Renting in Reykjavik: Reykjavik is a fascinating place to be, according to Forbes, it is the only capital city in the world with a major puffin breeding colony and beautiful nightfall scenes. Interestingly, they also host the best music festivals in Northern Europe. Imagine having a room for a long term stay in such a vibrant city?
Sounds exciting right, there is more. If you love good food and enjoy different brands of liqua (Alcohol) then you should consider visiting Reykjavik.
Additionally, the city is home to multinationals like Alvotech, Össur and Síminn hf among others. Hence is known as the commercial, industrial, and cultural center of the island, according to Britenica.
Reykjavik serves as the center capital of Iceland. This makes Reykjavik an ideal choice to rent a house, regardless the housing shortage in Iceland
This article addresses the common challenges of renting in Reykjavik providing insight into the different types of houses found in Reykjavik, Iceland. Also, in order to give a more holistic view,
We move a little further into the right steps to take to find the best rooms to rent in Reykjavik for a long term housing plan. But first, of all cities and provinces in Iceland, why should you live in Reykjavik?
Why Choose Reykjavik for Long-Term Renting?
Reykjavik is an attractive choice to many international visitors and there is a reason why. For a start, the city has many attractions and activities to indulge in, and not to mention, the city glory in its locally brewed beer — This is an actual signature of Iceland.
More so, In Reykjavík, there are several amusement centers, beautiful gardens and attractive street drawing which serves as a major attraction for tourists and international visitors.
If you are longing for a place to enjoy nature and forget about the bustling of the city, Reykjavík is surely a great choice for you
Reykjavik’s Housing Market – The Demand for Housing
As RÚV reported, housing demand in Iceland continues to exceed supply, highlighting the continued urgency to increase housing development. This housing shortage has led to a sharp decline in sales.
Similarly, over the past decade, population growth in Iceland has further intensified the challenges of the housing market.
Source: Statistics Iceland
Renting in Reykjavik – Types of Accommodation
Iceland caters to a variety of budgets and tastes. From luxury to simplicity, you can find the perfect fit for your stay. When choosing a hotel, consider your budget, amenities, and location.
Some hotels also have multiple bedrooms, which makes them suitable for larger groups. Here are various accommodation types for international visitors and tourist in Reykjavik:
Hostels in Reykjavik are great for solo travelers or those looking for a social atmosphere. They are generally more affordable than hotels and offer the chance to network with fellow travelers. Many hotels have community kitchens, saving on food costs. Be sure to read the reviews to ensure a peaceful stay before you book.
You can conveniently find available rooms in youth hostels across the country by registering on the website of the Icelandic Youth Hostel Association. Many hotel chains offer special features, such as Aurora Reykjavik Hostels central location, Laugardalslaug Hostel & Campground swimming pool and hot tub, Hlemmur Square Hotel with on-site internet, and Fosshotel Reykjavik Urban Park breakfast, for which they don’t pay anything.
Hotels are popular with travelers looking for a personalized experience. Usually run by local families, these residences provide a luxurious atmosphere with fewer than 10 rooms. While at the hotel, you can interact with fellow guests and hostesses. When choosing a hotel, consider location, whether you want to be in the heart of the city for a tight stay or in a quieter suburban or farm setting. Many hotels serve breakfast as part of the room rate; some even offer dinner if you first show up.
3. Holiday Cottages
Holiday cottages offer unique and tranquil accommodations for travelers in Reykjavik. These cottages offer more space and privacy compared to hotels, making it easier to cook your own meals. Vacation rentals in the countryside generally allow you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Reykjavik. Staying in a holiday rental offers an authentic, homely Icelandic experience, comfort, and the opportunity to explore stunning country scenery.
4. Housing in Reykjavik
If you want a homely atmosphere when visiting Reykjavik, housing is the best option. Properties are available in both rural and urban settings and come in a variety of sizes and configurations to suit your needs. Prices vary based on location and amenities, with basic rooms running around $100 per night. Explore all that Reykjavik, Iceland has to offer and enjoy the fun and convenience of living in a room.
