6 Tips for Landlords Renting out their Properties in Denmark

Navigating Denmark's rental market demands understanding laws and tenant rights. From drafting leases to maintenance, landlords must be diligent. Here are some tips for landlords to know!

6 Tips for Landlords Renting out their Properties in Denmark
Photo by Thirdman

Navigating the vibrant real estate market of Denmark as a landlord comes with its unique set of challenges and opportunities. Whether you're a seasoned property owner or new to the rental scene, understanding the intricacies of the Danish rental laws, tenant rights, and property management practices is crucial for success. This blog offers some essential tips and practical advice on how to effectively manage rental properties in Denmark.

From drafting legally compliant lease agreements to understanding rental caps and ensuring effective communication with tenants, we cover all you need to know to make your rental business thrive.

1. Draft a Proper Lease

When renting in Denmark, the most crucial step, and perhaps the first one on your list, should be to understand and draft a proper lease agreement. Drafting a proper lease agreement is critical for landlords in Denmark to ensure clear communication and avoid legal disputes. A legally correct lease should comprehensively detail terms regarding rent increases, maintenance obligations, tenant and landlord rights, and more. It's essential that the lease clearly outlines responsibilities for both parties, including specific conditions about any potential rent increases and detailed maintenance obligations to prevent future disputes and misunderstandings.

Key aspects of the lease should include the rental amount, security deposit details, terms of the tenancy, and rules regarding property maintenance. Landlords should also specify conditions under which the deposit may be withheld, such as damage beyond normal wear and tear. Ensuring these terms are clearly defined from the outset can greatly reduce the likelihood of disputes at the end of the tenancy.

2. Setting and Securing Rent

In Copenhagen, as in the rest of Denmark, landlords are permitted to ask for both a security deposit and prepaid rent when leasing out properties. The maximum allowable amount for each is equivalent to three months' rent, excluding utilities. This means a landlord can request up to six months' rent in total at the beginning of a tenancy—three months for the security deposit and another three months for prepaid rent.

The purpose of the security deposit is to cover potential damages or necessary cleaning after the tenant moves out. It acts as a financial security for landlords against any damage to the property that goes beyond normal wear and tear. If the property is left in good condition, the deposit should be returned to the tenant, possibly minus any agreed-upon costs for refurbishments specified in the lease agreement.

Prepaid rent, on the other hand, is primarily used to cover the rent for the last few months of the lease. This provides security for the landlord that they will have income from the property, even if the tenant decides to vacate earlier than the lease termination date. However, if the landlord manages to re-let the property during what would have been the termination period, they must refund the prepaid rent for those months to the original tenant.

3. Tenant Screening and Communication

For landlords, establishing a thorough tenant screening process is vital to assess the reliability of potential renters and to ensure smooth operations. Effective tenant screening should include evaluating financial stability, rental history, and character references.

Financial Stability

A crucial aspect of screening is to assess a tenant's financial stability, which includes verifying income and employment. It's recommended to request proof of income, such as recent pay stubs or a statement from a CPA, and to verify employment through direct contact with employers. This helps ensure that tenants can consistently meet rent obligations​.

Credit Checks

Conducting a credit check is an essential part of assessing a tenant's financial responsibility. It provides insight into the tenant’s credit score, payment history, and overall financial behavior, including any previous evictions or significant debts. This information is critical for predicting how reliably a tenant will fulfill their rent obligations​.

Rental History

Verifying a tenant’s previous rental behavior through references from past landlords can provide valuable insights into their reliability and behavior as tenants. Questions should focus on their punctuality in paying rent, how well they maintained the property, and if they adhered to lease terms. This historical perspective is key to understanding what to expect from the tenant​.

Criminal Background Checks

While also important, criminal background checks must be conducted in compliance with fair housing laws to avoid discrimination. These checks should be used to ensure the safety and security of the property and its occupants but handled sensitively and legally.

4. Understanding Rental Caps and Regulations

In Denmark, rental regulations significantly differ depending on whether a property is considered "regulated" or "free market." The distinction largely hinges on the property's age, with older buildings (generally those constructed before 1992) falling under stricter rental cap regulations. These regulations limit how much landlords can charge per square meter to ensure affordability and prevent exorbitant rent increases. For newer properties, post-1991, such caps typically do not apply, giving landlords more freedom in setting rents based on market conditions.

