Security Deposits In Norway When Renting: Everything You Need To Know

When you’re renting an apartment or a house in Norway, you will need to pay a security deposit to the landlord. This is in cases where money is owed, and you will get it back under normal circumstances. Security deposits are completely normal in Norway, but what exactly is the security deposit for, and how much should it be?

Security deposits for rental apartments are used to pay damaged or rent owned to the landlord when you move out. It should be in a special security deposit bank account, and be a maximum of 6 months worth of rent (but 3 or 4 months are more common).

An apartment building in Oslo
An apartment building in Oslo. Photo published with permission.

The main purpose of the security deposit is to give the landlord some type of insurance that they will get paid for damages done to the property. You are not supposed to pay for regular wear and tear in Norway, but bigger damages like broken windows and things like that should be paid for by the security deposit.

Depositing the security deposit to a special security deposit bank account

All Norwegian banks offer a special security deposit bank account that should be used for this purpose. These bank accounts are co-owned by you and the landlord, and neither of you can access the funds without the permission of the other party.

This prevents either party from just taking the money in cases they you disagree on how much money is owed.

You should use either your own bank or the bank of the landlord. Any fees associated with opening this type of account is to be paid by the landlord (per the law), so don’t feel forced into paying any of these fees.

When looking at Norwegian banks, the word you’re looking for is “depositumkonto“. This means security deposit account, and all banks should offer it.

Landlord might not necessarily follow the laws and regulations in Norway

Norway has a big problem with cowboy landlords just like most other countries, and there is no guarantee that the landlords you meet will follow the law. It’s actually pretty common for landlords to demand to have the security deposit transferred to their own, private bank account.

This is against the law really, but no one cares if you report it. Since you probably just want to find a place to live, it’s not like most people have much of a choice, so they end up doing it.

If this happens, you will be at a severe disadvantage when you move out. This pretty much allows the landlord to chose how much or even if they want to give you they money back. Many landlords are known to make bogus claims to keep the entirety of the security deposit for themselves. You might even get a receipt made by the landlord for repairs that adds up exactly to the sum you have in the security deposit!

Sadly, this is even more common towards foreigners than Norwegians, since most foreigners are inclined to believe the landlord when the landlords claim that they are doing things legally..

Stealing a security deposit is obviously illegal, so this is something that can be brought to court.

Houses in Bergen
Houses in Bergen. Photo published with permission.

How much is the security deposit when renting an apartment in Norway?

The rental law in Norway regulates how much the maximum security deposit sum can be, and the max security deposit sum in 2022 is 6 times the monthly rent.

So if your rent is for 12,000 NOK per month, the landlord can ask for up to 72,000 NOK in the security deposit.

That said, it’s much more common for the security deposit to be either 3 or 4 times the month rent.

So again, if your rent is 12,000 NOK per month, expect the security deposit to be in the range of 36,000 NOK to 48,000 NOK.

Cheaper student apartments at 6,000 NOK per month will typically have a security deposit of around 20,000 NOK.

How can you get money to pay for security deposits?

Getting 30,000 NOK or more for a security deposit is pretty challenging for many, especially for people who are renting their first apartment. That said, there’s no easy fix for this problem other than just saving up.

Some banks will loan out money for rental deposits, but this is not available to most foreigners. NAV might help out in certain cases, but this requires you to be in their systems and have a good reason for needing help.

So yeah, you pretty much need to start saving money to be able to rent an apartment in Norway in most cases.

Houses in Oslo
Houses in Oslo. Photo published with permission.

When to pay the security deposit

It is common to pay the security deposit to the security deposit bank account when signing the lease. Many landlords do not give out the keys to the apartment before the security deposit has been paid, which is legally fine.

This means that it’s your responsibility to pay the money to the security deposit by the date you are to get the key from the landlord.

You are also free to make your own deal with the landlord if this doesn’t work for you.

I would personally not pay any deposits before the lease contract has been signed, just to be on the safe side.

26 thoughts on “Security Deposits In Norway When Renting: Everything You Need To Know”

  1. Hi,
    If a tenant pays deposits before the lease of a contract has been signed and decides not to rent the place any longer, what are their options? Do they have the right to take their money back?

    • Hi, Elorm.

      There is no set rule for this, and it kind of depends on your contract and the situation itself.

      You will probably have the right to get the money back from how I understand the situation, as long as you have not entered into an agreement with the home owner.

      That said, verbal agreements are considered legally binding in Norway, so if you have made an agreement face to face, over telephone, over e-mail or anything like that, then you might be kept accountable to that agreement. So if you hypothetically agreed to rent the apartment when you spoke to the landlord, but later decided to back out, then he might actually have claims to use the deposit to pay for the rent during the time the landlord finds a new tenant.

      But it’s very difficult to give advise without knowing the details of the situation. You might actually consider contacting a lawyer for legal advise in this situation, especially if the landlord refuses to pay your deposit back.

