Danish Tenancy Law is focused on the maximum protection of tenants and stands in the way of the owners of private properties forbidding them to fix freely the level of the rent. The amount of money paid to the owner for renting the property specified in the agreement as well as other charges may be changed under certain conditions provided by the law. Check how to lower the costs as soon as you sign the agreement.

Start with:
1) submitting a request to the huslejenævnet for the verification of the agreed rent and the possibility of its reduction;
2) applying for boligstøtte – a rental grant;
3) checking the legality of fees and charges arising out of the agreement.

Who decides on the reduction of rent?
The decision about the reduction of rent is made by the huslejenævnet, situated in every kommune.
An applicant must pay a small fee when submitting the application.
Tenants may seek professional help and advice from tenants organizations, who may help to estimate the amount of rent or assist with applying for its reduction to the huslejenævnet.
The decision of the huslejenævnet is appealable.

Read also: Huslejenævnet – how can they help you? 

What decides on the reduction of rent?
The factors that determine the rent are: the condition of the apartment, the age of the building and its location. Generally, the rent shall be adequate to the standard of the property.
One of the key factors is the year 1991. If the building was commissioned after 1991, there are actually no limits when establishing the amount of rent. If, however, it was put into service before 1991, there exists a set of rules governing the process of establishing and reducing the amount of rent if it is not calculated properly by the owner/administrator.
The housing commission assesses the condition of the property and compares the amount of rent stated in the agreement with similar properties in the neighbourhood. Other criteria taken into account is a higher standard of the apartment (renovated kitchen, bathroom, new windows).
Tenant's income is irrelevant when deciding on the reduction of rent.

How to apply for rent reduction?
Prior to filing for the reduction officially, it is advised to negotiate the price with the owner first.
If the amicable agreement is not possible, it is necessary to send the rental agreement to the huslejenævnet for the verification and to pay an administration fee of 140 DKK. The waiting time for consideration of the application may take several months.

If you file for rent reduction within one year from the date of the start of renting the apartment, the housing commission's decision to lower your rent may act retroactively, which means that the owner will be obliged to return the balance taken within the period preceding the decision of the commission. If you apply for rent reduction after a year, you may pay a lower rent from the date of the commission's decision.
In the case of filing for rent reduction to the huslejenævnet ending in a positive decision, the owner cannot „punish” the tenant by raising the rent or other fees, or by terminating the agreement with the tenant.

Read also: Termination of rental agreement – a brief guide

Are your fees and charges legal?
After signing the agreement, you have a right to check if the charges you agreed upon are legal.
You can do it by sending the agreement to the huslejenævnet who will check the legaility of charges indicated in the contract. If the authority decides the charges to be illegal, you are released from paying them, and the owner must return these that have already been paid.
If you are a member of a tenant organization, you may seek help from them with regard to the verification of the claculation of charges, or ask for help with sending the application to the huslejenævnet.

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The publisher of the House in Denmark service is the Advokat Thomas Refning Poulsen law office located in Herning, Denmark. The use of the content of the Service is voluntary, free of charge and generally accessible.
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