Housing in Denmark

Bolig i Danmark
Here you can read about the various types of housing available in Denmark, and the right of non-Danes to own a home in the country.

There are several different types of housing in Denmark:

  • Owner-occupied housing
  • Co-operative housing
  • Rented housing

If you have been resident in Denmark for a total of five years, you can buy property in the country without seeking permission from the Department of Civil Affairs. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule, which you can read about in the section: “Are you entitled to buy property in Denmark?”

Owner-occupied housing

An owner-occupied home is one you own yourself. If you are a homeowner, you must pay property tax.

If you need to borrow money to buy a home, you can choose from four types of mortgage loan:

  • Debenture mortgage
  • Cash mortgage
  • Interest-only mortgage
  • Variable-interest mortgage

The current economic situation and the outlook for the future are crucial to the type of loan you should choose.

Can you afford to buy a home outright in cash, or will you need to borrow part of the cost of purchase? These are some of the questions you should consider before buying a home.

More information is available from borger.dk.

Co-operative housing

A co-operative residence is a property owned and operated by an association on a co-operative basis. This means that the members of the association live in the property.

When you buy into a co-operative, you do not own your residence, but you are a member of the housing co-operative and you own a share of the association’s assets and have the right to use one of its properties.

When you join a housing co-operative, you pay a lump sum to the association, then pay a monthly charge to it for your home.

The lump sum is often relatively large, but less than the cost of buying a home outright.

Many people choose to finance the lump sum by means of a co-operative unit loan.

More information is available from borger.dk.

Rented housing

If you rent your home, your rights and obligations are set out in the Danish Rent Act, as is the relationship between tenant and landlord.

Information on rented housing is available from Lejernes Landsorganisation, the Danish Tenants’ Organisation.

There are two types of rented housing: private rental housing and social housing.

Social housing is not readily available to new arrivals because it is generally allocated on the basis of a waiting list system. Most non-Danes seek private rented accommodation because they can take it over more quickly.

When you rent a home in Denmark, you should pay particular attention to the following:

  • It is very important that you have a rental contract that complies with the Rent Act.
  • The state of the property. You must draw attention to any defects in the property within 14 days of taking it over; otherwise, you may become liable for them. It is also a good idea to take out home contents insurance.

More information is available from borger.dk.

Buying a holiday home

Although most Danish holiday homes would be habitable in the winter, they must have all-year status if they are to be used as a permanent residence.

In order to buy a holiday home in Denmark, your main residence must be in the country, or you must have previously lived in the country for a total of five years (see below: “Do you have the right to buy property in Denmark?”).

Otherwise, the rules on buying holiday homes are the same as for buying ordinary homes for all-year use.

Do you have the right to buy property in Denmark?

If you wish to buy real estate in Denmark, there are certain requirements regarding your links to the country.

All-year dwelling

If you are resident in Denmark or have lived in the country for a total of five years – whether for one or several periods – you can buy an all-year dwelling without having to seek permission from the Department of Civil Affairs. Periods of residence in the Faroe Islands or Greenland count as residence in Denmark.

If you are a citizen of an EU or EEA country but do not meet the above requirements, you can purchase an all-year dwelling in Denmark without permission from the Department of Civil Affairs, provided you meet at least one of the conditions set out in section 1 of the Executive Order on the Acquisition of Real Property:

  • You are an employee with a job as a wage earner in Denmark, or you have an EU/EEA residence permit
  • You have established yourself or wish to establish yourself as a self-employed person, or
  • You have set up or intend to set up agencies or branches of a company in Denmark, or to provide or receive services in the country.

If you are an EU citizen you can also buy an all-year dwelling in Denmark without permission from the Department of Civil affairs even if you are not resident in the country and have not previously been resident for a period of a total of five years, provided that you meet the conditions set out in section 2 of the Executive Order on the Acquisition of Real Property:

These require that you have a residence permit in accordance with EU Directives:

  • 90/364/EEC on the right of residence
  • 90/365/EEC on the right of residence for employees and self-employed persons who have ceased their occupational activity
  • or 93/96/EEC on the right of residence for students (now the EU Residence Directive).

Registration of ownership of real estate without permission from the Department of Civil Affairs is conditional on making a declaration stating that you belong to one of the groups listed above that have the right to do so under the Executive Order on the Acquisition of Real Property without permission from the Department of Civil Affairs.

This declaration must also state that the property will either serve as your all-year dwelling, or that the acquisition of it is a prerequisite for engaging in activities as a self-employed person or for the purpose of providing services. A sample declaration is included as an appendix to the Executive Order on the Acquisition of Real Property.

If you do not meet any of these conditions, you must apply to the Department for Civil Affairs for permission to buy an all-year dwelling in Denmark.

You can read more at the website of the Department of Civil Affairs, where you can also find a link to an application form.

Holiday and weekend homes

If you wish to buy a holiday home, leisure home or other secondary residence in Denmark without permission from the Department of Civil Affairs, you must be resident in Denmark or have lived in the country for a total of five years, whether in one or several periods.

If you do not meet this condition, you must apply to the Department of Civil Affairs for permission to buy a secondary residence in the country.

The Department of Civil Affairs only grants permission to buy a holiday home or other secondary residence if the applicant has particularly strong links to Denmark.

The Department takes a number of factors into account when making its overall assessment, including:

  • Previous residence in the country
  • Close family ties
  • Close business ties
  • Close cultural ties
  • Close financial ties
  • Close ties to the property you wish to buy.

If you wish to apply to the Department of Civil Affairs for permission to buy a holiday home or other secondary residence in Denmark, you must use the official application form.

You can read more at the website of the Department of Civil Affairs, where you can also find a link to an application form.

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