In Denmark 63% of the population live in single-family houses. This is particularly true of couples with children, the vast majority of whom own their own homes. About 30% live in an apartment in a block of flats. Most blocks of flats are rented accommodation
It can be difficult to find accommodation in Denmark that suits your needs while you are in Denmark. If you want to find accommodation, you can:
- Put your name down on a housing association waiting list. Ikast-Brande Municipality has an agreement with local housing companies that commuters have the right to housing without registering on the waiting list
- Check the ads in the daily newspapers, local papers or special housing newspapers. You can also place an ad stating that you are looking for accommodation
- Search the Internet. At www.boligportal.dk you can search rental property in the Ikast-Brande area in English. You can gain free access to the Internet at your local library
- Look up under the "Accommodation section" in the yellow pages of your telephone directory or log onto degulesider.dk - here you can also search in English
- Put a notice up at local supermarkets
- Ask family, friends and acquaintances
Further information on renting or purchasing property is given below.
If you rent a room or house in Denmark, it is advisable to ask for a rental contract. A rent contract establishes the rights and obligations of both landlord and tenant. These include the rent, the size of the accommodation and its condition when you enter and leave.
If you rent accommodation via a housing association, a written rental agreement is required by law. If you sub-rent from a tenant, the sub-rental agreement must always be in writing. When you rent from a private landlord, a rental agreement is not required by law. Even so, it is advisable to enter into a rental agreement in writing. If the landlord is unwilling to provide a rental agreement, you are advised to ask why not.
In Denmark, the tenant is normally asked to pay a deposit and three months' rent in advance, payable either before or on the date of entry.
If the rent is too high, you can apply for rent assistance from the municipality. Rent assistance is means-tested and dependent on your income. You can apply for rent assistance at your local Borgerservice. You can read more at about rent assistance in Danish at Ikast-Brande.dk.
More information about rental agreements, termination, rent assistance, etc. can be found at www.borger.dk (in Danish) or in English here.
Buying a property
If you are interested in buying property, an estate agent can tell you how to buy a house or apartment. If you do not reside in Denmark or have not previously lived in the country for a minimum of five years, you will need permission from the Ministry of Justice to purchase an owner-occupied home. You must send an application to the Ministry of Justice, enclosing information about the property you wish to purchase together with a copy of your residence permit.
You can expect to be granted permission if you intend to use the property as your permanent residence. If you are an EU citizen, you can purchase your owner-occupied property without permission from the Ministry of Justice if you intend to use the property as your permanent residence.
An estate agent sells property and can give you details about and show you round properties on sale. There are many real estate agents in Denmark. Most belong to real estate agent chains. In Denmark, the buyer will normally take out a building society loan in order to finance his purchase.
The building societies (realkreditinstitutter) offer mortgages secured against the value of the house or apartment. As a rule, the loan covers up to 80% of the value of the property, and is repaid over 30 years. However, the building society will assess your ability to pay off the loan before approving it. It is therefore important that you have a job and a regular income.
In Denmark you pay tax on the value of your home.
Buying a cooperative housing property (andelsbolig)
A housing cooperative is a cooperative founded for the purpose of purchasing, owning and operating the property the cooperative members live in. When you buy a cooperative housing certificate, what you are buying is a share of the cooperative's assets, and the right to live in the cooperative housing.
Once you have bought a cooperative housing property, you have to pay rent to the housing cooperative. The price of a cooperative housing property, including any improvements made, is determined in accordance with the Danish Cooperative Housing Act, and the seller is not legally permitted to demand higher payment for the property.
Private cooperative housing properties are offered for sale through real estate agents, so contact your local real estate agent or search for available properties at www.boligsiden.dk
Contact a bank for assistance in financing the purchase of a cooperative housing certificate. Further information is available from the Municipal Citizen Service Department (Borgerservice) regarding the tax implications of purchasing cooperative housing.
Further information on cooperative housing is available at www.andelsportal.dk and www.andelsbolig.dk