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HOUSING

Deposits, complaints and registration: Five key things to know about renting in Denmark

The Danish rental housing market can seem like an intimidating and impenetrable place. Here are five vital tips to help you as a newcomer looking for a place to rent in Denmark.

Deposits, complaints and registration: Five key things to know about renting in Denmark
Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

How do I make sure I am not being overcharged for rent?

In Denmark, the rent determination rules vary between unregulated and regulated municipalities. In regulated municipalities, there is an additional difference in these rules depending on whether or not the building consists of one to six leases or more than seven leases.

Generally, rent must correspond to the value of the lease which is determined by comparing the rent for similar leases according to location, type, size, quality, equipment, and condition.

To check whether or not the rent you are paying for your lease is appropriate by these measures, you can visit a website like checkrent.dk and enter the relevant information.

If the evaluation suggests that you are paying too much in rent, you first must address this with your landlord and request a reduction in rent. If your landlord is not amenable to your requests, you may then formally bring the case before the relevant appeals board for rented housing, Huslejenævnet, by sending an email or a letter to the board with your rental contract and your invoice for the latest rent collection. 

Cases like this typically take a few months to be settled. If your complaint is successful and was initiated within the first 12 months of taking over the lease, your rent will be reduced retroactively and going forward. Alternatively, if you bring the case after 12 months, rent reduction will be initiated only for the future.

While it can be contentious to complain to your landlord about the price of rent, it is important to know that they are not allowed to evict you because of disagreements even if those pertain to rent. 

Photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Ritzau Scanpix

What to do if I am not allowed to register my CPR number?

In Denmark, the law requires you to register your place of residence no later than five days after you have changed residence. If you are living and renting a home or an apartment, you must register the address via borger.dk.

It is not rare for internationals and foreigners looking for short-term leases, particularly in Copenhagen, to come across advertisements on real estate platforms that have a term indicating it is not possible to register the apartment with your personal registration or CPR number.

A CPR number is the Danish equivalent of a social security code – it is used for personal identification and registration. It is also particularly important for health care reasons as an individual’s CPR number and their home address are displayed on their yellow health insurance card.

READ ALSO: Is life in Denmark impossible without a personal registration number?

Whenever you register at a new address, you receive a new yellow health insurance card and if you move to a new municipality, you also receive a new doctor. Therefore registering your new address is also of serious importance for having up to date information within the medical and health care system. 

Landlords may advertise “No-CPR-Registration” apartments if the property is registered as a “temporary” residence by the owner.

Forbidding tenants from registering an address at their property enables landlords to avoid reporting rental income and paying taxes on that income.

If you come across these ads, it is advisable to seek other available leases. If you rent an apartment without registering your CPR number, you risk not having up-to-date medical information and receiving a local doctor. You also risk legal troubles if someone reports that you are a resident in a property that is technically occupied by someone else.

File photo: David Leth Williams/Ritzau Scanpix

How do I ensure fair treatment about getting my deposit back?

When you move into a rental property, the landlord has the right to charge financial security from you. Landlords may charge up to three months’ prepaid rent, three months’ deposit, and a payment of rent for the first month — totalling an eye-watering seven months’ rent. 

The deposit is the way for the landlord to ensure that repairs can be made and painting can be done after you vacate the lease. If you damage the property and need repairs or the landlord believes the apartment needs to be painted, they can use the security deposit to cover these costs. If damages exceed the funds in the security deposit, the landlord can collect the remaining amount from you. 

According to Danish law, lejeloven (the Rent Act) does not specify a deadline for when the landlord is required to repay the deposit. They must simply repay the deposit as soon as they have evaluated and covered the costs of potential damage to the property. It is the landlord’s responsibility to prepare and present a statement outlining repairs on which the deposit has been used.

Importantly, the landlord may not charge you for more than the costs of normal renovation. Under the Rent Act, tenants are not expected or responsible for leaving the leased property in any better condition than it was when they moved in. Therefore the deposit may only cover repair costs that exceed the ordinary wear and tear that comes with living. Because of this, it is important to take pictures or videos of the apartment when you move into the property so that you can have documentation of its condition at the beginning of the lease. 

How do I file general complaints or address noise issues in my building?

If you have an issue with your living situation, whether it pertains to your apartment specifically or something in your building, the first step is bringing it to your landlord. Much like the rent disputes discussed earlier in the article, discussing issues with your landlord is always the first step in conflict resolution. 

If you are experiencing loud noise in your building, therefore, you should first bring this up with your landlord by specifying the dates and times of the noise. You should also describe the nature of the noise and where it is coming from. All of these things should be done in writing. After you have this conversation with your landlord, they should send the noisy tenant a written warning indicating the dates and times of the noise and encourage the tenant to behave differently in the future. 

