Norwegian version of this page

Tenancy law

Jussbuss provide legal aid in cases related to tenancies, but only for tenants. Examples of cases would be defects, deposit, termination and adjustment of rent.

Below are some frequently asked questions. There may be other questions than these, and we strongly recommend that you contact us if you have questions about your particular case. You will find our brochures on the bottom of this page.

If you would like our help with a case concerning tenancy, please click here for more information about how to reach us.

Frequently Asked Questions

How important is it to read the contract?
Very, very important! You have to read the contract. It determines what rights and responsibilities you have. If you don’t have a written contract, you can demand to get one set up. The tenancy act of 1999 gives tenants some rights that applies regardless of the contract, but in several areas it is totally up to you and your landlord to decide what rights and duties you will have. If you cannot read Norwegian – get someone to translate for you.

What should I think about when moving in?
You should make sure that the state of the apartment when moving in is documented. You can inspect the apartment with your landlord, and make a document you both sign describing the state of the apartment. If this is not done, make sure you have pictures taken of the apartment when moving.

Can I terminate the contract whenever I want to? Can the landlord?
It depends on your contract. It is, for example, legal to make a three-year contract without a right to terminate the contract. There is usually a clause in your contract regulating your right to termination. You should therefore think carefully before entering a long-running contract without a right to termination. A situation may arise where you have to move. You don’t need any particular reason for terminating, as long as the contract allows it.

The landlord, on the other hand, must always have “reasonable grounds” for a termination of contract. The termination must also follow certain other rules. Contact us during case intake if you want help with this.

How does a tenancy deposit work?
The deposit must never be larger than six times the monthly rent. The deposit must be put in a separate bank account, called “deposit account”, registered in your name. The interest rate must be added to this account. A deposit not fulfilling these requirements, are not in accordance with the law. The landlord has no right to have the deposit sitting in his own account, and you have the right to demand it back at once or for a rightful deposit account to be made. Contact us during our opening hours if you want help with this.

A tenancy deposit functions as a security for the landlord. If you are not able to pay your rent or you damage something in the apartment while you live there, the landlord may withdraw money from the deposit account when you move out. However, if you fulfil your obligations over the entire rental period, you have a claim to get the entire deposit amount refunded when you move out.

If you have a regular, legal, deposit, you have to contact your bank and demand it transferred to your account if the landlord is not willing to do so. Contact us during our opening hours if you want help with this.

Can the landlord raise the rent?
Usually not. There are some exceptions. Contact us during our opening hours if you want help with this.

My apartment has defects. What rights do I have?
This depends on the contract. You may have taken upon yourself the responsibility for certain defects in the apartment. It is common for the contract to regulate who has the responsibility for maintenance in certain parts of the apartment. Are you wondering whether you have a case against your landlord – for example if you can demand reparations or lower rent – contact us during opening hours. It is smart to seek legal aid before getting into conflict with your landlord.

It is also important to tell your landlord – in writing – if you believe something is wrong in the apartment. If you delay this for more than 14 days after discovering the defect, you may lose your claim for reparations or lower rent.

We also want to note that the bar for cancelling a contract due to problems with the apartment is very, very high. In most situations, this is not an option.

Can I be thrown out of the apartment?
It is possible under certain situations. The most common ones, are cases where you don’t pay rent or stay in the apartment after the contract has reached its end. In these situations, the landlord can ask the authorities for an eviction order. The landlord cannot throw you out by themselves. That is strictly forbidden.

If you are in danger of getting evicted, do not hesitate to contact Jussbuss or another legal aid organization. You may also have the right to free legal aid from the government. If you live in Oslo, contact the office for free legal aid. Do you live elsewhere; contact the fylkesmann 

Brochures

Jussbuss does not yet have any brochures in English about debt. Our Norwegian brochures are avaliable here. Please contact us if you have any questions. Our contact information is avaliable here.