Where and how to look for a rental home
Moving to a new country, whether it be for work or education can be very stressful and a big hurdle to overcome. Which parts of a city do you want to settle in? If you want a house then how far away from the city center can it be? There are a ton of questions to be answered in order for you to know what to look for, and while I can’t answer what to look for, I can help you with where to look and how.
How long are you going to stay in Denmark?
This simple question is very important as to how you should go about hunting for a apartment or rented house. The reason being that in Denmark the cheapest apartments (public housing) have long waiting lists which can be anywhere from 5 to 15 years in the cities. This means that the longer you’re going to live in the country the better your chances are of getting a home with cheap rent eventually, albeit not at first.
If you’re going to stay in Denmark for just a couple of years then don’t bother with the public housing sector, the waiting lists will be too long and it’s more of a long-term option. The approach I suggest is simple but it requires time and patience, you start by getting established first and then you focus on getting access to better and more affordable apartments or houses.
No matter what, if you have a network in Denmark before coming here, use it as much as possible. It still is the best way to find a place to live relatively fast. If you don’t have a network, then build a network.
You can also hire help to find you a home. They do not have special access or more options than anyone else, but they work faster, are more experienced in using the search options and they know how to avoid scams. They will likely also have a good knowledge of Danish rental law.
My 3-step approach.
Step one: Find a place in the private sector via the online websites. It will be more expensive but for now it’s your best option
Step two: If you’re staying in Denmark for 5+ years consider whether you want to buy a home eventually or keep renting. If you see yourself renting long term then research and signup for public housing in the parts of the city where you want to live. (see links below)
Step three: The private sector is expensive and it may take years to get into the cheaper apartments you signed up for. In the meantime build a network with local Danes, a lot of people will rent out cheaper to someone they know because it gives peace of mind. Also, don’t neglect social media you’ll often find listings there too.
Where to find rental homes
Public housing – The cheapest options
If you’re going to live in Denmark for many years you can consider signing up for apartments in the public housing sector. These are surprisingly easy to find, just go to this website www.danmarkbolig.dk and find the apartments you want to sign up for. The site has almost 600.000 apartments listed but none are available in the major cities. You’re only meant to use the site to locate apartments you want to sign up for and then you wait until you hear from the landlord which could take many years.
Private sector housing
These sites support English
These sites are only in Danish
I see people recommending www.dba.dk (Den blå avis – The blue paper) due to their high number of listings. Be careful with this site as it has a large number of scammers posting there.
Build your networks
I know several people who have found a place to live through colleagues, class mates, friends etc. Don’t underestimate how powerful a good network can be. Renting to someone can be expensive if you get a bad renter that damages the furniture or property. There are plenty of people who only rent out to people they know or someone is connected to in order to avoid situations like this.
There are plenty of forums and groups online where expats and other people gather to try and help each other, expat groups are a great place to start. I’ve added links to some of the bigger ones in Denmark.