Frequently asked questions
What conditions must I meet to be eligible for allocation?
You need to be 18 years old, registered and active on Bjarg’s waiting list and have submitted an application. You need to be a valid union member of an affiliate of the Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASÍ) or the Federation of State and Municipal Employees (BSRB) for at least 21 out of the last 24 months at the time of allocation and be active in the labor market. You must fall below certain income and asset limits at the beginning of the rent and the debt burden of the rent should normally not exceed 25% to 30% of the total income, taking housing benefits into account.
What should I do to register to a waiting list?
You register to a waiting list through “Mínar síður” (my pages) by confirming that you meet conditions for allocation and by paying the membership fee. You are responsible for knowing whether you meet all conditions for allocation and you must therefore check this carefully. Bjarg Housing Foundation does not check whether the respective information is correct until the time of allocation. So make certain of your union membership and that you do not exceed the limits of income and assets, and read the allocation rules carefully before you pay the registration fee and register to the waiting list. Waiting list registration must be renewed every 12 months and the annual membership fee paid. Membership fees are not refunded.
I am not sure to which union I belong or whether I have been there long enough to receive an allocation, how do I find about this?
You should see the name of your union on your payslip. Both your employer and the union can tell you how long you have been a member.
My boyfriend has two children from his previous relationship that we need to be able to accommodate now and then, should I include them in the application?
In order to take your boyfriend's children into account in the application you need to be in a registered cohabitation and he must also have shared custody of the children. Confirmation of joint custody must be handed into Bjarg’s office (from the District Commissioner (Sýslumaður)) when your allocation is considered and Bjarg begins reviewing all information. If you and your boyfriend are not cohabiting, but he has joint custody, the children cannot be included in the application as you cannot be paired.
My mother is very old and we would like to include her in our home, can we include her in the application and can she get a separate room?
Yes, that could work but the connection must be confirmed in a verifiable manner. You register her as “another family member” in your application and indicate what the connection is in an explanatory note, for example by writing tenant’s mother. Then you have to present a confirmation of the connection, which would in this instance be the tenant’s birth certificate indicating who his/her mother is.
My daughter is 22 years old and still lives with us, where do I register her?
You would register her under “another family member” in your application and add an explanatory note saying “child, 20 years or older”. The law on general apartments provides that the reference age of children in a home is 19 years and younger, so that part of the registration does not give priority. That means if another applicant for the same apartment has a child that is 19 years old or younger that applicant would be allocated the apartment.
I was a member of a union within ASÍ/BSRB for a long time, but am no more, can I still apply?
No, unfortunately not. Allocations are only made to present members of affiliates of ASÍ or BSRB who are employed and have been members at least for the last 24 months.
What is in the apartment when I move in?
The housing is in a condition that is generally considered adequate. There is a stove (oven and ceramic hotplate) and a ventilation hood but you need to provide other equipment yourself. That is, you need to bring your own washing machine, dishwasher (60 cm), a refrigerator (standard 60 cm. wide) etc. There is a wardrobe in the main bedroom and the apartment has storage closets.
There have been changes in my family situation, can I change my registration?
You can always change the waiting list registration. However, you cannot make changes once an apartment application has been submitted. If that is the case you can, however, adjust your registration for the waiting list which will apply the next time you apply for an apartment.
I have received an allocation – where do I go to sign the rental agreement?
In order to sign the rental agreement, you need to come to the Bjarg office at Klettháls 1, 2nd floor, in Reykjavík, between 09:00 and 16:00. It is best to present yourself soon after the allocation is confirmed and no later than three months before delivery. Please note that the spouse/cohabitation partner must also sign the rental agreement. A three-month security payment must also be paid when the rental agreement is signed (please note that the confirmation fee that was paid upon allocation is now deducted from the security which is lowered accordingly).
What happens if my income rises and exceeds the limit, will I then loose the apartment?
Bjarg’s mission is housing security so no one is thrown out because their income rises. However, the law states that the rent may be raised if income and assets have been above the defined limits for the last three calendar years, adding a surcharge to the rent. The reference is that the payment burden for rent should not exceed 25% to 30% of the tenant’s total income, including housing benefits.
What happens if there is a change in the family and I need a different size apartment, can I move to a Bjarg apartment of a different size?
Yes, tenants at Bjarg who need a larger or smaller apartment for exceptional reasons can apply for transfer. This is done through “Mínar síður” (my pages). In order to be able to request a transfer, the tenant must have lived in the housing for at least two years and meet all general conditions for allocation.
Can I have more than one application going at the same time?
Yes, there is nothing to prevent you from applying for an apartment in more than one place if you are registered on a waiting list. However your application will be cancelled on all lists if you receive an allocation and accept it. No cost is charged for applications but there is a registration fee for the waiting list registration that is valid for 12 months.
Can I have a pet?
