Copenhagen rental scams aimed at new expat arrivals

Copenhagen rental scams aimed at new expat arrivals

Copenhagen rental scams aimed at new expat arrivals

Expats arriving in Copenhagen are being urged to watch out for rental overcharging.

It’s now well-known that landlords in Copenhagen are scamming newly-arrived expats by charging apartment rentals set around 28 per cent higher than those charged to locals. Everyone appreciates life in the city is getting more expensive by the day, but blatant overcharging is another matter entirely, especially as overcharging based on nationality is against the law if the property was built before 1992, as are the majority of available apartments. The rules as above are rarely applied, and Copenhagen is now a hub for foreigners including students as well as professionals.

Fully aware of this illegal discrepancy, two start-up entrepreneurs are now focusing expat eyes on how to deal with this unwelcome reality of living and working in Denmark. Madis Holtug and Alex Dagil’s new site is entitled Rent Hero, and is open to Danes as well as newly-arrived expats who’ve fallen foul of scamming landlords. The site educates expats and arrivals from outside the city on the legalities concerning rental contracts and even helps seek compensation for those who’ve been overcharged.

Although the website aims at helping all who’ve been scammed, its founders admit it’s mostly recently arrived expatriates who’re getting the full treatment from greedy, illegally-acting landlords, as these new arrivals have no idea about Denmark’s housing laws or how to protect themselves from fraudsters. The website itself came into being as a result of Dagil’s personal experience whilst shopping for a new rental apartment.

Having signed up with several housing platforms, he found he was being refused suitable accommodation, with landlords blatantly telling him they only rent to expatriates as they can charge them much higher prices. Expat arrivals in Denmark are often stuck in the cleft stick of having to find accommodation fast, as it’s not possible to get a bank account, health insurance, a CPR number or residential approval unless there’s an address.

However, most expats affected accept that paying more than the going rate is better than not being able to get all the bureaucratic procedures in line. The new portal is aimed at helping new arrivals get everything they need, beginning with the necessary new rental address. In addition, it also warns expat renters to watch out for landlords who refuse to return deposits once the tenancy is ended.

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