Renting in Reykjavik is not cheap. The average price outside the cities is 150,000 ISK (1,345 USD/1,144 EUR). In Reykjavík, a medium-sized two-bedroom apartment (one bedroom, kitchen, or one living room with kitchen facilities) costs 3,205 ISK (29 USD/24 EUR) per square meter.
The average cost of living in Reykjavik, Iceland, is $2592 per month for a conservative budget and $6,940.50 per month for a high budget.
How much does an Apartment cost in Reykjavik?
Private rooms in shared flat in Reykjavik start at $ 418 per month, with an average of $ 590- 643. As for shared rooms, their monthly rent starts at $429, with an average of $515.
An overview of housing costs in Reykjavik shows other costs to consider.
Renting an apartment or house in Iceland can sometimes be a challenging task especially due to the house shortage crisis in Iceland. But, you can always find rental properties if you search with patiences in the following areas:
1. Downtown Reykjavik
Downtown Reykjavik Apartments is a great choice for renting in Reykjavik for large families touring the city of Reykjavik. It offers spacious accommodation that is specially designed for independent travelers who desire to travel from central convenience.
The spacious rooms can comfortably accommodate up to 8 adults and 2 children, with space for other recreational activities. Additionally, Downtown Reykjavik Apartments also provide free parking space for guests with cars
2. Suburban Areas
You can find apartments on the outskirts of Reykjavik, if you love to live in a quiet environment. The apartments in these areas are economical, they offer peace and quietness. Although you may not enjoy all the luxuries that come with living in the city center, you will enjoy the calmness that comes with the closeness of nature.
How to Find Nice Rooms in Reykjavik for Long Term Renting
The best way to find good rental apartments in Reykjavik, is to search on online resources like registered websites, local social groups or working with a real estate agent. Let us take a look at these options in detail.
1. Use Property Rental Websites
These days, nobody uses newspapers to advertise rental vacancies because digital media now has the central stage. In Reykjavik, there are several websites dedicated to listing available housing properties for rent. These websites are seamless to navigate and most come with the benefits of assigning a specific care agent to guide you through. These websites provide listings for different housing options as discussed above.
Let’s take a look at these websites in a bit:
Igloo Rental Platform (largest platform, free)
Leiguskjól-Leiguvefur (now Igloo, free, merged with Igloo)
Leiga á Fasteignir.is (free)
Leiga á Mbl (free)
Leigulistinn (paid subscription)
Leiga.is (paid subscription)
2. Explore Social Media Groups
There are different facebook groups created for the purpose of renting in Reykjavik , with the largest one named “Leiga,” meaning “rent” in English.
While approximately 50 groups exist, joining the primary group, Leiga, can save you time, serving as a convenient one-stop shop for your quick search. However, before you make any commitment, esure to research about the offer, and the people involved to avoid getting scammed online..
Some popular facebook to find room in Reykjavik are:
Leiga (60k+ members)
Húsnæði til leigu / Óska eftir (20k+ members)
Leiga Hfj/Gbr/Kóp (20k+ members)
Leiga í Breiðholti, Árbæ, Selás og Bryggjuhverfi (109, 110, 111) (10k+ members)
Húsnæði Til leigu/Sölu/Óska eftir á Akranesi og nágrenni (5k+ members)
If searching for an accommodation in Reykjavik by yourself sounds stressful to you, you might as well consider hiring the services of a local real estate agent.
In Reykjavik, there are several prominent property management companies with good reviews worth considering, with the best and largest — Heimstaden (formerly Heimavellir) — This agency alone owns approximately 1,800 apartments. Second to Heimstaden, ALMA, which owns around 1,200 units. Then there is Bjarg (primarily for low-income individuals) and Vellir 15.
You can contact these agencies through the official website or by visiting the local head offices.
Benefits of Using Real Estate Agents for Housing In Reykjavik
1. Cost-Free Service When engaging a real estate agent, you can enjoy their services without incurring any direct charges. Typically, landlords cover the agent’s fees, which are often equivalent to a full month’s rent. However, this cost isn’t your concern.