Hopefully, the behaviour changes and the noise is not an issue again. If the noise continues, the case may either be brought before the rental housing board board or a housing court, or if it is a really extreme case the landlord may terminate the noisy tenant’s lease. 

If for some reason, your landlord is not responsive to your noise complaints: As in other cases when there is a disagreement between a tenant and landlord over an issue, you may bring the noise complaint directly to the appeals board Huslejenævnet to be addressed. This is important to note because sometimes landlords will rent out apartments in the building to family members or friends and will be slow to address noise complaints by other tenants. If the noise or disruption is persistent and unchanging, you may bring it yourself before the municipality’s rent board.

File photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

How do I ensure that my contract is respected or that I’m allowed to stay the full length of my lease?

There are very few circumstances in which a landlord may terminate the lease of a tenant.  The following examples are the only exceptions:

  • The landlord wants to live in the rented property themselves
  • The property must be demolished or extensively renovated
  • The tenant lives in the property as part of his work and has resigned from the employment relationship 
  • The tenant has breached good practice or other parts of the tenancy agreement (like has been exceedingly noisy or disruptive to the building)

If the tenant has broken building rules and has not been complying with good practice (noise, for example), the eviction goes into effect immediately. This is contingent upon the landlord having provided successive written warnings to the tenant. In all of the other circumstances, the landlord must give a certain amount of notice to the tenant before they must move out. If it is just a room that the tenant is renting, the landlord must give one month’s notice. Otherwise, the landlord must give a one-year notice. 

Sources: Lejeloven, Boligportal.dk (1), Boligportal.dk (2)

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For members

LIVING IN DENMARK

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in December 2021

Here's what changes in Denmark in December and how it could affect you.

Brexit residency applications, travel restrictions and the return of face mask rules are among changes in Denmark in the lead up to Christmas.
Brexit residency applications, travel restrictions and the return of face mask rules are among changes in Denmark in the lead up to Christmas. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Face masks return to Denmark 

New Covid-19 rules on the use of face masks and the coronapas health pass took effect in Denmark on November 29th and will stay in effect until at least December 11th.

Face masks are now required on public transport, including taxis and ride sharing services. They will also have to be used in supermarkets and in other retail settings like shopping malls and stores.

Masks will also be required in health and social care settings such as hospitals, clinics and community care.

Rules relating to the coronapas Covid-19 health pass have also been broadened and the interval for which a negative Covid-19 test gives a valid pass reduced.

The rule changes are detailed in full in this article.

Deadline for post-Brexit permanent residency applications approaches

Applications for post-Brexit permanent residency with the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) should be sent be the end of 2021.

In its information letter sent in December last year, SIRI asked British residents born before 1946 to submit their applications up to the end of November, allowing time to attend appointments to submit biometric data, which must be done in person.

Biometric information is submitted at one of Siri’s six offices, which are in Valby outside Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Aabenraa, Aalborg, and Bornholm.

The overall deadline for applying for residency is December 31st 2021. An application is considered to have been fully submitted once you have both sent in the application form and submitted biometric data.

You apply for residency at the New in Denmark page. 

READ ALSO: Brexit: Danish minister urges Denmark-based Brits to apply for new residency status

UK tightens travel restrictions on arrivals from abroad

The UK announced on Saturday that PCR tests and self-isolation for UK arrivals would be reintroduced amid concerns of the new Omicron variant that was first identified in South Africa and has now been found in several people in mainland Europe and the UK.

The new requirements are set to come into force at 4am on Tuesday, November 30th, and are therefore likely to affect travel from Denmark throughout much of not all of December.This means that if you’re arriving in the UK after 4am on Tuesday, November 30th, you’ll need to book and take PCR tests instead of lateral flow tests, which will no longer be accepted.

You’ll need to take a PCR test by the end of the second day after arriving in the UK and self-isolate until you get a negative test result.

READ ALSO: What travellers from Europe need to know about new Covid entry rules in UK

Christmas holidays 

Schools will generally close their doors for the festive season on Friday, December 17th, and reopen on Monday, January 3rd. 

This is liable to change locally, however, because term times are set by municipalities. For example, children in Frederikshavn will have to wait until the 22nd to go on their Christmas holidays.

School term dates can be looked up on the website of your local municipality.

Deadline for Christmas deliveries

It’s the season for sending letters and parcels, and it you want to be sure your gifts and cards arrive on time, there are a few dates to keep in mind.

According to Danish postal service Postnord, normal letters should be sent by December 16th and parcels by December 21st if you want them to arrive at a Danish address in time for Christmas.

If you’re sending post abroad, the deadlines for both letters and parcels are December 13th (EU plus Norway); December 6th (rest of Europe); November 29th (rest of world).

It’s worth checking the exact time of day you need to drop off parcels at your local post desk or the time at which post boxes are emptied to ensure you are within the deadline.

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