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Student housing in Copenhagen: The guide

There are many types of accommodation in Copenhagen. Private rooms, dormitories for students, shared housing, and there is even the option of buying your own place. Here is an overview with links to the most important sites and facebook groups.

Article updated 27 June 2019, originally published in 2014.

Housing in Copenhagen can be a complete nightmare. Endless websites and guides telling you where to find accommodation as if it were no big deal. Yet, it often seems a lot less straightforward when you are deep down in the house hunting jungle.

The general rule is to be proactive (yes, we know, the word stinks). Ask around, sign your name up everywhere possible and write James Joyce-y (James Joyce-esque?) application letters for tenants and dormitories. Here is our overview of options for finding a place to live in Copenhagen as a student.

Dormitories

There are about 80 dormitories in the central Copenhagen area, but with many more in the suburbs. Some are small, old and quite luxurious, while others are massive buildings with hundreds of rooms. Most have their own bathroom, but facilities vary.

There are several ways of getting a room in a dormitory. A few of them require a personal application letter and the residents themselves choose who they want to take in.

The famous Tietgen dorm. Photo by Anna Sondergaard

For the majority, however, you can sign up through the two largest administrators and get on a waiting list. Some dormitories have up to three years waiting time, while others take no more than a few months to get into.

At Kbh-kollegier.dk there are a total of 150 dormitories in the Greater Copenhagen area – but you can only see them if you pay. On the page, you can buy three different packages, depending on how long you expect to need the site. For example, for DKK 38 you can apply for a dorm room for three days, and then the subscription will automatically be renewed every 14 days for DKK 124, which is DKK 9 per day.

The view from Frankrigsgade, Copenhagen. Photo by Martina Zamboni

If you need to move to Copenhagen, it is a good idea to put yourself on the waiting list on CIU and KKIK. CIU and the KKIK administer approximately 11,500 youth homes in the capital region. From 1st August to 1st December, new students who have more than one hour’s transport to their study programme jump to the front of the queue for student housing with a rent of less than DKK 3,500. The scheme is called the study-start list, and CIU and KKIK each have their own separate list. Sign up on both lists.

The student guide here has a large selection of dormitories, which you can also apply for. Some dormitories admit students on the basis of motivated applications, while others have list systems.
It can be a good idea to apply for accommodation outside the city centre. Not just districts like Valby, but further out in the suburbs of Brønshøj, Tingbjerg, Ballerup. And neighbouring towns like Hillerød are becoming more popular among students.

While you are at it, make sure you check out Dorms Disclosed – where students review their own dormitories. Also see our compilation of Student housing reviews: The dormitories and residences of Copenhagen‘.

You can also apply to the, more elite, dormitories that select future residents themselves. See the ‘List of Copenhagen dormitories which need a motivated letter of application’ here.

Private rooms

A general shortage of student housing make many students turn to private rooms. This is usually a bit more expensive. Average prices for a room in one of the central neighborhoods usually range between DKK 3,000 up to DKK 5,000.

The private housing market is not regulated very well, and many students experience conflicts or even fraud from their landlords (see below on how to avoid fraud). But as long as you make a contract, and use common sense, private rooms are a good and popular housing option.

Many people find private rooms through social network platforms and word-of-mouth. There are also a lot of websites facilitating communication between landlords and potential tenants. The biggest ones usually have the biggest selection. Some of them are free, but the largest usually charge a fee.

Housing websites cost time and money

It takes time, and patience, to apply for accommodation this way – and money. Most websites require that you enter account information to get in touch with the landlords, and payment is usually automatically renewed. This means that you have to remember to unsubscribe from the service before a new payment period begins.

Only one of the websites states clearly what it costs to use their site (Kbh-kollegier, we salute you!), the others are more secretive. So we have dug up this information for you.

Some people may know Boligportal.dk. You can take a look around for free here, but you must pay to get in contact with the landlords. For DKK 29, you get an introductory period of four days, then you are automatically registered for a 28-day subscription for DKK 298 if you do not unsubscribe, and this will be renewed every four weeks. This works out at DKK 11 per day.

You can also register for a 62-day subscription for DKK 425, which will automatically continue if you do not withdraw from your registration. This works out at DKK 7 per day.

The customer service at Boligportal.dk explains that you can withdraw from your subscription at any time during the period, and you are then registered for the rest of the period. So you can withdraw on the same day you register if you are someone who is afraid of forgetting it before the trap snaps shut.

A free alternative is voreslejebolig.dk which is a meeting place for landlords with vacant rented homes and tenant applicants. Here you can set up a search agent and keep yourself informed about rented accommodation that fits the criteria that you have defined yourself. You can also set up a search ad, so that landlords can contact you if they have a match.

At Boligdeal.dk you get some, limited, information about the homes, unless you dish out the cash. The first day costs DKK 19, and your subscription is automatically renewed seven-days-a-time for DKK 148, until you withdraw from it. This works out at DKK 21 per day.

There is also Boligsurf.dk. All the information about the rentals is up front, but when you want to contact the landlord, it costs. For DKK 29, you can nail it with your housing search for six days. Then your subscription is automatically renewed to DKK 299 for four weeks. This works out at DKK 11 per day.

At Akutbolig.dk it is free to set up a user account and receive emails on vacant leases. To get in touch with landlords, you can be admitted to the housing seeker list for DKK 79 per week, and the subscription will be renewed automatically. This works out at DKK 11 per day.

