Posted by: Sarah | April 13, 2010

Renting A House In Oslo – How To Guide

Eliot and I have been in Norway for nearly a year so the time came for us to make a decision – do we stay in Norway or do we go back to the UK!    It was difficult but we feel there is still more to experience here in Norway so we’ve decided to extend our stay a little longer.  But our landlord is coming back so we needed to find somewhere else to live.

Renting in Norway is quite unusual – something like 90% of the people who live in Norway own their house so there’s not a lot of choice when it comes to finding somewhere nice to live.  It’s quite common to rent privately which means you set up an agreement directly with the home owner (like we do today).  In cases where a rental agency is involved (most common one is don’t expect a great service.   It works the other way in Norway – instead of registering your name with the letting agency, you have to register it with every employee there since different employees look after different properties.  Bit of a crazy system!  Anyway, this searching made me realise that anyone moving to Norway might find it pretty difficult to find a place so I’ve written up some hints and tips below based on our experience.

This website is pretty much the place to start!  All houses that are up for rent and sale will be on here so it’s a good place to start.  You can search by area (using a map) or by plugging in the place names.  HINT: Drop the URL ( into the Google translate engine and you will also understand most of what the site is showing you in English!  Click on Eiendom and then onto Leiemarkedet and either click on the Boligkart map icon in the top right or select the towns you’re interested in.  It’s really worth someone showing you how to use this site because it really is superb!

Post An Advert:
Finn also allows you to post an advert or “Sett In Annonse” with a picture.  We did this!  We outlined that we were an English married couple with two cats looking for a new home!  Just specify what you’re looking for (3 beds, garden etc), the kind of area (quiet, not busy roads), standard of house (modern, old, traditional) and the price you’re willing to pay.  Over 400 people looked at our advert and we got many calls and viewed many lovely houses as a result!  It’s certainly worth a try!

Do A Leaflet Drop:
If you know the area you want to live in then this can be a good idea.  We didn’t get around to this because we found a place pretty quickly but this is certainly worth a go and it won’t take you too long either since generally, houses have their mail boxes at the end of the drive and not in the front door!

Email/Facebook Friends & Colleagues:
We’ve been to many houses during our search and in most cases families are leaving their homes to live abroad.  Because Norway is such a community focused country, people know what other people are doing so by sending out a request to your contacts, they will keep their ear to the ground and can let you know if a neighbour is looking to move.  I’ve had a few recommendations this way.

We love our house and we’re so lucky to renting in the area of Stabekk.  It’s a great location with fantastic links into Oslo but as of the 1st July we are moving even further west of Oslo to live on the island of Nesøya (map).  It’s about 10 mins on the bus to my job, 4 mins drive to Eliot’s job and 20 mins from the central Oslo.  IKEA is also only 10 minutes walk away (Eliot not so happy with that) and we have Scandanavia’s biggest shopping center about 3 minutes drive away (Eliot not so happy with that either!)

If you’re searching for a home in Oslo, I hope this helps!


  1. Hi Sarah,

    I have really enjoyed looking through your blog – lots of really useful tips! I have just graduated from university and am moving to Oslo with two of my classmates to start in our graduate jobs in August.
    We have looked at almost every day to try find something just right however no luck yet!
    You mention posting an advert, did this turn out really well? I am tempted to look into it but don’t know where to start!

    Kind Regards

    • Hi Anna. Sorry for the delay. I have posted an advert when we were looking for somewhere to live but quite honestly, we didn’t get a great response. I’ve used Finn to sell stuff and have had much more success with that. The rental market is not that great in Norway. You might be better off trying to find a little one bedroom place since many houses convert their basements into small apartments – I think they get tax breaks for doing it – so you’ll find LOTS of little one bed apartments just on the outskirts of Oslo.

  2. hi sarah just read your post great ideas my husband has gone over to oslo and we are now looking to move over wehave been living in ireland for 12 years now but from australia i have 2 children age 10 and 11 the place looks great but houseing is my main concern asa many tips would be greatly appreciated

    • Hi there – thanks for leaving a comment on the blog. What a great opportunity. If you get the chance to move I would highly recommend it. I’ll drop you an email so you can contact me with any questions you might like answering :-)

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