2. Transparent Relationship Dealing with a real estate agent is akin to visiting a non-commissioned car dealership. Here, the agent works on your behalf while being compensated by the landlord. This eliminates financial interests, ensuring both parties share the goal of securing the best apartment at the most favorable price and location. This transparency fosters a stress-free experience.
3. Negotiation expertise If you’re not comfortable with negotiations, your agent can handle the intricate bargaining process, allowing you to await the outcome stress-free.
Other benefits include:
4. Settlement of Lease Agreement Nuances
5. Helping you understand security deposits
6. Making you understand the need for commitment to ethics and expertise
7. Facility Maintenance Insights
8. Navigating Rent Control Policies
9. Offering local neighborhood insights
Renting in Reykjavik – How to Find a Find a Reliable Agent
There are various ways of finding reliable agents, but the best methods are;
Visiting Properties in Person
When you visit properties yourself, you get a chance to know reliable agents when you ask people in the area, and most people are willing to share reliable agent contacts with you.
Asking questions is a good strategy. You can ask people around you or get help from the hotel you are staying at
Lease Terms and Conditions for Housing in Reykjavik
1. Lease Length
In Iceland, the standard lease term for renting a property extends to one year. Typically, a lease agreement is entered into for a 12-month period, allowing either party the option to renew or terminate the agreement at its conclusion.
2. Deposit and Rental Payment
Many landlords request some form of security, which may take the form of a deposit or a guarantee equivalent to up to three months’ rent. While most landlords are reputable, instances have arisen in Iceland where tenants encountered difficulties in reclaiming their deposits.
If a deposit is required, it must take one of the following forms:
A bank guarantee from a financial institution or a comparable entity.
A personal guarantee provided by one or more third parties.
An insurance policy covering rent payment and the return of the rented property is available for purchase from a recognised insurance company.
A monetary deposit paid by the tenant to the landlord
Contribution to the Landlords’ Mutual Insurance Fund, an entity engaged in commercial property leasing.
A tenant can decline to make a monetary deposit as stipulated in point 4, provided they offer an alternative deposit type acceptable to the landlord. The landlord cannot utilize the guarantee or make deductions from it without the tenant’s consent unless a conclusive decision has been made concerning the tenant’s liability.
Importantly, rent payments are due on the first day of each month, in advance, for a one-month period, unless an alternative arrangement is mutually agreed upon. In the event that the payment due date falls on a holiday, rent is to be paid on the subsequent banking day.
It is important to note that, as per the Rent Act, rent paid at the start of the month constitutes the sole advance payment permitted for leases initiated after June 22, 2016.
3. Negotiating Rent
When contemplating rent negotiations, consider engaging in a courteous, transparent, and fact-based dialogue. Here are valuable tips for successful negotiations:
• Extend the Lease:
Landlords often appreciate tenant stability and may favor those willing to commit to longer leases, such as one or two years. This may open the door to negotiating a reduced rent, benefiting both parties by reducing tenant turnover costs for the landlord and offering a more budget-friendly living arrangement.
• Transparent and Honest Dialogue:
When discussing rent adjustments with a potential landlord, maintain transparency regarding your budget. Demonstrating your ability to consistently meet rental obligations builds trust and may encourage the landlord to consider lowering the rent to accommodate your financial circumstances.
Negotiation is a collaborative process; thus, maintaining a respectful and cooperative approach throughout the conversation is vital. Highlight mutual advantages and present well-researched information to increase the likelihood of reaching a favorable agreement.
• Showcase Reliability:
To establish your credibility as a tenant, provide evidence of financial responsibility. This may include sharing a strong credit score, proof of stable employment, or references from previous landlords.
Demonstrating reliability and trustworthiness can alleviate landlord concerns and enhance your chances of negotiating a lower rent. Maintaining a cooperative mindset and respectful communication can foster mutually beneficial agreements with landlords.
Tenant Rights and Responsibilities Renting in Reykjavik
Your main rights and responsibilities as a tenant come from landlord and tenant law, as well as from the lease or tenancy agreement you have with your landlord.
