Renting a property in Denmark
Moving to a new country is challenging and even more so if the country you are moving to has a different mother tongue of yours. If not familiar with danish language, getting confused with rental terms in Denmark while looking for a living space is natural. However, I hope this post will help you on the way and clear out the general terms used in most rental advertisements on the market. Make sure to read our post on how and where to look for an apartment here.
The number of rooms
Rental listings in Denmark are described in the number of rooms (værelse) which are bedrooms and living rooms. An apartment with 2 rooms is an apartment with a bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom (and any hallways, storage rooms etc.). Therefore you need to count for the number of bedrooms you need – 2 bedrooms and a living room will mean you have to look for a 3 room apartment and so on.
Some apartments might have a designated dining room which would mean a 3 room apartment has a bedroom, living room and dining room which you can specify with the landlord
An apartment with 1 room means there is no living room therefore making it a studio apartment where all rooms but bathroom are in the same living space
Are the rentals furnished?
Most apartments in Denmark are rented out as unfurnished. Some student apartments might have an in-built wardrobe and shelves but that’s about it. However, all apartments have the basic appliances such as ovens with hobs, sinks as well as bathroom necessities. Though a fridge is not always included in the rental and you might need to get your own – same as with a washing machine and dryer and dish washer.
Most furnished rentals will be rooms rented out in an apartment that you share with others and even then they might come unfurnished.
What does the rent include?
The rent listed on the advertisement usually does not include utilities. The supplier of electricity, heat and water is different to each city and even building. In most of the cases, the tenant will pay for the utilities straight to the supplier.
For approximate price, check “aconto or A/C-forbrug” in apartment listings.
Your first payment will usually be made of the deposit (3 month rent) and prepaid rent (up to 3 month rent). Although it is possible to get the full deposit back when moving out, more often than not it will be used to renovate the apartment after your leave. It is not uncommon to loose the whole amount depending on the renovations that need to be done. The prepaid rent is used at the end of the lease when you have warned your landlord that you will be moving out.
Additionally you will pay the rent for the first month so in total the upfront payment (Indflytningspris) can be quite large depending on the price of the rental.
The floors in Denmark are numbered differently than in most countries. For example the first floor in many countries is the ground floor. In Denmark, on the other hand, the ground floor is ST and the second floor is 1 SAL.
Many apartment buildings in Denmark have more than one apartment located on one floor. An apartment that is on the left side on the floor is marked with TV next to the floor number, apartment on the right with – TH. If there is an apartment in the middle, it will be marked with MF.
These abbreviations can be seen on mailboxes and if you have ever worked in a delivery service in Denmark, you will know the struggle of figuring what these abbreviations mean before you’ve learned the language.
ST – stueetagen – ground floor
1 SAL – første sal – first floor
TV – til venstre – on the left
MF – midt for – in the middle
TH – til højre – on the right
Signing the contract
It is exciting to find a place in the competitive rental market in Denmark so it is important to take a step back and make sure that the contract is legit and you are not being scammed.
Almost always the contract you sign will be in danish and most likely will look close to this standard template. §11 in the contract is where additional terms are stated by the landlord so it is a good idea to have a person who speaks danish to look over it in case there are any unexpected terms.
Make sure to see the place in person and meet the landlord or a person responsible for the lease. Both parties should sign the contract after all terms of the lease have been agreed on.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to document ALL damage that the rental has upon you lease. In best case scenario you should write all of it down, take photos of the damages and have it signed by the landlord (some will have a dedicated document for this). This way you won’t risk paying for something you haven’t damaged at the end of the lease.
All payments should be made through a bank transfer after the contract has been signed.