Last updated 21 February, 2021

Finding a home

Once you have secured a path to immigrate to Denmark, finding a home will be your next step. As in most other places, you can either rent a place or buy one for yourself.

Renting a home

In Denmark there are two different types of home rentals: Private and Almen (Normal).

As one would expect, private housing refers to renting a home from a private landlord, be it a company or an individual. Subletting etc. are also considered private even if the person you are renting from has an almen home. Should you run into any issues with the private landlord, there are various tenant's organization who are ready to defend your rights, but they are very busy and cases can drag out. Private landlords are free to deny anyone for any reason and can thus demand background checks etc. Obviously, this does not extend to discrimination based on protected groups such as ethnicity, gender, religion etc. It is worth noting that once you have moved into a private home, the landlord has no say in whether someone may join your household, e.g. a baby/child or a partner.

Almen housing refers to renting housing through an official landlord organization designated by the government. Each municipality has at least one (but usually only one) organization for managing almen housing. Housing rented through these organizations will almost always be cheaper and of better quality. Additionally, when problems arise (e.g. plumbing breaking, electrical issues, etc.) you will have a designated contact person who is not your landlord whose job it is to fix the problem without any hassle.

To rent a home through such an organization it is almost always necessary to be on their waiting list as the demand is high, but it is sometimes possible to find a place without a waiting list if lucky. In cities such as Copenhagen and Aarhus, the waiting list is very long, but you can reserve a spot many years in advance by paying the annual membership fee.

Many housing organizations will let you skip part of the line if you fulfill certain criteria, such as employment, having children, employment within the municipality in question, studying, age etc. This is called fortrinsret (priority).

The managing organization usually is not the organization you will be renting from, as they are only in charge of management. Instead, the organization will manage all communication between you and the landlord organization at no cost to you. Almen housing organizations do not screen their tenants and will accept anyone who is in line for the home in question who can also pay the necessary up-front costs. You will not be denied because of any credit checks or income checks etc.

In Denmark, like most other places, you must pay a security deposit (private only) and sometimes indskud (always required for almen, sometimes in private), which is essentially another type of security deposit. These deposits can be very high in some cases. For almen housing it is usually three months rent; however, private landlords are free to make the deposit whatever they desire. Amounts varying from nothing to 50,000 DKK are the norm. Almen as well as private will make you prepay the first month's rent. In some cases, private landlord will also require you to pay the last month's rent in advance.

Not all places will let you have pets. Private landlords might leave it up to negotiation, but almen housing will have a strict definition that is not up to debate. In some cases, only certain pets or a certain number of pets are allowed.

There are a few words you may want to keep in mind while searching:

  • Delevenlig (sharing-friendly): The home is arranged in such a way that sharing it with a flatmate becomes easier. In some cases, this also means the landlord will split the responsibilities between the flatmates in the lease.
  • Ungdomsbolig (youth housing): The home is reserved for certain young people. In almen housing, the housing organization usually has a strict definition of who is eligible for the home. Often it is limited to university students. In private housing, the landlord may be content if you are under a certain age.
  • Ældrebolig (elderly housing): The home is reserved for elderly people and is often designed to accomodate their needs.

Where to find private housing

  • Lejebolig.dk is one of the largest online housing rental platforms. You can search freely by postal code and various criteria, but to contact the landlords you must pay the membership fee of approx. 500 DKK/month. There is often a discounted trial for the first month.
  • Boligportal.dk is another online housing rental platform. You can search by city and various criteria. It is free to contact landlords, but you must create a free account.

Where to find almen housing

There are too many housing organizations to be able to list them all here, but here is a list of the main ones in the larger cities of Denmark:

Additionally, an attempt has been made to make a nation-wide search engine for almen housing. Unfortunately, it does not (yet) cover all parts of the country, but it is a good supplement.

If you are looking for a home in a place not mentioned, you can often find information about the place you want to move to by searching for “<municipality name> almen bolig” on Google.