What you need to be aware of as a foreign tenant in Denmark
Although crime rate in Denmark is low, there is still a chance of being scammed.
In this article we will go through some of the most important steps, on how to avoid this.
How do I know if I am entitled to compensation?
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Never transfer money before signing a lease. A landlord would never ask you to transfer money before signing a lease. If the lease is not signed by both parties, you nothing to prove your agreement. Even after getting a lease, we recommend that you doublecheck the information on the landlord in the lease, to make sure it corresponds to what you have been informed.
Never pay in cash and never pay under the table. It is crucial that all your transactions are documented and can be traced. Likewise, we recommend you only transfer money via services where you can reverse the transaction.
Read your lease thoroughly. It may sound like a given, but many people still forget to do this. It can be quite a hassle, but this is the best way to make sure you are not being scammed. In Denmark we have contractual freedom, but this does not mean the landlord can make you sign just about anything. The Danish Rent Act has rules which are designed to protect the tenant and cannot be waived by contract. Pay attention to section 11 of the contract, this is where any deviation from a standard lease is written. What we see most frequently, is tenants being scammed with additional payments. Just because your landlord is entitled to demand payment for additional service such as stairwell cleaning according to your signed contract, does not mean this is legal.
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Make sure the lease is a type form A, 9. edition (commonly known as A9). Any older type form will be declared invalid. According to A9 and the current Rent Act, the landlord cannot demand the residence refurbished upon move out.
It is also a good idea you make sure the landlord is the current owner of the property. You can do this on http://www.boligejer.dk. If you are subleasing, you should make sure that the landlord is informed.
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During the first inspection of the residence, you should make an inspection checklist of shortcomings, defects, and damages. We also recommended that you take pictures for later documentation. This is to make sure you will not be held responsible of it and lose your deposit. Send the list to your landlord within the first 14 days of move in.
The first inspection report is a rundown of the condition of the residence upon your move in. You are expected to leave the residence in the same conduction upon move out, apart of normal wear and tear. It is important that you agree with the content of the report before signing it, or it can cost you your deposit later on. You are not required to sign the report immediately.
You can read about how much you have to pay in rent in section 3 of your lease. Your landlord can raise your rent every year, but only per net price index, otherwise the annual increase is invalid. Rent increases based on fixed percentages or amount is not legal according to new legislation, which came into effect the 1stof June 2015. If your lease is before this date, your landlord is only allowed to increase the rent with a fixed percentage or amount, if the specific year and the corresponding increase is mentioned in the lease.
Bring your inspection checklist and pictures for the final inspection. The vacating report is a description of the condition of the residence upon your move out. Make sure you agree with the content before signing it. If you have not been provided with a first inspection report and a vacating report by your landlord, they are not entitled to any of your money and they need to return your full deposit.
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According to section 93 of the Danish Rent act, your landlord can evict you and terminate the lease if;
- You do not pay your rent in time. Although this has to be 14 days after receiving a notice about the late payment.
- The residence is used for something other than what is agreed upon, and you, despite your landlord’s objections, does not cease their actions.
- You oppose your landlord, when circumstances require that they have access to the rented residence.
- You move out of the residence without notifying your landlord properly
- You neglect maintenance and renovates the residence without permission from your landlord.
- You partially or completely leave the use of the residence to another person, without having a right to do so.
- You have disregarded proper conduct, and the violation is so extreme, that your eviction is required. This could be if you have threatened someone with violence, your use of the residence is a health risk to others, if your behavior is unacceptably noisy, if you play extremely loud music etc.
- If any illegal activity is taking place in the residence.
If your landlord terminates your lease without your agreement, we recommend that you seek professional help, to make sure it has been done according to law.
If you are having issues with your landlord, or have any other lease related problems, you can get your case assessed by DIGURA. The process is fast, risk-free and a 100% free!
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