Denmark to push back on high rents with law against housing speculators

Denmark to push back on high rents with law against housing speculators
Housing minister Kaare Dybvad presents a report on housing regulations in October. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix
Minister for Transport Kaare Dybvad says he is ready to propose a law against what he has termed ‘housing speculators’.

The measure is aimed at slowing increases to rents and to ensure greener housing renovations, newspaper Berlingske reports.

The government is scheduled to meet with housing spokespersons from other political parties on Thursday in order to discuss changes to Danish housing laws.

At the meeting, Dybvad is expected to present a model which will prevent investors like US equity firm Blackstone from making large short-term investments in Danish housing.

Pension funds and long-term investors will be given more favourable conditions under the new law.

“There is a big incentive, in the way the (current) law is put together, to make short term investments, and the likes of Blackstone are making use of it,” Dybvad told Berlingske.

The minister referred specifically to a clause which allows landlords to increase rents if they renovate properties under certain criteria.

The legislative intervention will impact capital investors like Blackstone hard as well as specifically, an analyst said.

“If Blackstone wants to continue as they have done up to now, they’ll find it difficult in Denmark. They idea of a suspension period for rent increases will impact short-term investors,” said Curt Lillegreen, head of research institute Boligøkonomisk Videnscenter.

“That’s what this measure is designed to do with surgical precision,” Lillegreen added.

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