      I would not advise anyone to pay deposit before the lease has been signed.

      Best regards and best of luck

  2. My question is, if the landlord says that a deposit account is not necessary for him, is that ok? I have signed the contract and I am not backing out. Is this illegal or is it legal if we both agree? Do I lose anything as a tenant? Thank you.

    • Hi, Elaine.

      Sure, you can agree to not having a deposit account if you and the landlord don’t want to.

      Which option are you going to use instead? Sending the deposit money directly to his account? In that case, you risk that he takes it all even for the most minor twist, and you are at his mercy of getting your money back.

      Best regards

      • Hi

        Thanks for your reply. No he does not want any deposit at all. Just monthly payments for the rent. So I agreed to that.


      • I also have another question. How long can a landlord keep the deposit for after the tenancy agreement has expired? Is there an amount of time legally?

        Thank you

        • Hi again, Elaine.

          If you’re using a standard deposit account, the funds will be released to the renter maximum 5 weeks after you ask the bank for them. The landlord will have to make a claim in this 5 week time period.

          However, it’s not really legal for them to keep it unless they have a reason to.

          – Nicklas

          • Thank you for your reply Nicklas. Yes it is a standard deposit account. Is it me who asks the bank to release the deposit or the landlord?

            Thank you

          • Yes, you need to notify your bank that you request the deposit back.

            This will start the process, and the bank will notify your landlord. They will offer him up to 5 weeks to make any claims. If he does not make any claims with the bank in this time period, you get the full money back.

            The landlord can also choose to accept giving the deposit back again much sooner than 5 weeks if he/she does not have any claims.

  3. Hi, I am currently in the process of moving to Norway and finding an apartment. I’ve become aware that the deposit accounts would require a D-number or Norwegian ID number, which I can only apply for when arriving in Norway and with a home address. Would you perhaps have any tips on how to approach this with a landlord? I can’t imagine I am the only person moving abroad to Oslo encountering this, however I haven’t been able to find any proper solution yet. Many thanks in advance! Kind regards Jenny

    • Hello, Jenny.

      This is quite a paradox with no good solution..

      I have heard of other people who have gotten the landlord to agree to wait with the deposit account until they’ve gotten their D number, but I don’t think that this is something all landlords are willing to do.

      I’m sorry that I can’t offer a better solution or suggestion.

      Best of luck!

    • Hello Jenny,

      I just moved to Oslo as a foreigner. In my case, my company is my guarantor until I am able to set up the deposit, and the landlords accepted that (legal entities are very reassuring I imagine.) If you have found employment in Norway, maybe look into it?

      Good luck!

  4. Hi Nicklas,

    I have signed a contract with a student co-living company via Hybel, and the manager said they have cooperation with Lxxbank for creating a deposit account. However, my friends have had bad experiences with Lxxbank regarding deposit accounts, so I prefer to use my own bank. Unfortunately, the landlord stated that they only offer Lxxbank for deposits, or I need to buy a deposit guarantee. May I ask if I have the right to request opening a deposit account with a different bank rather than the one suggested by the landlord? I believe I can create a deposit with my bank.
    According to DNB, usually it is the landlord who order a deposit account online, as a tenant, can I open the deposit account directly? Do you have any suggestions on what I can do right now to avoid using their deposit service?
    Thanks so much in advance!!!!

    • Hi, Isabella.

      I have to say that this looks like a big red flag to me. I would probably never sign a lease with a landlord that insisted on using a sketchy bank for the deposit, and I fear that you will end up having a lot of trouble getting your money back when you end the lease.

      I would insist of using my own bank if I were in your shoes. Did you agree to using that particular bank in the contract? If not, just insist to use your own.

      To open a deposit account, you need to get in touch with your bank, then they will send him the papers for the deposit account.

      Best regards

  5. Hello Niclas,
    I have issue, I will be moving out in 6 days from a rented room and now my landlord is coming unexpectedly saying that I need to cover bill for broken dryer in the past (accusing that I didn’t maintain properly the dryer but 3 other people were living in the flat as well). Also adding additional chargers for a frame of the picture from the past that was not communicated at all. On the top of that, she come with a document that she has 2 weeks’ time to return deposit from the date of my moving out because she needs to checking room & common areas and if something is damage and deduct if applicable. If she has right to do it?

    Honestly, this is a bit shocking what the landlord is doing right now because it looks like she will try to find more issues to deduct my deposit. Do you know if there is any Norwegian law would protect me or I can scare her to stop acting this way.

    • Hi, Anna.

      I’m sorry to hear this. Unfortunately there are lots of landlords who take advantage of their renters in Norway, and it sounds like you found one of them.

      This is probably something I would consult a lawyer with if I were you, or take it to court yourself (Forliksrådet). Don’t agree to pay for something if you don’t agree to it! As long as you have a deposit account, it’s up to the landlord to prove their expenses.

