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PROPERTY

READERS REVEAL: The lesser-known parts of Denmark that are great to live in

The likes of Copenhagen and Aarhus are popular for a reason – they’re great cities. But other parts of Denmark perhaps don’t get the love they deserve.

Wind turbines peek out above the mist on an autumn morning on Zealand. We asked our readers in Denmark to let us know what's great about their local areas.
We asked our readers in Denmark to let us know about their local areas. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

We asked our readers to let us know what’s great about the parts of the country they call home. Thanks for those who took the time to get in touch.

Most of the people filled in our survey live in Greater Copenhagen or elsewhere on Zealand, though some were located in other parts of the country.

With house prices high and rent in the major cities – particularly Copenhagen – more costly than anywhere else, outlying areas may find themselves gaining popularity.

Hvidovre, only 10 kilometres or so outside of Copenhagen to the southwest, is “central, cheap and close to the airport”, writes Scott Wilson.

“A few years back it was a bit of a backwater, now has its own very good beach, lots of new families moving and prices of houses are climbing,” Scott said.

The area would still benefit from a few more cafes, he added. Another drawback of the area is its high municipal taxes, he also said.

Were he to move, however, Scott wouldn’t swap Hvidovre for another part of Denmark. He’d stay within the same local authority but move closer to the coast, he told us.

If you plan on living within Copenhagen Municipality, you might not have considered Sluseholmen, a former industrial area to the south of the city centre across the harbour from Amager and close to the motorway bridge linking Amager and Zealand.

The area is less well-known than the ‘bridge quarters’ of Nørrebro, Vesterbro and Østerbro, but offers modern architecture and proximity to the harbour not found in the more central areas.

“The canals and location (close to city centre, nature, water and motorways)” are what make Sluseholmen a unique neighbourhood, wrote Edward Horton. The area lacks charging ports for electric cars, he observed.

Were he to move anywhere else in Denmark, Edward wrote that it would be somewhere else on Zealand.

People swimming in the sea near Middelfart. File photo: Michael Drost-Hansen/Ritzau Scanpix

Despite its small size, Denmark’s geography makes it difficult to find a spot with easy access to all other parts of the country. But the town of Middelfart on the west coast of Funen comes close to fitting the bill, wrote Tony, who moved there because it is the hometown of his partner’s family.

“The area is central to everything,” he wrote, but said that the town itself would benefit from more diverse consumer offerings.

There are “too many empty shops in the town centre and too many shops doing the same trades,” Tony wrote, adding that he’d move to Copenhagen if he could pick anywhere else in Denmark.

Herning has on occasions been host to some of Europe’s most famous football clubs due to the recent success of local side FC Midtjylland. Photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix

Another city that can boast an advantageous location is Herning, almost right in the centre of Jutland.

Jennifer wrote to us to praise the area, which she moved to when relocating due to her partner’s work.

“There is such a lot of natural history in the areas all around Central Jutland… it’s a great way to explore the rich Danish history. There are also the beautiful lakes around Silkeborg for fun summer activities like kayaks or paddle boards,” she wrote.

One thing she’d like to see more of in Herning is vegetarian options when eating out.

“Everything is meat,” she noted.

If she could move to another part of Denmark, Jennifer said she would choose nearby Aarhus or perhaps Copenhagen.

Cycling near Holbæk in Spring 2018. Photo Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Holbæk, on the coast of the Isefjord in the northwestern part of Zealand, is remarkable for its “beautiful fjord” and is a “nice friendly town”, wrote Bev Lloyd-Roberts.

Unlike anyone else who wrote in to us, Bev said she wouldn’t swap her adopted home town for any other part of Denmark.

But it could do with “more bins in the street” as well as “more benches to sit on to look at the fjord”, she suggested.

Do you agree with the places mentioned in this article? Do you have any suggestions you think we should add? If so, let us know – if we receive enough suggestions we’ll write a follow-up article.

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MONEY

Boligstøtte: Who can claim Denmark’s national rent subsidy?

Residents of Denmark can in some cases apply for ‘boligstøtte’ (“housing support”), a reduction on their monthly rent.

Boligstøtte: Who can claim Denmark's national rent subsidy?

What is boligstøtte? 

Boligstøtte is a tax-free sum which people who live in rented housing can – in some cases – qualify for. It provides a subsidy to rent.

The subsidy is available to anyone who rents their home, provided the home meets certain criteria and the household income is under a certain level.

For example, your rental home must have its own kitchen (which would rule out student housing with shared kitchens, termed kollegier in Danish) and you must live permanently in the property.

Homeowners can also be entitled to apply for boligstøtte under certain circumstances. In such cases, the boligstøtte is a loan and not a subsidy, however.

The size of the subsidy – the amount of money you receive each month – depends on the overall income of the household (the total of the incomes of all wage earners at the address), the number of children and adults who live at the address, the amount of rent and the size of the house or apartment.

Boligstøtte is paid out on the first working day of each month.

How do I know if I’m entitled to boligstøtte?

Most people can apply for boligstøtte if they live in rented housing. There are a few living situations that can disqualify you, such as if you live with the owner of the property (including as a tenant) or if you own the property yourself and rent part of it.

You can, however, apply for the subsidy if you live in a property owned by your parents and pay rent to them (known as a forældrekøb – “parent purchase” – in Danish).

You can also apply for boligstøtte if you are sub-letting your house or flat, although the person sub-letting to you might have to change their address in order to avoid their income being taken into account in your application.

People who own their homes can receive bolistøtte (as a subsidy, not as a loan as detailed above) if they receive the state pension folkepension, or disability pension, førtidspension.

How and where do I apply?

You can submit an application via the borger.dk website at this link. The application platform will ask you to submit a rental contract and other documentation for your claim to be processed.

If you’re applying after moving to a new address, you must have registered your change of address with the national personal registry prior to applying. This can be done here. If you apply within 30 days of moving, the subsidy will be effective from the date you moved in. Otherwise, it will count from the first day of the following month from when you submit your application.

The processing time for the application can be up to seven weeks. You’ll receive a confirmation of your application via your Digital Mail inbox, and you will also receive notification here once the application has been processed.

By how much can I reduce my rent?

This depends on the various factors on which your eligibility is calculated – for some, you will not qualify to receive any subsidy at all.

There are five criteria upon which your eligibility – and the amount you receive – is calculated. They are the income of the household; the savings or fortune of people in the household; number of children and adults living at the address; size of the home (in square metres) and amount of rent paid.

You will receive more money if you have more children. For example, people who live in rented homes and are not receiving the state pension can get up to 1,039 kroner per month if they have no children; up to 3,654 kroner per month if they have 1-3 children; and up to 4,568 kroner per month if they have 4 children or more.

The borger.dk website has a tool on which you can estimate your boligstøtte here.

Source: borger.dk

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