Many people are surprised when they find out, I rent an apartment. Their first reaction is “Oh! my gosh how? Renting in Reykjavik is so expensive“.
Well at the age of 18 I moved into my first apartment, and it was the most expensive thing I’ve ever done. If it wasn't for the guidance of my parents and my boyfriend moving with me, I don't think it would have been possible.
The average age for people to live on their own is 25-30 years old. My question is why?
The rental system in Iceland is not the best from what I heard and experienced.
For example, I went to a viewing for a studio apartment of around 50 square feet and it cost almost 300,000 Kr and it was in bad condition. No one wonders why most young people are still living with their parents. Even if you have enough for rent, they might not be able to afford the insurance to get financial support. Thus, many are forced to move out of Reykjavik.
Therefore, I don’t think it’s right for the landlord to overprice rentals just because they can. I was pleased when I heard Miðflokkurinn wants to implement rent control. This will help keep living costs affordable for lower-income residents who want to live in the city.
I believe by implementing rent control will help for example help youth who are out of the foster care systems and other young adults get off the streets as well as those young adults be more independent.
Well, if you are not fully convinced about rent control, let me share some stories from young adults about renting in the capital city.
Male 21 – “I moved out at the age of 19 into a room at my friend’s house because I couldn't afford to rent an apartment on my own, not even a studio due to the high insurance. I decided together with my girlfriend as it was better financially. So, I support rent control
Female 23 –I am forced to live in hostels and hotels all over the capital because of the high rent and insurance due to my financial situation, I can't support myself and pay rent. I support rent control
Female 19 – I have been renting since the age of 18 and it has been near impossible to pay rent and pay for food and other expenses. My only option now is to move out of Reykjavik, I have a choice. I support rent control
Female 20- I rented a studio student accommodation. My whole paycheck went towards rent and I was forced to seek help from food banks, and I have now moved out of the country. I support rent control
Man 30 – At one point I chose a criminal lifestyle so I could be sent to prison because there is no chance for me to pay such a high rent and I’m not the only one. I support rent control
These are stories of young Icelandic-born people sharing their experience of the rental system. No one talks about how hard it is for so many young people living in Iceland, so many are living in poverty, so many are struggling and so many are homeless. They want change and they support rent control.