Housing in Copenhagen is challenging. A famous answer you get when asking how to find a place in Copenhagen is “Well, it is difficult.” For the sake of getting a different answer, we, the students of 4CITIES cohort 10, have prepared this article for you and we can confirm that it is indeed not easy, but possible.
In this article, we share our experience on apartment hunting in Copenhagen. We present all the platforms we have used, how to access them, what kind of procedures you need to follow, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. Finally, we give some tips on how to avoid getting scammed.
Starting with your social network can make life so much easier. In case your social network doesn’t lead to a place to live, however, check the list below and start your hunt.
Rent House / Apartment in Copenhagen
This is a Facebook page created by www.voreslejebolig.dk. Keeping an open eye on the page is a good idea, since it is most of the time based on “first come, first served”. If you see a post on a place you like contact the person immediately. Be careful, though, as this page is full of scams as well. Check out the instructions below on how to avoid being scammed.
Airbnb is a safe solution, as you pay through the website. In addition, you can read the reviews by the people who stayed at the place before. Moreover, paying through Airbnb means avoiding exchanging currency and transaction fees. However, it is relatively expensive, and not really a platform for long-term stays.
We didn’t find Housing Anywhere to be that helpful, as the majority of adds are from Findroomate, and you need to pay a platform fee (similar to Airbnb) – but only if you close the deal through the platform. Still, some of us were able to find a place in Copenhagen (and in other cities) through this platform, so keep an eye on the offers that pop up here.
Student housing can be booked through the lottery far before the semester starts in September. The advantage is that you secure yourself a place relatively early. However, the disadvantage is that you have to pay from July-January, while the actual semester is September-December. A couple of us started looking for student housing once we arrived in Copenhagen in September and still found something, thus saving the rent for July-August. However, it is not guaranteed that you’ll find a place if you start looking after the semester starts. The housing offers vary widely, from sharing a bedroom to having your own studio. Concerning the housing in Bispebjerg Kollegiet building: it is new, clean, and is comprised of only studio apartments. The studios are equipped with a kitchen, a refrigerator, two burners, and a sink, as well as a private bathroom.
It is a paid platform – you can pay 3€ for a 4-day trial period. As it is paid website, you probably get more answers than other platforms. During the trial period try to send as many messages as possible, you will have access to your messages and contacts after you cancel your subscription. Some of us got first replies within the day. Also, you’ll receive a notification if the ad is not available anymore. Finally, it is far better than findroommate in terms of replies and number of posts.
It is a paid platform as well, and you can buy a trial period. However, according to some of us, you get very few answers compared to Boligportal. Also, it might take a few days to get first replies. Be careful: if you do not cancel your trial subscription manually on time, the money for the full subscription will be charged automatically. Once your subscription is over, you won’t be able to reply, and you will receive scramble letters as messages (still understandable). If you had already started a conversation, a tip is to get other contact information for further communication. Two notes reported by some of our fellow students: First, some of the landlords were weird; Second, Findroommate has very helpful customer support.
Essentially a Danish Craigslist. There are some rooms too. It is a really local website, so there are some good offers but in Danish and it takes time to understand how the website works. There are some shady posts (with no or weird pictures). Sometimes, they are made by older people who do not know how to use internet and are not necessarily a scam. However, scams have been reported, so be aware.
How to Avoid a Scam?
It can be quite difficult to make 100 % sure that a person is who they claim they are and that they have the right to rent out this apartment. For that reason, please follow these bellow tips, noting that most of the tips are from a Danish Lawyer:
- For money transfer, the money should be transferred from a Danish bank account to a Danish bank account. This would allow the police to get the money transferred back, it turns to be a scam. So, providing you with a non-Danish bank account or Western Union, it can be worrying.
- The contract should exactly state which apartment is b (could be Landskronagade 6, 3. th.) meaning the 3rd floor the apartment to the right. Thats how its normally written in Denmark.
- Going yourself, or sending somebody to check the place, makes it more unlikely to be a scam (although not completely impossible).
- Ask the person to send their own sales agreement from when they bought the apartment, rental agreement if they are renting it themselves, or “Andelsbevis” which is a special document for these kinds of apartments.
- All of the above are helpful tips to reveal scam, however, they all can be faked or can be a picture of a different persons ID, etc. So, the best advice is that the money should be transferred from a Danish bank account to a Danish bank account. This would allow the police to get the money transferred back, it turns to be a scam. So, providing you with a non-Danish bank account or Western Union, it can be worrying.
In Denmark, most apartment buildings have an administrator. You can contact them to make sure that the person you are communicating with has any relation to the building and the apartment.
A general advice is to check the person on Facebook and possibly LinkedIn. Although it sounds stalker-ish, it shows if the person exists or not. Also, if you have the exact location you can use this webpage to check who the actual owner of the apartment is: https://boligejer.dk/. Similarly, at https://www.krak.dk/ you can check if your prospective landlord is an actual person, as you can search their name and see if they actually live where they claim to.
Our intention is not to make finding a room in Copenhagen seem impossible or to suggest that the city is full of scams. Rather, that being prepared and knowing the situation can make the process faster, easier, and safer. Happy hunting!