Of course, you can always just ask the help of professionals dedicated to help newcomers in Denmark and get them take care of most of your issues for a smaller fee:
However, if you want to do it alone, and want to land a decent place, for a decent price, for long term, you’ll need to start the home hunt early, and from within the country.
1. Accept that you will have to travel to the city and search from there
Many landlords don’t even respond to people that are not available to visit them and many just decide to back out on their promise they have made to you online / on the phone and just rent the place out to someone else. By being on location you gain numerous benefits and will be safer from scammers. Usually, it takes at least 2 weeks to find a suitable accommodation, sometimes even more, due to the high the demand compared to the supply in rental apartments in Copenhagen. Finding a “base” you can look for rents from will multiply your chances in landing a good place to stay, because you will be able to visit sublets and meet their owners in person, so you can introduce yourself and see if the place is indeed ideal for you.
2. Find a place to stay for a couple weeks / month
There are quite a few short-term options you can choose from, which can be your “base of operations” during your search for a home.
- One of the most popular trends nowadays, Airbnb can be a cheap and easy solution for a short-term stay
- Youth Hostels – The classic solution are the youth hostels all across Denmark, offering cheap rooms for both single person or larger groups.
- Camping – There are multiple well-equipped camping sites in Copenhagen and honestly, camping can be fun!
- Hotels – Considering the price, hotels would definitely be my last resort, but there are a few quality ones out there that are affordable.
3. Sign up for online housing portals
Now that you are out there (or possibly even before) it is time to dig into the home search. There are multiple housing portals, most of them are subscription-based and will cost you some, so it is crucial that you use a few of the best options.
Imagine this a bit like job seeking, you will need to craft a very short introduction phrase (5-6 lines usually), telling about yourself, the reason you are coming to Copenhagen, how long you want the rent, and some basic info like your hobbies or if you are smoking. Then, send this out to as many places as you can, as long as the rent actually suits you. Don’t be too picky, and keep in mind that if you are a smoker and insist on smoking inside, have pets, or want to move in with your friends, you will have a much harder time finding an apartment.
The best housing portals are:
The free ones:
Keep in mind that while these sites are free to use, it opens up space for some scammers to easily offer homes there, so be careful, visit the place first and make sure your contract was correctly made.
4. Use social media
Also make sure that you enter all the Social Media groups connected to housing in Copenhagen, there is a chance you may find your place to stay there. Some of the most relevant groups are:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/expatsincopenhagen/?fref=nf – Expats in Copenhagen have a very strong bond and are always helpful toward each other, so you might find help with accommodation along with other useful info in this Facebook group.
5. Apply for dorms if you are a student
Students can apply for dorm rooms all throughout the city. The prices for dorm rooms are extremely cheap and you usually have your own room and bathroom with a shared kitchen. However, the waiting lists for each place are very long, so don’t expect to get something just as soon you move out. Contact your school for further information and you can also check out KKIK’s website.
6. Always visit the location
Never miss the chance to visit a location after some initial emails exchanged with the landlord. You need to see if the place is actually in the condition it was described, if it is actually to your liking, and the landlord also wants to see their new potential tenant. If they don’t want you to visit, at least before signing the contract, chances are that there are some shady things going on and they are possible scammers, so be careful.
In addition, make sure you take photos of the rooms’ condition if you are planning to move in, or right after you did. This will help you on the long term, as you can use these pictures as proof in case the landlord wants you to pay for fixing something that was actually there even before you took the room.
7. Sign the contract
After weeks of boligportal skimming, hundreds of emails exchanged (yes you will literally send at least a hundred by the time you have found your place), and a few in-person visits, you have found the ideal home. The contract is very important as it protects both you and your landlord. Make sure your contract contains:
- Your name and address as well as the landlord’s
- The address, size of the rental space, if there are furnishings, the condition of the room and furniture, and usage rights of the property
- Start date, end date (if any), rent cost, amount of deposit, prepaid rent, payment terms and utility charges
- Rules on maintenance, leaving the property in good order when moving out, pets and house rules.
Google “standard Danish rental contract” for some examples. After signing, you will be expected to pay the first month’s rent, deposit (usually up to three months) and maybe even prepaid rent that covers your last few months before moving out (up to three months again), so prepare to leave quite a sum with the landlord after signing the contract.
Congratulations, that sums up how to find a home in Copenhagen!
Still can’t find a home?
So, you’ve been through all the previous steps and still couldn’t find a place to live. You are getting in trouble. You are running out of time. It is getting awkward…
Ask for help!
As already mentioned, an easy option to get a cool rent for yourself is to contact experts who can help you. Welcome Group Consulting has experienced professionals always ready to give you a hand. The fee is probably less than paying for several housing portals, your chances of success are much higher than on your own, so why not give it a shot?
Stuff Danes probably didn’t tell you
Here are some last-resort solutions that you can use (atleast temporarily).
- Google college dorms’ addresses and pay them a visit. Put some flyers on their corkboard or wherever you can. There is always someone going for a vacation, internship, and there are a few who just keep their dorm rooms as a backup home even after finishing their studies (yeah, they are not supposed to, but it happens). This can ensure you a home for a few more months, maybe even suit you as an Erasmus student. You can’t register CPR this way however.
As you have probably seen, finding a home in Copenhagen is not as easy as in other countries and cities. It is not impossible however, and while most seekers usually can’t find the perfect match for them and move a couple times before settling for a home, there are also a few great offers you can land if you start your search in time and get somewhat lucky. I personally recommend registering on boligportal and lejebolig, then just visit every possible place within inner and outer Copenhagen, this will get you a home 90% of the times, you might even get to be somewhat picky in your choices.
Photos provided by Kel Hudson
Welcome Group Consulting was founded by Karey-Anne who recognised the challenges expatriates experienced in settling into a new country dominated by unspoken rules. Welcome Group Consulting is a full-service relocation company founded to address not only the practicalities of relocating but also the issues related to Integration, that often occur after the physical move. Our mission is to change the way we integrate, and raise the quality of life, one person at a time. We proudly support sports and networking events designed to help establish links to the local community.
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