Renting a house or apartment
There is no central register for advertising private rental properties and apartments in Denmark. Rental units are often advertised on the Internet or found through your personal networks, such as colleagues, friends and acquaintances.
Make sure to spread the word among your new colleagues that you are looking for housing. Please provide detailed information about what you are looking for, including areas and size.
In general, apartment buildings in the city centre date back one or two centuries; while many have been renovated to fit modern standards, bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms are often very small yet equipped with all necessary facilities. You may find that these facilities differ from what you are used to from home or other places you have lived.
You might want to consider extending your search to suburban areas outside the city centre. These areas are often more affordable, with excellent public transportation to the city centre and the University as well as excellent bicycle lanes. In this way, you will be able to travel a longer distance within a short amount of time. Suburban areas outside the city centre are typically areas with lots of history and amenities, they transmit a neighbourhood feeling as the one that can be experienced in the city.
In Denmark, private rentals and the rent itself are regulated by the Tenant Consolidation Act (Tenants Laws). Rent for a certain rental is determined by a number of factors; location (downtown/suburbs), type (apartment, single/family house, or single room), building year, remodelled and other aspects.
Please see the Municipality of Copenhagen site on general housing expenses.
When you sign a rental agreement, please read the terms carefully and make sure they describe clearly what you have agreed to. A number of provisions in the Tenants Laws are mandatory with no option to negotiate less protection for the tenant. Other provisions can be negotiated and may offer the tenant less protection than what the Tenants Laws prescribe.
We recommend using the standard rental agreement developed by the Danish Ministry of Housing. Please contact ISM to get an unofficial translation of the standard rental agreement.
The do's and dont's when signing a lease
- Go through the apartment with your landlord and document any defects (e.g. take pictures). You risk having to pay from your deposit when you move out, if you cannot prove that the defect was there when you moved in.
- Make a note of the rent and what it consists of (is heating, water, internet etc. included?). You may be required to pay up to three months deposit and three months advance payment of rent which is within the terms of the law. The notice of termination is typically three months
- Pay your rent and any utilities on time. If you don´t, it could be a reason for eviction
- Sign up for meter service
- Study the move-in and move-out conditions carefully
- Do not sign the lease without reading the terms – a rental agreement is a legal contract
- Do not pay any deposit in advance without having a contract