Rental agreements in Denmark

Contracts and rights

Rental agreements in Denmark

When renting accommodation in Denmark, you will need to sign a tenancy agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of your stay. The Danish legal system is fairly complex, and the regulations on leasing often appear to favour the tenant.

Both the landlord and the tenant have rights and responsibilities, as listed in the Danish Rent Act. These include rules regarding terminating the tenancy, which for the tenant usually means giving three months’ notice. The landlord is not, however, allowed to suddenly evict you onto the street for not fulfilling your responsibilities.

If you rent accommodation in the social housing sector, you are legally required to be provided with a tenancy agreement in writing. Such an agreement is also legally required for any subleases. For privately rented accommodation in Denmark it is not necessary to obtain a lease. However, it is strongly advised that you get one anyway. If the landlord does not seem keen to provide a tenancy agreement in writing, you should definitely question this.

Duration and termination of tenancy contracts

When renting long-term in Denmark, you are generally required to live in the property for at least 180 days per year. You must also register your address with the National Registration Office.

Tenancy agreements in Denmark can be for either a limited or unlimited period of time:

Limited Tenancies: Unless previously agreed otherwise, neither the tenant nor the landlord can give notice to have the contract terminated.. However it is possible for the agreed period of time to be overruled at the request of the tenant. This is subject to approval from the court (Boligretter). If the original time period does get overruled, the duration of the tenancy becomes unlimited.

Unlimited Tenancies: These can be terminated by the tenant with three months notice. However the landlord can only terminate the contract under certain circumstances specified in the Private Housing Act:

  • The property is to be occupied by the landlord
  • The landlord intends to renovate or demolish the property
  • The tenant has seriously disturbed domestic peace
  • Substantial reasons make it an urgent matter for the landlord to be released from the contract.

A tenancy agreement can only be terminated immediately if either the tenant or the landlord has committed a major breach of contract, for example if the tenant fails to pay the rent on time and ignores notices sent by the landlord. This is the case regardless of the nature of the agreement.

Tenant’s rights

By law, a tenant in Denmark has the right to sub-let a maximum of half of the rooms in a property. However the number of people cannot exceed the number of rooms in the property.

If the price of the rent is noticeably different to a similar property in the same residential area, both the landlord and the tenant have the right to ask the Rent Tribunal for the rent to be adjusted.

A demand for a rent increase by a landlord must be made in writing three months in advance of when they want the new price to come into effect. This notice must state the reasons why the rent is being increased, and the landlord must remind the tenant that they have the right to object. The proposed new price of the rent must not be significantly greater than the price for similar properties.

If the price of the rent you are paying is exceedingly high, you are entitled to apply for housing subsidy from the municipality. This right is dependent on your income.

Further reading

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