Being a tenant in Denmark – how to avoid being scammed
Are you a tenant in Denmark or about to become one?
There some things you should be aware of in terms of your tenancy. No one wants to be scammed, right? Unfortunately, many end up in the claws of greedy landlords and are not aware about their rights, which typically are in favour of the tenant.
This post is a result of a new partnership between Howtodenmark and Digura. Digura describes themselves as ”the tenants’ new digital partner”.
It can be stressful finding a tenancy and even more so if you are in a foreign country.
In the big cities, it can be very difficult to find a good place to live, so when you find one, you often sign the lease and accept the rent, as it is what there is at the given time. This is, however, often when the scamming starts.
Rent prices are way too high, and invalid and illegal claims are made in the contract. If you want to avoid the most common situations where scamming occurs just keep on reading.
The things, you especially need to be aware of, is the following points, which we will look into throughout the article:
- Transferring money
- The lease
- Moving into a new tenancy
- Moving out
Transferring money as a foreign tenant.
Our first advice is to never transfer money before signing the lease. A legit landlord would never ask you to transfer money before signing a lease, and if that does happen it should be a red flag. If you do not have signatures from both parties, you do not have proof of your agreement. When you get the lease, you should make sure that the landlord’s information corresponds to what you have been informed.
You should also never pay in cash and never pay under the table. It is crucial that all your transactions are documented and can be traced. Likewise, we recommend you only transfer money via services where you can reverse the transaction.
It might sound as common knowledge to read through your lease thoroughly, but many people still neglect to do so. It is probably not the most interesting thing to do for most people, but there are actually mistakes in more than 52% of leases – mistakes that put tenants in very unlucky situations.
Here is what you should pay attention to:
- In §11 of the contract, any deviation from a standard lease is written. The most common scams are related to additional payments being put into §11 that are in fact not valid.
- Make sure the lease is a type form A, 9. edition (commonly known as A9). Any older type form will be declared invalid. According to A9 and the current Rent Act, the landlord cannot demand the residence refurbished upon move out.
- It is also a good idea you make sure the landlord is the current owner of the property. You can do this on http://www.boligejer.dk. If you are subletting, you should make sure that the landlord is informed.
- If you are not 100% sure about the accuracy of the content in your lease, it is a good idea to get it checked by professionals. DIGURA offers to look through your lease for free and help you make sure it gets corrected – no matter if you have not signed yet or signed a long time before.
Moving into a new tenancy
When moving into a new tenancy, there are a few things you should remember to do. It is all a great help to you when you move out, as the chances of you being scammed will be minimized.
The first inspection report is a rundown of the condition of the residence upon your move in. You are expected to leave the residence in the same condition upon move out, apart from normal wear and tear. It is important that you agree with the content of the report before signing it, or it can cost you your deposit later on. You are not required to sign the report immediately.
Initial inspection: During the first inspection of the residence, you should make an inspection checklist of shortcomings, defects, and damages. We also recommended that you take pictures for later documentation. This is to make sure you will not be held responsible and lose your deposit.
Remember to send the list to your landlord within the first 14 days after moving in, as it will otherwise not be valid.
Rent – be aware that you are not paying too much
To find the information about your rent, look in section 3 of your lease. There you will find what you have to pay in rent each month. Your landlord is allowed to raise your rent each year, but only per net price index – this has to be included in section 11. If you experience any other type of rent increase, you should seek guidance as it is most likely invalid, e.g. at DIGURA, who will check your rent for free.
Another type of rent increase is by a fixed percentage or amount each year. This type of increase is not legal according to new legislation, which came into effect on June 1st 2015. However, if your lease is from before this date, different rules apply. Is your lease from before June 1st 2015, your landlord is also allowed to increase the rent with a fixed percentage or amount each year, but only if the specific year and corresponding rent increase is mentioned in section 11 of the lease.
Moving out of your tenancy
The vacating report:
When you move out of your tenancy you need to bring your inspection checklist and pictures to the final inspection. The vacating report is a description of the condition of the residence upon your move out.
Make sure you agree with the content before signing the vacating report.
If you have not been provided with a first inspection report and a vacating report by your landlord, they are not entitled to any of your money and they need to return your full deposit.
There are certain situations where a landlord can evict a tenant and terminate the lease. According to section 93 of the Danish Rent Act, these are the situations where a tenant can be evicted.
- You do not pay your rent in time. Although this has to be 14 days after receiving a notice about the late payment.
- The residence is used for something other than what is agreed upon, and you, despite your landlord’s objections, does not cease the breach of the lease.
- You oppose your landlord, when circumstances require that they have access to the rented residence.
- You move out of the residence without notifying your landlord properly.
- You neglect maintenance and renovates the residence without permission from your landlord.
- You partially or completely leave the use of the residence to another person, without having a right to do so.
- You have disregarded proper conduct, and the violation is so extreme, that your eviction is required. This could be if you have threatened someone with violence, your use of the residence is a health risk to others, if your behavior is unacceptably noisy, if you play extremely loud music etc.
- If any illegal activity is taking place in the residence.
If your landlord terminates your lease without your agreement, we recommend that you seek professional help, to make sure it has been done according to law.
If you are aware of these six pointers that we have gone through in this article, you will be in a strong position to avoid being scammed by your landlord. Should there, however, are any situations where you are unsure about your rights, it is always a good idea to seek help. Too many times, tenants are being scammed because they trust their landlord and think that all their claims follow legislation. Even though this should be the case, there one too many cases where this is not the reality.