What is the best site or way to find house rentals in Iceland?

The answer below has been updated in Nov. 2022 to better reflect the current situation but the original question is from 2012.

Q: What is the best site or way to find house rentals in Iceland? Long and short term?

Kim Bohon, Iceland (originally from Burleson, Texas, USA)

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A: The rental market in Reykjavík is difficult for renters; the selection is sparse and available apartments sought after, especially in the city center and surrounding neighborhoods, and the price is rather high.

For example, a 80 to 100-square-meter apartment with two to three bedrooms in an apartment complex in postal code 105 Reykjavík, could be rented for approx. ISK 280,000 (USD 1,945, EUR 1,870) monthly, while a 60-square meter apartment with one bedroom in an apartment complex in the suburb Grafarvogur, 112 Reykjavík, went for ISK 240,000 (USD 1,670, EUR 1,600) per month, as stated on mbl.is. (Numbers as of Nov. 2022.)

On leigulistinn.is, a 10-square meter room in Torfufell in 111 Reykjavík was advertised for ISK 80,000 (USD 560, EUR 530) per month, while a 12-square-meter room on Hringbraut, in Vesturbær 101 Reykjavík, was rented for ISK 120,000 (USD 830, EUR 800) monthly (Numbers as of 2011).

The main three websites with information on rental apartments in Reykjavík are Leigulistinn, Leiga.is and news website mbl.is under properties (“Leigueignir”).

For the first two websites you might be able to receive help via email: [email protected] and [email protected], but please note that on Leigulistinn you have to pay a small fee for using the website. In the ads on mbl.is, telephone numbers and emails are usually included (if you’re calling from abroad, dial +354 first).

Rent tends to be lower outside the capital region and in smaller towns but not necessarily.

There are several Facebook groups where rental housing is listed and where you can post about what you are looking for. ‘Leiga‘ (e. Rental) is the biggest of those groups, other groups include ‘Leiga á Íslandi / Rent in Iceland‘, ‘Leiga í Reykjavik – Rent in Reykjavik‘ (focus on accommodation in Reykjavik) and ‘Leiga 101 Reykjavík‘ (rental housing in downtown Reykjavík only, postal code 101).

As for short-term rental accommodation, holiday apartments or cottages, there are a few websites you can check out.

In Reykjavík, there is for example airbnb.com, and in Akureyri in the north, there is a range of options presented by Visit North Iceland.

For summer houses around the country, viatis.is has a good selection.

Sixteen Middle Managers at Landspítali Hospital Dismissed

Landspítali

Sixteen middle managers employed at the National University Hospital of Iceland received letters of termination yesterday, RÚV reports. The terminations stem from the adoption of a new organisational chart intended to improve the hospital’s operations.

Improved service, efficiency

A new organisational chart will come into effect at the National University Hospital on January 1. According to director Runólfur Pálsson, the organisational chart is intended to simplify the hospital’s operations and make them more efficient.

“The main purpose is to get a handle on the hospital’s management and operations, to strengthen our clinical services, and to harmonise other key services,” Runólfur remarked in an interview with RÚV. Over the past months, questions concerning the sustainability of the hospital’s operations have come to the fore.

When asked if these changes would be felt by the public, Runólfur replied: “I hope it’ll translate into a stronger hospital, that we’ll be able to improve our service: improve our emergency services, the flow of patients while also strengthening our surgical department. If we’re successful in this regard, then the public will certainly feel it.”

The hospital’s organisational chart was introduced to the Minister of Health today. The changes imply a decrease in the number of middle managers and increased responsibility among front-line managers. “Six directorial positions will be cut, but there are two positions that are bound by law, namely the directorship of nurses and medicine – but the other six will be cut alongside all of the ten managerial positions,” Runólfur remarked.

As reported by RÚV, the sixteen individuals holding the aforementioned positions received a letter of notice yesterday. Runólfur added that because the organisational chart had yet to be implemented, it remained to be seen whether it would result in increased efficiency.

“These are big changes, and we must be aware that changes to the organisational chart, in themselves, are not enough to improve our output – there are other things that must work out as well,” Runólfur stated. “But the purpose of these changes is to get a better handle on and harmonise our clinical services. In the near future, we will aim to overhaul all of the clinical organisational units in the front line and strengthen its management affording them greater responsibility.”

Record Number of Coronavirus Deaths Since Start of 2022

vaccination Laugardalshöll

Deaths from COVID-19 have hit a record high, Vísir reports, with 188 people having died from the coronavirus since the beginning of 2022. According to Chief Epidemiologist Guðrún Aspelund, the effect of COVID-19 far outweighs the effects of other infectious diseases such as influenza.

Mainly individuals 70 years and older

Deaths from COVID-19 have surged since the start of 2022, Vísir reports. Thirty-one people died from the coronavirus in 2020 compared to eight in 2021. During the first ten months of 2022, however, that number has risen to 188.

According to Chief Epidemiologist Guðrún Aspelund, this upswing in cases owes primarily to the highly infectious Omicron variant and the fact that no social restrictions are in place. Deaths have mainly occurred among individuals seventy years and older.

“Which is why we’re encouraging older people, everyone sixty years and older, and those who are at risk, to get their booster shots. That’s the best form of protection,” Guðrún remarked, adding that protection from vaccines diminishes over a period of a few months.

“We’ve also got new vaccines now that offer protection against the original variant of coronavirus and Omicron, which offers better protection. We need to repeat these vaccinations to enter into winter with good protection.”

Read More: Long-form Interview with former chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason

Guðrún observed that Iceland’s neighbouring countries have also been seeing a rise in cases in 2022. “Confirmed deaths from COVID-19 are believed to be around six and a half million. But there are many who believe that those figures are at least twice as high – thousands of people are still dying from coronavirus every week.”

According to Guðrún, deaths from coronavirus are significantly higher than deaths from influenza. Coronavirus deaths in Iceland are, however, lower when compared to other countries, with Iceland having the lowest death toll among the Nordic countries.

When asked to speculate why, Guðrún pointed to Iceland’s speedy vaccination campaign, its social restrictions, and the fact that the healthcare system had responded well. “I think we can chalk up this achievement to these factors along with the participation of the citizenry.”