At Lejebolig.dk you can find rental accommodation in all price classes and in all parts of the country. It is free to look at the offers, but if you want to contact the landlords, it costs DKK 28 for the first four weeks. If you remember to withdraw before the first four weeks have passed, it will be a month of really cheap housing searches. If you do not withdraw from your registration, you will automatically be charged DKK 299 every four weeks thereafter. This corresponds to DKK 11 per day.

Facebook groups such as ‘Lejeboliger til unge og studerende, gratis og sikkert’ and ‘Lejeboliger i Kbh’ may also be worth joining. Both groups are so large (nearly 50,000 and 20,000 members respectively) that your own post in the group will hardly get traction, but if you follow the group on a daily basis, you can quickly respond to the posts that come in offering housing.

When you have dished out and you can see all the housing on various websites and can contact the landlords, then it is time to open up the throttle and start searching for a place to live. There is tough competition for the good leases – especially around the start of the semester. As a temporarily homeless person, you will break into a bit of a sweat over it. You need to start quickly if you want to find a place to live.

In the tough battle for housing, you need to stand out.

Henrik Løvig, managing director at Boligportal.dk

»In the tough battle for housing, you need to stand out,« says Henrik Løvig, CEO at Boligportal.dk.

»You can do this by completing a profile as a kind of CV for the landlords. This is one of the things they look at when you contact them. In some cases, the landlords do not advertise the housing, but simply search among the potential tenants’ profiles. Take a good photo, write a cool headline and a good text, where you tell them a bit about who you are.«

»There is no single one-size-fits-all recipe for this, because the landlords are different. But you must, of course, show that you take care of things properly, and it is also important that you present yourself in a way that makes you stand out so that the landlord can remember you. So try to devise some kind of a surprising angle to it,« says Henrik Løvig.

Get another overview with the University Post’s Guide to housing websites in Copenhagen’ here.

Shared housing and co-living

More social ways of living are getting more popular in Copenhagen, and many – young people especially – find ways of living together in shared housing [in Danish, ‘kollektiv’]. This is often a cheap way to get a lot of value for money, and a lot of new friends.

A few years ago, our student reporter sat in on an audition for a shared flat ‘Hegnet’ here.

Again, social media and word-of-mouth are common ways of finding shared housing, but there are also several free sites that unite co-livers and collectivists.

Meeting at ‘Hegnet’ Collective. Photo by Julie Vulpius

Please note that many of the groups on Facebook are driven by large housing websites that use the social media platform to get people to go on their website.

The group ‘Kollektiver i København’ has almost 30,000 members and is run by Boligsurf.dk. Many of the posts, however, are from private individuals who looking for residents for their shared housing, so the page is worth checking out if you want to join one.

If you are interested in finding a room in shared-housing with one or more flatmates, there is also Findroommate.dk. You can set up a profile and browse the accommodation listings for free, but if you want to contact the landlords, it costs DKK 15 for the first three days. When the three days have elapsed, you will automatically be registered for 30 days at DKK 299 – i.e. DKK 10 per day.

Buying property as a student

Non-Danish non-EU citizens are generally not allowed to buy residential property. Unless you make Denmark the center of your life, that is. If you want to buy, you have to get a permit from the Ministry of Justice and document that you plan on staying permanently in Denmark. EU citizens working in Denmark are exempt from these rules, but you should consult a lawyer.

Find out more on this guide to buying property as a foreigner.

For Danes, buying an andelsbolig or a flat in a housing co-operative can be a great option but often pricey. There are a lot of things to consider, both in terms of obtaining a loan and what makes for the best investment.

A few words on scammers and frauds

Finding somewhere to live is not just a challenge – there is also the risk of getting scammed. The housing websites try to counteract it, but the crooks and scammers get better and better, and some of them slip through the net. At Boligportal.dk, they often find fake housing adverts, explains CEO Henrik Løvig. Of the approximately 10,000 new housing adverts they get every month, they find and block around 20 fake postings.

»You have to make sure you get a lease contract, that you actually see the leased home and meet the landlord. And then, above all, you should not transfer money via Western Union or similar services, but always use a bank transfer. It is also a good idea to check out who it is that actually owns the accommodation at Boligejer.dk, where you can see whose name is on the title deed for the property. If it is not the owner renting out the dwelling it is a good idea to check up on whether the person renting the property has the right to release it,« says Henrik Løvig.

The non-Danish fakers are often easy to spot. Their ads, if in Danish, look like something translated by Google Translate, and they might even write that the room is air-conditioned (not likely!).

»When Danes are doing the fraud, it gets more difficult. The language is correct – if in Danish, the images are from Denmark, and the dialogue between the potential tenant and the landlord seems normal. In addition, the Danish landlords quickly take dialogue away from our platform and on to phone or email, and we lose all control over what happens,« says the CEO of Findroommate.dk, Kristian Matthes. He advises prospective tenants to only pay a deposit once they have moved in.

The renegade option

Trailer life. Photo by Yazon Lo via Flickr

Every year, the University Post receives hundreds of e-mails from students with queries about housing. Most of them are students looking desperately for a place to stay, but a few of them are students sharing their often very odd ways of getting a place.

As a last resort, check out the University Post’s 8 Creative Ways To Find A Place To Live .

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