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.
Examples of where to search for a place to rent:
If your fixed residence is in Iceland or you are planning on making Iceland your fixed residence you should register your address in the Registers Iceland / Þjóðskrá. Fixed residence is the place where the individual has her/his belongings, spends his/her free time, and sleeps and when she/he is not temporarily absent due to vacation, work trips, sickness, or other reasons.
To register a legal domicile in Iceland one must have residence permit (applies to citizens outside EEA) and an ID number – kennitala (applies to all). A domicile must have a definite address in a street or in a house with a name. This address should be up to date. To register an address and to notify a change of address, you can do so here through the Registers Iceland.
It is always a big step to move to another country. You can find a lot of information on our website Multicultural and Information Centre www.mcc.is
It is fairly easy if you are a citizen of EEA country. You need to register your stay with Registers Iceland. You will need to have a job contract of sufficient amount of money to support yourself for the first three months.
More information on the Registers Iceland
If you intend to stay in Iceland longer than three months and you are a citizen of a country that is not an EEA/EFTA member state, you need a residence permit. The Directorate of Immigration issues the residence permit.
Main types of residence permits are based on:
Family reunification for the closest relative of a person residing in Iceland
Legitimate and special purpose
More information you can find on our website
You might be entitled to receive housing benefit if you use social-assistance housing or rent housing on the open market. This can be done online or on paper, however you are strongly encouraged to provide all the information online. Once application is received you will receive an email confirming your application. If further information or materials are needed, you will be contacted via “My pages” and the e-mail address you give in your application. Remember that it is your responsibility to check any incoming requests.
Detailed information and prequisites:
When moving away from Iceland there are certain things that have to be taken care of. Doing the appropriate paperwork right, makes everything easier. And importantly, doing it while still in Iceland.
- Notify Registers Iceland that you will be moving abroad
- Think about possible transfer of your insurance and/or pension rights. Also keep other personal rights and obligations in mind.
- Check if your passport is valid and if not, apply for a new one in time.
- Be sure to know about what rules apply to residence and work permits in the country you are moving to.
- Make sure all tax claims are fully paid
- Don´t rush to close your bank account in Iceland, you might need it for some time.
- Make sure mail will be delivered to you contacting the mail service or having a representative to receive your mail.
- Remember to unsubscribe from membership agreements before leaving.
We advice you to check out the following links for more information:
Assistance to renters and landlords
The housing guide is full of information about housing in Iceland, how to find a place to stay, about renting, financial support and much more.
The site is managed by the Consumer’s Association of Iceland and there you can find information about topics like lease contracts, deposits, treatment of premises and much more.
Contact by phone: 545-1200 (12:30 – 15:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays)
Email: postur [at] leigjendur.is
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.