Seraching for a place to rent
Flats for rent are usually advertised in newspapers. People in rural areas looking for housing are advised to seek information at the offices of their municipality.
Property rental agreement
It is important to enter into a written rental agreement with the landlord when renting a flat. You must make sure that you have a good understanding of the terms of the agreement, such as rules on insurance, notice of termination and other issues.
The purpose of publicly registering agreements is to guarantee and protect the rights of the parties to the agreements.
Municipal housing benefits
Housing benefit is a grant available from the municipality, subject to certain rules, to help people pay part of the rent for the accommodation in which they are living.
If you are legally domiciled in Iceland, you can apply for housing benefits from municipal social services. The rent amount, income and family size of the housing benefit applicant will determine whether or not housing benefit is granted and, if so, how much.
Before you can apply for housing benefit, you must register a lease agreement, valid for a minimum duration of six months, with the District Commissioner.
Information on housing benefits is available from municipal social services and from the Ministry of Social Affairs. Housing benefits are not paid to residents of hostels, commercial housing or individual rooms.
Information and a calculator for housing benefit can be found on the website of The Housing and Construction Authority (Húsnæðismálastofnun).
Electricity, hot water, telephone and Internet
When moving into a new flat, it is important to have the electricity and heat meters read so that the tenant/buyer pays only for what they use.
Municipal offices can provide information on companies that sell and provide electricity and hot water in the municipality. See also more regarding this here.
Several telephone companies operate in Iceland, offering different prices and services for telephone and Internet connection. It is best to go directly to the telephone companies to get information on the services and prices they have to offer. See also more regarding this here.