Living in Copenhagen?
Creating a Home in Copenhagen
Accommodation in the Capital: Pricey and Hard to Find
In a city as popular as Copenhagen, it is not always easy to find a place to live. This may hold even truer for expats, who often face a serious language barrier and do not have an overview of the local real estate market.
Many Copenhageners sublet their apartments, which is why it could be a great option for you to look for temporary housing at first. You can also activate your expat network and see if one of your expat friends is about to leave Copenhagen and is looking for someone to take over their lease.
Before you get into the apartment search, you should be aware that living in Copenhagen can be rather costly. You should certainly set a budget to get an idea of how much you can afford to spend on rent. At the same time, the location of your future home is also fairly important. After all, you want to feel at home there and have a reasonably short commute to work.
If you are looking for a smaller apartment, note that prices tend to rise in the fall when new students arrive in Copenhagen. Due to this high demand, small furnished apartments can the hard to find. In terms of rent, two-room apartments come anywhere from 3,000 to 18,000 DKK (approx. 455 to 2,700 USD) a month, depending on size and location, of course.
Finding a House: Use Your Contacts
There are different ways of going about the apartment hunt, and among expats, the online search is probably the most popular. You may, however, also like to take out an ad or browse the local newspapers for the classified sections. Many expats contact friends and co-workers for information. Your expat network in Copenhagen might be of great help in this endeavor as well.
Before you respond to an ad, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Regarding online ads, scams do unfortunately occur. You should never pay the deposit or any of the rent up front without having seen the apartment first. If you do get cheated, it is almost impossible to get the money back. For this very reason, you should look at the apartment you are going to rent and read the rental contract carefully. At the end of the day, a place that seems too good to be true usually is.
You can rent accommodation privately, for instance, from the person or company owning it. Many real estate agencies have specialized in finding private rentals for their customers, too. However, if you prefer to avoid real estate agents, simply search the internet for “lejeboliger” (accommodation to let) and “København.” For one, Boligportalen is used by many Danes to look for either places to live or tenants. This would be a good place to create an ad.
Remember to Register!
Once you have found your future home and completed your move to Copenhagen, you are nearly done. The last thing you need to do is to register your residency, which you must do at a Citizen Service Center (Borgerservice). You should bring the following paperwork:
- valid registration certificate or your residence permit, unless you are a national of an EU/EAA member country, a Nordic country (Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Sweden), or Switzerland
- your passport or personal ID
- your employment contract
- proof of your address in Copenhagen, such as your rental contract
- if applicable, birth certificates of your children and your marriage certificate
In Copenhagen, the Citizen Service Center is at Nyropsgade 1. Keep in mind that you only have to register for a CPR number if you plan to stay in Copenhagen for more than three months. Once your registration is complete, you will receive your CPR number in the mail.
The CPR number is incredibly important, as it is your personal identification number, used in relation to salary payments, bank transactions, and in countless other contexts. Also, you are automatically included in the Danish public health insurance scheme once registered.
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