Mac Coille.

“The broad picture of the market in early 2022 remains similar to last year: impaired supply coupled with robust demand due to Ireland’s strong labour market,” he said.

Soure: MyHome.ie

“One chink of light is that new instructions to sell of 7,500 in the first 11 weeks of 2022 are well up from 4,800 in 2021, albeit still below the 9,250 in 2019. The flow of new properties therefore remains impaired,” said Mr Mac Coille.

“Whatever new supply is emerging is being met by more than ample demand. Hence, transaction volumes in January and February were up 13 per cent on the year but pushed the market into ever tighter territory,” he said.

He said Davy was now predicting property-price inflation to average 7 per cent this year, up from a previous forecast of 4.5 per cent, buoyed strong employment growth.

Homes

Daft, meanwhile, said house asking prices indicated the average listed price nationwide in the first quarter of 2022 was €299,093, up 8.4 per cent on the same period in 2021 and and just 19 per cent below the Celtic Tiger peak, while noting increases remain smaller in urban areas, compared to rural.

Just 10,000 homes were listed for sale on its website as of March 1st, an all-time low. In Dublin, Cork and Galway cities, prices in the first quarter of 2022 were roughly 4 per cent higher on average than a year previously, while in Limerick and Waterford cities the increases were 7.6 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively.

The report’s author, Trinity College Dublin economist Ronan Lyons, said: “Inflation in housing prices remains stubbornly high – with Covid-19 disturbing an equilibrium of sorts that had emerged, with prices largely stable in 2019 but increasing since.

“As has been the case consistently over the last decade, increasing prices – initially in Dublin and then elsewhere – reflect a combination of strong demand and very weak supply.”


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