1. Your Rights as a Private Tenant:
• You have the right to enjoy your home in peace and privacy. If disturbances from fellow tenants or neighbors persist, kindly request that they cease and notify your landlord. Should this prove ineffective, you can file a formal complaint. You are:
• Entitled to certain minimum standards of accommodation.
• Have the right to possess a rent book.
• Contact your landlord or their representative at reasonable times with access to accurate contact details (telephone numbers, email addresses, postal addresses, etc.). Your landlord can only enter your residence with your consent. Unless it’s an emergency, any necessary repairs or inspections should be scheduled in advance.
• Deserve reimbursement for repairs carried out that fall under the landlord’s responsibility.
• Host visitors overnight or for short durations, unless your tenancy agreement explicitly forbids it. Notify your landlord if an additional person moves in.
• You are entitled to receive notice if your tenancy is terminated.
• If your landlord wishes to review the rent, they must provide you with a minimum of 90 days’ notice, and there are specific regulations regarding the frequency of such reviews.
• You can refer any disputes to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) without facing penalties.
• Have the right to obtain a copy of any register entry the RTB maintains related to your tenancy.
• Every rental property must possess a Building Energy Rating (BER) indicating its energy efficiency.
2. Your Responsibilities as a Tenant:
As a tenant, your responsibilities include:
• Paying your rent on time.
• To handle any specified charges detailed in the lease agreement, such as garbage collection fees, utility charges, or charges for large buildings.
• To keep the property intact
• Notifying homeowners of necessary repairs and providing access
• Allow regular inspections scheduled by the landlord (by appointment).
• To communicate with the landlord about occupants of the property
• Avoiding activities that cause injury or violence
• Make sure your actions do not cause the landlord to break the law
• Compliance with any special conditions outlined in your tenancy agreement, whether oral or written.
• Provide homeowners with the information necessary to register with RTB
• Gives the landlord proper notice when terminating the tenancy
It is important to note that asserting rights can be more difficult if you have breached your tenant’s terms.
Renting in Reykjavik- What do I need when Renting in Reykjavik?
To rent an apartment in Reykjavik, Iceland, you need the following:
Kennitala (Icelandic Personal Identification Number): This unique identifier is essential for various official transactions and can be obtained through Registers Iceland (Þjóðskrá).
Bank Account: Having a local bank account streamlines financial transactions and is highly recommended.
Insurance, Guarantee, or Deposit: Typically, landlords may require a deposit or an insurance policy equivalent to up to three months’ rent. However, these terms can vary, ranging from 0 to 3 months’ rent.
Electronic ID (optional but beneficial): While not mandatory, having an electronic ID can greatly simplify various processes. You can activate your phone as an ID once you have obtained your “Kennitala” and established a bank account.
However, if you intend to stay in Reykjavik, Iceland for an extended period, there is an opportunity to apply for a credit score from Creditinfo, the nation’s credit bureau. This score plays a crucial role in assessing creditworthiness and is utilized by banks, lending institutions, and landlords.
Here are some noteworthy tips:
Exercise Caution with Payments: Never make any financial transactions with a landlord unless you have physically visited the rental space and formally signed a legally binding contract.
Document with Photos: Upon receiving the keys to your rental, promptly capture photographs of the property. Keep these images secure for future reference, especially in case the landlord raises claims against your insurance or deposit.
Report Issues Promptly: If any damage or issues arise within the rental property, notify the landlord as soon as possible to initiate the necessary repairs.
Deposit and Guarantee Timelines: It’s important to be aware that landlords have a four-week window to make claims against your guarantee or deposit. They must also return these funds within the stipulated period.
Conclusion Renting in Reykjavik
Although housing in Reykjavik can be very competitive due to high demand, with the several housing options, you can find the best accommodation that matches your needs. However, to navigate the system or seamlessly, it is important to work with a reputable agency or official website. This will help facilitate the process of renting the best apartment that matches your needs.
Once you are successful in searching for the best room that matches your description, you have to start the rental process. This is not a tough phase, ensure you have the necessary paperwork, be careful about payments, and consider sharing accommodation options to save on costs. Enjoy your stay in Reykjavik