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New Legal Residence Laws Take Effect

Property owners in Iceland are now required to ensure their tenants have correctly registered their legal residence, RÚV reports. The National Registry also has increased authority to investigate cases where a person’s legal residence is believed to be falsely registered. These are just a couple of the changes to legal residence laws that took effect on January 1. Legal residence legislation became a hot topic of discussion during municipal elections in 2018, when it was discovered several individuals had falsely registered their addresses in one municipality in order to influence voting outcomes.

Property owners could be fined

Property owners are now required to ensure their tenants have correctly registered their legal residence. The laws assume property owners will receive notification when an individual registers their legal address at their property, a new practice for Registers Iceland. If landlords do not ensure the legitimacy of the registrations on their property, they could face fines.

Legal residence while abroad

 More individuals who live outside of Iceland can maintain a legal residence in the country, including students studying abroad and those living abroad due to illness. Both groups must have had a legal residence in Iceland for a minimum of two years in order to qualify.

Authority to investigate 

The changes to legislation also grant the National Registry increased authority to investigate cases where false registration of a legal residence is suspected. In such cases, the institute can request information from local authorities or private businesses which store data regarding an individual’s residence. Authorities and businesses are granted permission to share this data with the National Registry under the revised laws.

Spouses can have separate legal residences

Married couples are no longer legally required to be registered at the same residence under the amended legislation. Married individuals are now able to temporarily register at a different residence, such as a summer home or staff residence.

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