Are you finding your first accommodation in Oslo? In recent years, rent rates in Oslo have been going constantly up and finding accommodation, especially for newcomers, can be difficult or almost impossible if you have a limited budget.
The Oslo rental market is indeed very particular. It is not difficult to find offers and rentals announcements in Oslo on various Norwegian portals but the demand in the city is very high, so do not be surprised if only 1% of advertisers contacted will be willing to answer or even schedule a visning, an apartment viewing. This problem occurs especially when it comes to rentals in the price range up to 15,000 crowns for apartments and up to 6,000 crowns for rooms. Anyway, without further ado, here are my personal advice for finding your first apartment in Oslo and how to avoid scams.
1. Temporary and Cheaper Accommodation in Oslo
Shared accommodations in Hostel or on Airbnb are two of the solutions most used by many foreigners on their first arrival to Oslo. This emergency solution will provide you with a base camp while you will be exploring other solutions, such as renting a room or an apartment. It’s good to know, however, that even for the lucky ones, finding accommodation often means spending more than a month.
The Anker Hostel, for example is certainly the cheapest solution compared to a hotel or bed and breakfast, but it requires a greater adaptation spirit as you generally must share the room with other people you do not know. On some occasions hostels also provide single rooms, Anker Apartment, but often these are offered at prices not far below those of a bed and breakfast.
Especially in July, when citizens are on vacations, it is possible to find short term rentals in Oslo (30/45 days) on specific sites or social, that is in some cases a better and cheaper solution than hostels and offers on Airbnb.
2. Best Websites to Rent a Flat, Room or House in Oslo
The Internet remains, also in Oslo, the most common method to search for a house or room for rent. In fact, there are not many specialized web sites, and the language barrier may also be a problem, as ads and the interface of all web sites are in Norwegian. In any case, the all-embracing portal Finn.no, already mentioned in the article on how to find a job in Oslo, is also the richest, most up-to-date and efficient website for searching and selecting rental ads in Oslo.
A personal advice is to filter and send your information requests only to the latest ads (1/3 days old). It is very rare that you get response from older ads. A brief description of yourself, even better if in Norwegian, in your request for information may be helpful and will stimulate the advertiser to answer you.
Here is the list of the best websites for finding rentals in Oslo:
3. Most Popular Real Estate Agencies in Oslo
From my personal experience, it was a great loose of time to contact or go in person to the many real estate agencies scattered around the city. Real estate agents, here in Oslo, are well prepared to help you, only if you are looking for houses in the high price range. Anyway, if you want to go to the agency, be prepared to fill out your request model, describing the home of your dreams, the price range, your favourite Oslo neighbourhood, and be ready to not receive any communication for the next ten years.
Here is the list of the agencies for finding rentals in Oslo
4. Best Rental Facebook Groups and Pages in Oslo
Ever since the most effective word of mouth is called Facebook, also in Oslo it is more and more common to find a house or room for rent in one of the thematic groups or pages, constantly updated and full of ads, photos, and comments.
Beware of Scams
1. Pay attention to eventual scams, and to prices too tempting. In Oslo, given the high demand, no one needs to lower the rental price to complete the transaction as quickly as possible.
2. If you are not going to stay in your new home for more than a year, pay particular attention to the time and date on which the contract might be automatically renewed for the next year. Remember, too, that getting an English copy of your rental agreement is your right.
3. The security deposit must be paid into a common bank account (registered on both tenant and the landlord) bound until the expiration of the contract. This is the only way to ensure that your money is returned at the end of your contract.
4. Especially if the apartment is furnished, a few photographs to be attached to the contract may be helpful for not being charged with having caused damage to the apartment, one of the commonest apologies of the landlord, which could, however, make you lose the whole or a part of the security deposit.
5. Stay away from Jeanette Nyquist. Just arrived to Oslo, Mar’yana and I were among the stupid and unlucky ones to fall into the scam network of this Norwegian lady and her two beautiful Frogner houses. An experience that besides letting us lose the three months’ security deposit and made us live the most mortifying and humiliating moments of our life in Oslo, also made us acquainted with the worst side of the Oslo police, who knew this scammer well, but has always ignored the dozens of allegations of fraud (even violence) toward this woman.