Pets are not allowed, except in apartments that Bjarg has defined specifically for keeping pets. You can thus apply for an apartment allowing pets but it must be kept in mind for such an application that those apartments are relatively few and a longer waiting period may be expected. A registration/ license must be presented for pets that require registration and these shall always be kept in such a manner as to avoid noise, disturbance, unwholesomeness or uncleanliness. Applicants who are specifically sensitive to animals, for example, due to an allergy, can mark in their application that they choose to be in a building where keeping a pet is completely prohibited.
Do I need a rent guarantee?
Yes, a rent guarantee must be provided, the equivalent of a three-month rent. This guarantee must be in place when the rental agreement is signed, that is no later than three months before you receive the apartment. The confirmation fee that you paid in the beginning to confirm an apartment offer is now deducted from the security. The tenant can also choose to buy an insurance from an authorized party and the confirmation fee is then subtracted from the first rent payment.
Where and how do I apply?
An apartment application is made in two steps and takes place electronically on the Bjarg website through “Mínar síður” (my pages). First, the applicant registers for a waiting list at Bjarg Housing Foundation. Waiting list registrations are ordered according to their submission date and become active when confirmation payment has been made. Each time an apartment becomes available for application, Bjarg sends a mail to everyone on waiting lists with further information. Should there be an interest in a particular location the applicant must send an application. The applicant who is allocated an apartment is the one who meets all conditions for allocation has the lowest number on the waiting list subject to priority according to article 4 of the allocation rules.
I am on a maternity leave, can I sign up for an apartment?
Yes, valid union members who are temporarily unemployed for up to 12 months due to maternity/paternity leave or illness maintain their rights
Where can I find my number on the waiting list?
You can find your waiting list number on "my pages" here on the website.
What is ment by "asset"?
The total assets of the household (the applicant and spouse/partner) at the beginning of the rent may not exceed 5.510.000 ISK as stated in the current regulation (all assets - minus all liabilities). Assets here are e.g. deposits of bank accounts, cars, caravans, motorcycles, real estate and equity holdings, according to the last tax report.
Are the income benefits from the Social Insurance Administration a part of my income?
Yes. All taxable income of the household (the tenant/applicant and spouse/cohabitant) are considered income. For example disability benefits. However, some types of payments from the Social Insurance Administration (Tryggingastofnun) are tax-free. Such income is excluded in Bjarg´s calculation for income.
Should I state my income before or after tax?
All income must be stated before tax. All taxable income of the tenant/applicant and spouse/cohabitant is considered income. These include disability benefits.
Where/how do I register my boyfriend in the application?
If you are not already registered in cohabitation, perhaps you currently live in different homes, you put him as "other family member" and put an explanation, "boyfriend." Your combined income and assets are considered in terms of allocation and the income criteria is for married couples and cohabitants.
What is ment by income?
These are the columns Bjarg views in your (and your spouse) Tax return to figure the annual income: Nr. 2.7: Salary and other employment-related payments. Nr.2.8: Income abroad, other than capital income. Nr. 3.10: Total capital income (minus the capital income of children, Nr. 3.4).
Can my income be to low?
The Act on public apartments states that the rent burden should as a rule not exceed 25% -30% of the tenant's total income, taking into account housing benefits. Rent burden (rent minus housing benefits) for ex. for an applicant with 400.000 ISK. income per month before tax, should therefore not exceed 120.000 ISK per month (30% of 400,000 are 120 thousand). Bjarg is a nonprofit foundation and the rental price of Bjarg´s properties is different from one location to another, but land prices as well as structural terms and how they support the construction of economical housing, have a big impact on the rental price.
Can I get an apartment with a bathtub?
No, all of Bjarg's apartments are furnished with a shower, a bathtub cannot be put in the bathrooms.
What are the income limits?
These are the income- and asset limits: For a single tenant: Max 5.345.000 ISK per year before tax (or 445.417 ISK per month). For couples: Max 7.484.000 ISK per year before tax (or 623.667 ISK per month). For every child in the family, 19 or younger the income can be higher by 1.336.000 ISK per year before tax (or 111.333 ISK per month). The total assets of the tenants shall not be higher than 5.769.000 ISK. The debt burden of the rent should normally not exceed 25% to 30% of the total income, taking housing benefits into account.
Where is the storage for the apartment?
There are storage cabinets within each apartment, but there won´t be a private storage room outside the apartment. This was done to minimize the number of square meters, and thus the rent. There will also be a common storage room for bikes, strollers and children´s snow sleds.
I was unemployed for a period, does that affect my application?
An applicant must have been active in the employment market for at least 21 out of the last 24 months to be eligible for an allocation. Unemployment exceeding 3 months could prevent the possibility allocation. Exceptions are if you're temporarily unemployed due to maternity/paternity leave or illness, but members who are temporarily unemployed for up to 12 months due to maternity/paternity leave or illness maintain their rights.
What happens if my income decreases?
Bjarg is a housing foundation without a profit perspective and rents apartments at cost price. If the applicant's/tenants income later decreases, it does not affect the rent price which already is at cost price. If, however, the rental price has risen at some point due to higher wages, then the rent may be lowered again if income decreases.