The first thing you should know about paying for rent in Denmark is that you will be required to pay a larger deposit than you might be used to. Legally, the person you rent from can ask for a deposit equal to up to 3 months worth of rent PLUS up to 3 months ‘pre-paid’ rent (cf. § 34 in Lejeloven*). However, this kind of price up front usually applies to the private market, since the dorms usually do not ask for the 3 months ‘pre-paid’ rent, but do ask for the deposit equal to 3 months worth of rent.
I. If you are searching for a dorm (Kollegium)
i. Utilities (Forbrug)
If you are living in a dorm, the utilities included in your rent (A/C)** can vary. For example, some dorms could include heating, but require you to pay separately for water and electricity, while other dorms could include heating and water, but require you to pay separately for water. The same goes if you are renting a private room, since you will share the costs of utilities with your housemates.
Note: It might happen, it might not, but it is possible that you could be asked by the electricity provider to check the electricity meter (elmåler), so don’t freak out if you get an unexpected letter from them. The electricity meter can be found either inside or outside the building, so if you don’t know, you can always ask a neighbor.
Internet service should be included in your rent for ALL dorms. If it is not, read section III at the end of this page.
iii. Media License (Medielicens)
This is a license for all media (television/radio), which funds the DR DK television channel, a public channel. Everyone registered in Denmark must pay every six months if they own a television, radio, a computer that has access to television and radio via internet, or a mobile phone that has access to television and radio via internet. The current price for six months = 1150,00 DKK
BUT this price will be raised to 1176,00 DKK in the year 2012! For more information (in Danish only), click here to go to the dr.dk website.
II. If you are searching for a private apartment
What if you want a private apartment, because you’re a full degree student and want a cozy little nest to call your own for the next two years? Apart from deposit and rent, you could expect several additional expenses, although be aware that these can also vary:
i. Water (vand) and heating (varme)
Usually, this bill is calculated as an estimate by the people you rent from and is included in the monthly rent, so you can pay this all together and not really have to think about it.
If you use more than what the landlord estimates, you will be charged extra to make up for the additional costs.
ii. Electricity (el)
This transaction is between you and the company that provides the electricity, so this will be a separate bill. How much and when you are billed varies, but it is not unusual to be billed every six months
Note: It might happen, it might not, but it is possible that you could be asked by the electricity provider to check the electricity meter (elmåler), so don’t freak out if you get an unexpected letter from them. The electricity meter can be found either inside or outside the apartment, so if you don’t know, you can always ask a neighbor.
iii. Media License
This is a license for all media (television/radio), which funds the DR DK television channel, a public channel. Everyone registered in Denmark must pay every six months if they own a television, radio, a computer that has access to television and radio via internet, or a mobile phone that has access to television and radio via internet. The price is around 200 DKK a month.
III. Internet service provider
If you live in the 21st century, then you will probably need internet. Here are some things to consider:
i. When in doubt, ask a neighbor!
If you live in an apartment building (or dorm), the first thing to do when shopping for an internet provider is ask your neighbor. Sometimes, the whole apartment building will use the same internet provider in exchange for a discounted price on either maintenance or set up. Plus, if you have the same internet provider as the rest of your neighbors, if you ever need someone from the internet company to come out to your apartment, they will be more willing to make the trip to your home if they have a lot of other customers in the area. (It’s the power of the masses!)
ii. Some Internet Service Providers to choose from
If you can choose yourself, here are a few popular choices.
The benefits of signing up with a major company are, of course, that you have a stable internet provider who won’t skimp you on the quality of service. (I’m not playing favorites, but I, Jessica, have Yousee and have had no problems. Plus, I like that they stream live Danish television on their Yousee Webtv, so even though there is only one television in the house, we can all watch what we want from our own laptops)
iii. Sign up online!
Most of the companies will offer discounts for those who purchase their internet service from the website instead of over the phone. Even though the websites are all in Danish, we recommend that you do try to do it online. Every krone counts in a poor student’s wallet!
iv. Smart phone users
If you have a smart phone and are signing up for a mobile phone contract with internet service, check to see if they offer an internet service package for your laptop. Some mobile phone companies have the option where you can purchase internet service (via a USB wireless modem) for both your mobile phone and your laptop as a package deal.
NOTE: This is ONLY if you do not mind a USB wireless modem, which connects into the USB port of a single (ONE) laptop. This is NOT for you if you want multiple devices (i.e., multiple laptops, desktops, etc.) connected through a high speed connection and wireless router.
This page will be updated as needed. If you feel there is something we should put up permanently, shoot us an email by checking out the “Get up close and personal” page!
*Danish information only
**A/C is short for A conto, which means ‘prepaid utiltity’ and is based on an estimate of how much you will use.