      Best regards and best of luck

  6. Hei Niclas!

    I have already moved out along with other tenants. But the landlord just informed us that we will have to pay for broken fridge shelf because it was not reported. It was mostly 3 person living together and 1 more that lived only for 3 months. I have not broken any shelf, but it seems that the landlord wants all of us to pay for it.

    I have taken screenshots that someone else cleaned the fridge before we moved out. Is there a way to refuse this payment? I have a deposit account which is shared with the landlord, is there a way to refuse this payment and get back the deposit as soon as possible?


    • Hi, Daniel.

      Yes, you can likely refuse to pay this amount. Make sure to have it in writing that you are not responsible for this, and that you won’t pay for the damages someone else did. The landlord will have to make a claim with the bank to get his money, and the bank will not release any money to the landlord unless you agree to it. The landlord will then have to take it to court (Forliksrådet).

      You should probably encourage the person who broke it to tell the landlord so they have to pay for their own damages, instead of all 4 of your being charged for it.

      Best regards and good luck

  7. Hi,

    I have an issue with my landlord in Oslo. I was a student there for 3 years. I just moved to France to continue my study more. I asked for my 12000 NOK deposit money already 3 times, but he didn’t give it. He was supposed to come to check the apartment before I leave, but he didn’t come to check it.

    As I was leaving the country 3 days ago, I had some things such as clothes, books, pillow, a blanket, etc. I put everything in a cardboard small box and put it in front of the main entrance of the building written ‘Gis bort’. Now he is saying that he will get fine because of that box, and will have to take it to the trash, and he is avoiding the topic of deposit money. I asked how much is the fine. Now he is saying, it’s not about money, it’s about his reputation!!

    Is there any law that makes it illegal to put a box writing gis bort on it? Because I have lived 3 years in Norway and saw hundreds of things beside doors and streets everywhere. Can somebody explain if it’s really a major issue of a reputation hamper or something? Or am I just getting screwed by the landlord!? I even offered to pick that box up with a friend of mine, he doesn’t reply. He is not responding at all!!

    Can you please advise me on what to do in this situation? If I have to take legal action, what is the best possible way to do it?

  8. Hello Niklas,
    I’m facing this issue. I had a regular tenancy agreement that has been expired on 31st of July, and I moved to another place. There is an agency that manage the property in place of the Landlord.
    At the moment of inspection they found 2 small marks on the floor (shallow marks, no scratch) and a broken plastic piece of window’s closure that I declare before inspection.
    On the top that the deposit amount is 35.000 NOK, for sure a lot more than the damages, can they block the deposit for these minor issues? it’s been 10 days and they hadn’t still claimed for an amount to fix. how long is the terms to claim?
    this situation is causing a lot of stress since I had to ask for another loan to pay the deposit of my actual place.

    Thanks for your time,

    • Hi, Giorgia.

      The landlord can use up to 5 weeks after you begin to retrieve the deposit money to make claims. They will need to make a claim with you or the bank before these 5 weeks if they want to get some of the deposit money. If you don’t agree to the number they claim, you can oppose it, and it’s the landlord’s responsibility to take the claim to court.

      But you are free to negotiate and come to an agreement between you and the landlord. In these cases, you can probably get the rest of the money back in a few days.

      So you might need to wait a while longer before you get the money.

      Best of luck!

  9. Hey Nicklas, I have a verbal agreement with a Landlord and she just said that it is impossible to set up a deposit account for foreigners…? However, me and my friend are both registered in Norway. I have a normal identity number and he has a d-number + we both have a bank account.
    We moved here recently but are officially here. Is this just a mistake from the Landlord?

    I can´t imagine that it´s not possible to set up a deposit account, even tho we have a bank account right?!

    Thanks for your help! Much appreciated

    • Hi, Alexander.

      What do you mean by “normal identity number”? Do you mean a National Identify Number (fødselsnummer or personnummer)?

      It is possible to set up a regular deposit account as long as you have either a D number or a personnummer/fødselsnummer/Norwegian National Identify Number. So that is not a problem at all. Just ask her to contact your bank to get it done.

      Even if you don’t have a Norwegian National Identify Number, the landlord should be able to set it up using only your friend’s D number, and add yours later.

      Best regards

  10. Hello Nicklas!
    I rented a shared flat 3 years ago in Norway, and I forgot that the company whom I rented didn’t gave my deposit back. They sent me an email apologizing for not paying back said money, and told me that according to the Section 3-7 of the Tenancy Act I have the right to claim late payment interest. I searched for this Section to know what the interest rate is but couldn’t find it, do you know by chance what is the late payment interest rate?

    • Hi, Isabel.

      The late payment interest is bit of a hassle to figure out yourself, so I suggest using a calculator for it, such as this one:

      Fill in the date you want to start calculating late payment interest in the field “Fra Dato”, and today’s date in “Til dato”, and the sum in the field “Beløp”.

      This should give you a clear answer to the actual late payment interest sum.

      Best regards


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