Finding a place to live in Copenhagen as a student can be a tricky task. Here are some tips to make this experience as smooth as possible and allow you to focus on exploring the capital of Denmark with joy – no matter whether you’re planning a weekend trip or a long-term stay.
1# Decide on how long you’re gonna be in the city
If you’re looking for a flat or a room to rent in Copenhagen just for a few days, the best way to approach it is to search on booking sites, such as Booking, Airbnb or Homeaway. This way you’ll find many options in various prices, including unique studios and apartments, which will provide privacy and convenient locations. If you prefer company and would like to meet new people, you may consider sharing a flat with other tourists or using a hostel. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you may also just ask around and look for a place to sleep on the spot – a bit daredevil, but who knows what’ll you find on the streets of this beautiful city!
If you’re planning on staying long-term, there are a few other options. First, you can rent a room in a student apartment facility, such as Basecamp. You may choose between shared or single rooms or even rent a whole studio for yourself. Monthly payment will definitely allow you to explore the city to the fullest and not worry about the lack of homelike conveniences, since Basecamp offers rooms with private bathrooms and optionally with kitchenettes. This may be a great choice for people who want to socialize and also have a private corner of their own.
Remember that living in BaseCamp has many perks – a movie theatre, fitness classes, cafes, games and parties, all in one place, perfectly commuted with the rest of the city.
2# Consider what’s important – privacy, social life, location or pricing?
If you’re not into dorms or campuses and want to find something on your own, there are a few things to think about before looking for a room or an apartment to rent in Copenhagen. Keep in mind that it will require some additional work and research.
Decide whether you want to live solo or with roommates. If privacy isn’t crucial for you, living together may be a fun way of lowering your costs and meeting new people. You can check “Kollektiver i København” Facebook group to search for mates.
Next, decide what you need from your neighborhood – do you want a quiet place, near a park or maybe a flat in a busy district, full of nightlife?
If you’re into art, tattoos, underground music and industrial spaces, consider looking for an apartment in Vesterbro or Kødbyen. These are the Copenhagen’s hipster districts.
If you want to feel the multicultural side of Copenhagen, check out the Latin Quarter neighborhood – full of unique cafes and food. Other hot spots for foodies and culture explorers would be Nørrebro – with its famous nitrogen ice cream, vintage shops and almost 55 nationalities – and Christianshavn – a home to the legendary summer street-food market and Michelin-starred Noma, which was twice named the best restaurant in the world.
If you’re looking for something particularly colorful and good-way-weird, definitely check Freetown Christiania and its smoky jazz bars.
While choosing the neighborhood, remember about commute – even the greatest place will be a pain if you’re going to spend hours getting to school or work each day. Biking may also be a great choice.
Don’t forget about pricing – check various options before making a solid decision and broaden your scope if needed – maybe calmer suburbs will suit you better.
3# Housing rules – know your rights and duties
Use both online (social media, websites, Google) and offline (friends, posters, fliers) means to find a great looking room or a cool flat. Don’t be shy to ask around – local people will surely help you out. You can check Facebook groups like “Lejeboliger til unge og studerende, gratis og sikkert” or “Lejeboliger i Kbh”. You can also use multiple websites to check the offers and contact landlords, however most of them are paid. Some of them are: https://www.akutbolig.dk/, https://www.apartmentincopenhagen.com/ or https://www.boligportal.dk/en/rentals_denmark
Beware of scams and automatically renewed subscriptions!
Once you find the perfect spot, contact the owner and don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are no stupid ones! Ask about everything you need in order to feel safe and prepared. Read the contract carefully and ask for changes if necessary. Don’t sign anything you feel uncomfortable with. Make sure you’re ok with your rent, deposit and other obligations included in the lease. Pay particular attention to section 11 of the contract – that’s usually where landlord puts variations and exceptions.
Be sure to check if your newly found apartment is rent controlled – that’s popular for buildings built before 1992 and can help you save some money. If not sure, you can use https://tjekdinleje.dk/ to see if your rent is proper.
Sometimes landlords require both the deposit and a prepaid rent – meaning the money used to cover the last month or months of your contract. Keep in mind that you’ll still need to pay your regular rent, which will make it a double payment on the first month (or more). Both the deposit and the prepaid cannot be bigger than 3 months’ worth of rent. Meaning the maximum amount of money the landlord can ask for at the beginning is 6x rent’s worth and a regular rent for the first month. Anything more than that is illegal.
The custom notice time is 3 months for both sides. Duration of the contract varies, check yours out.
Be sure to pay attention to any bills and other payments mentioned in the lease. Try not to use cash – bank billings are always a proof in case of a scam.
If uncertain – get legal help. Many universities offer free help and housing information.
Finding a new home in Copenhagen may be challenging, but if you approach it smartly and patiently, there’s a big chance you’ll find a place suited just for you. Explore the city, make it your own and have fun!