Are you being scammed with additional payments?

DIGURAs artikel om tillægsydelser

Additional services are a very normal thing for the landlord to do in relation to the apartment. It could be a fee because you signed up for an automatic rent payment, the refund of charges for renovation or other forms of additional services. The question is, however, if these additional payments are legal? Read more about this here.

Are you being scammed with additional payments?

Your lease may contain agreements that are not legal according to the Danish Rent Act. This may result in you paying for additional services; your landlord is not entitled to claim payment –resulting in you being scammed for additional payment. This is a common problem for tenants across the country. This does not mean your money is lost, due to your right to get refunded for illegal additional payments.

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What is legal?

The Danish Rent Act is designed to protect the tenant and ensure that you are not scammed with additional payments. Therefore, it contains several rules that cannot be derogated from an agreement. The Rent Act does not address additional payments directly. However, this does not mean that the area is not regulated. It is a requirement that the law explicitly states that it is allowed for the landlord to claim payment for the specific service. The legal basis for the specific service can be stated in various ways, such as the Resident Representation Order. There are also several examples of rulings in which the court decided what a landlord can legally charge for certain services.

As a tenant you may think that the landlord can legally claim additional fees for various services, provided this is stated in the lease.

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This is not the case. This misconception has resulted in many tenants being scammed for additional payments.

Landlords can legally require additional payment for the following:

  • Heat
  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Internet Cable
  • TV
  • Cooling

In addition, if a separate fee is applied for water or cooling, it is a requirement that your consumption is measured with an individual meter in your residence.

In regard to the water accounting, please be aware that it is legal for the landlord to claim a fee for sewage and water drainage tax. Many dormitories have a residents’ representation group. It is legal for the landlord to claim quotas for this. This applies to all properties and not just the dormitories. If your landlord charges a fee for services that are not mentioned above, then it is illegal, no matter what was agreed upon in the signed lease.

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What is illegal?

There are several examples of illegal fees, where tenants are scammed for additional services. If it is stated in section 11 of your lease, this will be invalid. The most common forms of additional services are:

  • Administration
  • Insurance
  • Fixed payment for laundry
  • Gardening
  • Renovation
  • Snow removal
  • Stairwell cleaning
  • Janitorial Service
  • Window Cleaning

If you have paid for illegal add-on services, you are entitled to a refund by your landlord. You can require a refund of the payment for up to 3 years after the illegal add-on was initially payed. Meaning any later than 3 years your claim is expired. Therefore, it is important that you as a tenant require a refund as soon as you become aware of an add-on.

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If you claim a refund, it can result in your landlord raising your rent equivalent to the illegal add-on. The right of the landlord to raise the rent is also regulated by law. There are special rules regarding raising the rent that the landlord must obey.

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