Consumer Council warns Norwegian students against accepting accommodation that they haven’t seen in person

StudentsPhoto: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB

On July 20, the main admission in the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service is ready, and many will then start looking for student housing. The Consumer Council warns against accepting accommodation that students haven’t seen beforehand. 

Many desperate students contact the Consumer Council during the academic year, Department Director Pia Høst noted.

“We have actually heard of people who have paid NOK 20,000 in advance, and arrive at their study city and discover that the accommodation does not exist,” Høst said.

Unsustainable conditions

Rent is one of the issues that is often reported to the Consumer Council. 

“Some say that there are unsustainable living conditions, such as mold that hangs like a blanket down the bathroom wall. Others have been given accommodation that is simply not safe. It may, for example, lack a proper escape route in the event of a fire,” Høst said.

Also, disagreement about the deposit is a recurring theme on the consumer call line. Høst emphasizes that the money must be deposited in a separate deposit account in the tenant’s name.

“Here, many landlords make mistakes and deposit the money in their own account,” Høst noted.

Tips list

The Consumer Council has the following tips for students looking for accommodation:

* Look at the home before you pay.

* Use a contract.

* Check what is included in the rent.

* Find out what obligations you have.

* Check the notice period.

* Demand a deposit account.

* Document damage to the home together with the landlord when moving in and moving out.

* Keep the home in good condition.

* Do not sign an agreement for others. If you are going to live in a collective, everyone should sign.

* Complain if the landlord does not do what they are supposed to. You can get help from the Rent Disputes Committee (Husleietvistutvalget), the conciliation council, or a conflict council.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayEducation

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