However, even in the absence of strict caps, it's crucial for landlords to set fair rents. Competitive yet reasonable pricing can enhance tenant satisfaction and retention, contributing positively to a landlord’s reputation and reducing turnover rates. Maintaining fair pricing is not just about ethics; it also aligns with maintaining a property's desirability in a competitive market.

Landlords in Denmark must also be mindful of the general legal framework governing rentals, which includes provisions that protect tenant rights across all property types. For instance, any rent increases, even for newer properties, must be justifiable, typically linked to significant improvements in the property or changes in market conditions. Additionally, all tenants, regardless of the property type, are protected from eviction without just cause, ensuring stability for tenants and encouraging a fair approach to property management from landlords.

5. Regular Property Maintenance and Inspections

For landlords, regular maintenance and inspections of rental properties are crucial to ensure that the property remains in good condition and compliant with rental agreements. Landlords are generally responsible for external and structural maintenance, while tenants may handle some internal maintenance unless specified otherwise in the lease. This includes responsibilities for appliances and systems provided by the landlord. Regular upkeep of these elements is essential to avoid larger issues and to ensure that the property remains habitable and appealing​.

Regular inspections help identify maintenance issues early, which can prevent them from escalating into larger, more costly problems. It's advisable to establish a routine schedule for inspections. This could include quarterly checks that align with seasonal maintenance needs. For example, checking heating systems in winter and air conditioning in summer ensures that systems are operational when needed most​.

Various inspections should be conducted throughout the tenancy period:

  • Move-in inspections to document the initial condition of the property.
  • Quarterly inspections for ongoing maintenance issues.
  • Drive-by inspections can be used for quick external checks.
  • Move-out inspections to assess the property condition after a tenant leaves, ensuring that any damage beyond normal wear and tear can be addressed​.

It’s crucial to differentiate between emergency repairs, such as failed heating systems or water leaks, and non-emergency repairs like noisy radiators or dripping faucets. Landlords typically have a narrow window (about 24-72 hours) to address emergencies to ensure tenant safety and property integrity. Informing tenants about upcoming inspections is not only courteous but also legally required in Denmark. Providing advance notice respects tenants’ privacy and promotes a good landlord-tenant relationship. Typically, a 24-48 hour notice is recommended unless it's an emergency situation.

6. Protecting Deposits and Fair Handling

For landlords, protecting security deposits and ensuring their fair handling are critical aspects of managing rental properties effectively. To avoid disputes at the end of tenancy, it's essential to document the property's condition meticulously during both move-in and move-out.

Documenting Property Condition

The use of a move-in report, or "indflytningsrapport," is highly recommended. This detailed documentation should include written descriptions and photos of the property’s condition at the time of tenant move-in. This step is crucial as it establishes a baseline against which the property’s condition can be compared at the end of the tenancy​.

Handling and Storing Deposits

It is important to handle security deposits according to legal requirements, which may include placing them in a separate, interest-bearing account. This practice ensures that the funds are used solely for their intended purpose and are not commingled with the landlord's personal or operational funds.

Deductions from Security Deposits

Legitimate reasons for withholding part or all of a security deposit include unpaid rent, damage beyond normal wear and tear, and necessary cleaning to return the property to its original state. Landlords must provide detailed documentation and receipts to substantiate any deductions. This includes comparative photos and written descriptions from both move-in and move-out inspections.

Returning Security Deposits

Timelines for returning security deposits vary by location, but they typically range from 14 to 60 days after the tenant has vacated the property. Adhering to these timelines is crucial to avoid legal penalties and disputes​.


The dynamic real estate market of Denmark as a landlord demands a comprehensive understanding of the country's rental laws, tenant rights, and property management practices. This blog has provided invaluable insights and practical advice for landlords, whether seasoned veterans or newcomers, to effectively manage rental properties in Denmark. By following these guidelines and leveraging the resources available, landlords can navigate the complexities of the Danish rental market with confidence, ensuring the success and profitability of their rental properties.

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