The manifesto wants tighter regulation of the rental market

The manifesto wants tighter regulation of the rental market

The shopkeeper works in Oslo but needs to rent accommodation in Lorenskák. Thinktank wants new housing policy to help those stuck in rental market

Charlotte Pedersen has worked full-time at a lighting store for 15 years.  However, he did not enter the housing market.

It's been almost 11 years since she tried seriously: Charlotte Pedersen (35) was in a cohabiting relationship that ended and was exploring the possibility of buying herself.

Growing up with a disabled, single mother, she had no one to vouch for her or step in as a “parent bank.”

The 15 percent equity requirement was too onerous.

Additionally, he says, banks were too cautious and didn't lend enough to a home.

As of today, buying a home remains unattainable. For 15 years she had a permanent job in Oslo at a lamp shop in Karl Berners Place.

– One can choose not to have a life

Pedersen's annual salary is NOK 470,000. Salary does not leave much when paying rent, food and bills.

– I could have chosen not to have a life. But I don't have the mental capacity to isolate myself for unknown years to save what's left of me, says Pedersen.

She's not a completely random store employee. Pedersen has been hired on a part-time basis for the position of deputy manager at Oslo-Akershus Handel og Kontor.

Recently, he has also been given a place on the board of left-wing think tank Manifesto.

In a recent publication, the think tank used Pedersen's situation to illustrate what they believe is a growing housing crisis that affects residents more than anyone else.

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Stuck in the rental market

Because she couldn't afford a house, Pedersen rented a house instead.

But also Rental rates More in Oslo. According to the letting agent, the average price for a one-room apartment is NOK 12,900 per month. A two-room apartment costs NOK 17,000.

This meant that Pedersen left the city and moved to Lorenzczak.

Here she was lucky. He has received reasonable rent on fixed rent.

The downside is that the commute is almost an hour each way, which means almost two hours a day.

– An eight-hour workday is actually ten. It's tiring, she says:

– Is it okay for us to have a working class that spends hours traveling to work in the city when only people with money can afford to live here?

Change is needed

Report in favor of major changes in the rental market supported by Pedersen.

Because although she is satisfied with the apartment she lives in, she believes that there are many things that are problematic.

One is the uncertainty she and other tenants experience.

Perhaps the homeowner's children will soon be using the apartment she is renting? Then she has to move out in three months. This applies if the landlord wants to sell.

The Manifesto notes that many tenants find that they are not allowed to hang pictures, paint the walls, and make the house they live in a pleasant, lasting home.

Charlotte Pedersen loves her job, but store employees are among the lowest paid in the country.

Tenancy rate will increase

According to Statistics Norway, almost a million of us live in rented accommodation, and the proportion is slightly increasing. Government Housing Notification.

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More than half are in the housing market for a period of time, but the rest are defined as long-term renters.

They are above 30 years of age and have been renting for more than five years. This proportion is also increasing.

Most live in single-person households in Oslo.

The author of Manifest's analysis, Sigurd Jord, believes that this is a group that will increase in line with rising house prices in the future. At the same time, he believes that it is a group that is not taken into account politically.

– We may have intended you to be a tenant only for a short time while you are a student or traveling. We've all been there. They should tolerate some mold. They will be purchased soon. But not everyone can afford it, says Jord.

He calls it “the shadow side of housing policy.”

– Unfair

The report notes that homeowners can deduct 22 percent of their interest expense on taxes, and one pays less tax on housing compared to other income.

Jord believes that being single is good politics.

— but he believes it becomes unfair when you don't have a policy for people stuck in the rental market.

The report recommends strict regulation and proposes:

  • Long lease
  • Consent scheme for land owners
  • Thanks to how much the landlord can ask for rent per square meter, it is calculated based on the landlord's actual costs

Jorde advocates a new housing sector, not governed by the market, where the public finances the purchase of housing that can be reasonably rented, e.g. Through home foundations.

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The manifesto believes it could be funded by a two per cent cut in the tax relief homeowners get on interest costs.

Researcher: Unsolved problem

Jardar Sarvoll, head of the Center for Housing and Welfare Research (BOVEL) at Oslo Met, shares much of the problem profile. However, he is skeptical of the proposal for a price ceiling.

– Current contracts already have a ceiling on rental prices, he says, and landlords cannot increase rental prices above the consumer price index, according to the Landlords Act.

– It is difficult to find the right systems, but I think it provides a fair balance between landlord and tenant, says Sørvoll. He fears tighter rent controls will result in fewer rental properties.

– He says that we are dependent on private homeowners because we have very little sales of public rental housing.

He doesn't think there is a single solution to the challenge of people with regular jobs not being able to afford housing in big cities.

– If there is one measure that I focus on, it is to stabilize the housing supply, he says.

Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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