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International student: Half of all housing ads in Copenhagen are scams

Croatian student is responding 15 to 30 housing ads a day. She estimates that at least half of them are fake

With thousands of students on the waiting list for dormitory rooms and apartments in Copenhagen, many international students coming to the city are left on their own. This means trying to find private housing, but here they run into a market that apparently is being overrun by scammers and fake adverts.

According to the survey ‘Den gode velkomst’ one out of every three international full degree students does not have accommodation when he or she arrives in Denmark.

One of them is the 23-year-old Croatian student Ana Grbić who is living in a hostel while looking for a more permanent place to settle while she studies for her master in Cognition and Communication at the University of Copenhagen.

Transfer money – then see

She is answering 15 to 30 housing ads a day on Facebook and official homepages specialized in renting out rooms and apartments.

She estimates that at least half of the ads on Facebook at least are scams.

“Although there are a lot of offers at first sight, an alarming high number of them are scams. They usually ask you to transfer money to an account before you get the key to the apartment or even see the place. I was aware of the housing situation in Copenhagen before I applied to study there, but I must say that reality exceeded my worst expectations. I couldn’t even find a hostel for less than EUR 60 a day,” says Ana Grbić.

Few respect the law

When she answers ads at one of the official housing homepages she rarely even gets a reply from the landlord.

If the homeowner answers, the e-mail just says that hundreds have already replied and that the place has already been rented out.

“There are a small number of apartments, where the real owner is actually the one trying to rent out the apartment and is respecting the law. In most cases they are too expensive or too far away,” says Ana Grbić.

As if I don’t exist

Many landlords do not accept that the tenants register their postal address at the room they are renting.

But without an address in Denmark you can´t get a civil registration number (CPR number)and without CPR it is impossible to open a bank account, get a library card, take a Danish language card or even become a member of a gym.

“Without CPR it is like I do not exist in Denmark. I really do not ask for much – just the few square meters and registration. If there is wi-fi available, you will have my love and gratitude until the end of my life,” says Ana Grbić

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