Copenhagen is a very popular city to live in, also for Danes. Therefore, finding affordable housing can be challenging. It can be particularly difficult to find a rental place in August and September due to the beginning of the academic year. We advise you to begin your house hunting before you come to Copenhagen, it may take you 2-3 months to find a place to live.
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.
CBS Academic Housing may be able to help you when coming to Denmark to work at CBS. Please read more about CBS Academic Housing. Please note - pets are not allowed in CBS Academic Housing.
Make sure to inform your new colleagues that you are looking for housing. Please provide detailed information about what you are looking for, including area and size.
In general, apartment buildings in the city centre date back one or two centuries; while many may 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 expanding your seach to surburban areas outside the Copenhagen city center and Frederiksberg. These areas are often more affordable, with excellent public transportation to the city centre, Frederiksberg and CBS, as well as excellent bike lanes. The public transportation network and bike lanes makes it easy to get around Copenhagen quickly and easily. Surburban 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.
Please note that if you bring your pets, it may be even more difficult to find a place to rent.
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.
Generally renting in Copenhagen is expensive, whereas if you find a place outside Copenhagen, it is less expensive. You might even find it cheaper to rent something in the outskirts of Copenhagen or in the suburbs.
Copenhagen is an easy city to get around in with public transportation, so living in the suburbs, still leaves you at a reasonable travel distance to work at CBS. Busses, trains and metro run frequently.
Please see Copenhagen municipality's site on housing.
In addition to your monthly rent, you should expect to pay for utilities such as heating, water, electricity and gas. Sometimes utilities are included in the monthly rent, so make sure to find out whether you have to pay utilities or not.
A conto payment is a fixed amount that is paid in advance to cover your expected consumption, and is later adjusted based on your actual consumption. This payment is based on an average calculation, such as the estimated annual consumption.
This payment method is often used when utilities are not included in the rent.
In Denmark it is normal to pay a deposit when renting accommodation. There are limits to the amount that the owner may request in deposit. Legally, the owner can only request up to 3 months deposit and 3 months prepaid rent.
The deposit will remain on the owner's account until the apartment has been inspected for any damages and the heating and other utilities have been settled.
When terminating your lease, if you have prepaid 3 months of rent, you will not need to pay rent for the last 3 months of your lease.
When you sign a rental agreement, please read the terms carefully and make sure they describe clearly what you have agreed to. The contract defines some of the rights and obligations of the tenants and the landlord. This includes the amount of rent you must pay and the conditions for moving-in and moving-out. 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.
If you rent a home from a public housing enterprise, a written lease is required by law. However, a written lease is not required by law for privately owned homes, but it is recommended nonetheless. When subletting, a written contract is required by law in all cases.
Please note, when registering for a CPR number, you need proof of address in Denmark, the easiest way to proof your address is to bring your contract.
We recommend using the standard rental agreement developed by the Danish Ministry of housing. Aarhus University has created an unofficial translation of the rental agreement that you might want to use for comparison with your own lease. You can find the official rental agreement here from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Housing and Senior Citizens.
The do's and don'ts 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 already 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 advance payment of rent which is within the terms of the law. The notice of termination is typically three months.
- Pay your rent 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 contract is a legal contract.
- Do not pay any deposit in advance without having a contract.
Unfortunately, there are people who encounter housing scams when looking for housing in Copenhagen. So here are a some things to be aware of, when you are looking for rentals in Denmark.
- Be on the alert for "landlords" offering you a residence at rate that are much lower than the market standard. The old saying "If it seems too good to be true, it is probably not true" comes to mind.
- Be on alert for landlords offering a contract in English. Leasing contracts in Denmark are in Danish (possibly with an English translation). If you recieve anything other than the official one looking like this, be on alert.
- Be wary of landlords offering you housing very centrally located. There are very few (payable) housing options there and scammers like to choose addresses in the city centre, because many people like to live there. You can check krak.dk. If an address doesn't exist there, it is most likely because the address doesn't exist.
- Be on the alert for "landlords" that does not offer the possibility to view the apartment in person - you need to see it in person for verification.
- Be on alert for "landlords" who will pressure you into signing a contract or transferring money straight away. Do not feel pressured into signing anything.
- Be on alert for "landlords" who provide false addresses (addresses that do not exist) or do not specify the floor or apartment number. If you want to see if an address really exists you can use krak.dk or dgs.dk.
- Be on the alert if the person is resident in a country other than Denmark. Look out for email addresses which originates from UK, Germany or any other country outside Denmark. This could indicate that the address given for a property in Denmark may not exist.
- Beware of any irregularities in what is being offered to you.
- Beware if the landlord claims to be deaf and dumb to avoid videocalls.
Descriptions of accommodation - are they too vague?
- Examples could be "centrally located" - what does this constitute? Make sure you critically examine the information offered to you.
- Never pay deposits in cash. Make a bank transaction so the transaction can be traced. Make sure to transfer the payment to a Danish registration and account number.
- Be on alert for "landlords" who request you to transfer a deposit and/or rent via wire transfer services, such as Western Union or Moneybookers Escrow, as these will most likely be transferred out of Denmark, and are untraceable and irreversable.
- Be on alert for "landlords" offering you a residence to be paid in Euros, as it is not the Danish currency.
- Never pay money under the table. It is illegal and you have no legal way of getting your money back.
- Be on alert for "landlords" who request the deposit/rent before you have even signed a contract.
Can the accommodation be used for CPR-registration?
- Before you commit to anything, make sure that you can register for your CPR number (civil registration number) at the property. In some Airbnb's you can registrer but in most of them you cannot.
- It is mandatory to have a CPR number if you are a resident in Denmark. You must have a valid address to apply for a CPR number. It is illegal to use a different address for this purpose. If the person from whom you are renting will not permit you to register their address with the citizen service, do not accept the offer.
- Why is the CPR number important? The CPR number is needed in order to get free healthcare, opening a bank account, to be able to work and to make arrangements with mobile service providers and other private companies.
The contract and sublet apartments
- Make sure that you recieve a contract signed by the current tenant or landlord. Always read the contract carefully and make sure that what you agree on is also confirmed in writing.
- Be on alert for "landlords" who make their own contracts and do not make use of the official leasing contract.
- When subleasing a room or appartment make sure that the landlord/owner of the property is informed of the sublease. This will put you in a better position in case of a conflict between the landlord/owner and the person subletting to you. Should you in any way be unsure about the legitimacy of an offer you have received you can check who owns the property on boligejer.dk.
You can read more about housing on lifeindenmark.dk.