Whether you live in a sublet cooperative dwelling (’andelsbolig’), in a condominium or a in some other private rental home, do not automatically assume that your rent is a fair one. If you pay too much rent, you can and should get the rent down.
In LLO, we have managed to negociate rent reductions in seven out of ten cases where we decided to bring a case before the Rent Control Board. In private residential properties, the rent is determined in accordance with the rules set out in the Rent Act and the Housing Regulation Act. In Denmark, there are three different ways in which to determine a rent:
* Free rent
* Value of the rented property
* Cost-specified rent
Free rent determination applies to leases in buildings taken into use after 1991. Furthermore, free rent applies to newly established residential leases in premises that exclusively and lawfully were used for commercial leases per 31th of December, 1991. Free rent determination also applies to newly built penthouses since 2002 and to leases in newly built floors since 2004.
It is important to keep in mind that free rent always requires a prior agreement. If no such agreement has been made on free rent, the rent cannot be set freely.
The rent may increase when :
* Improvements are made
* Increases in taxes and duties occur
* Rent increases have been agreed, either as a ’stair rental’ or in accordance with the net price index
Value of the rented property
When considering the value of the rented property, a distinction is made between the ’pure’ value of the rented property, §5.2 tenancies and small houses.
The rent in these tenancies must not significantly exceed the rent paid for similar tenancies in terms of location, nature, size, quality, equipment and state of maintenance.
If your lease is regulated according to the value of the rented property, the rent may increase when:
* Changes occur in the value of the rented property, and the rent is already significantly lower than the value of the rented property and has not been set for the last 2 years
* Improvements are made
* Rent increases have been agreed in accordance with the net price index
In properties with more than six leases, the rent will generally be determined in accordance with the rules on cost-determined rent.
However, this is not the case if the lease is subject to free lease determination, or if the lease has been radically improved. Cost-based rent is determined according to the property's operating costs. The rent may increase when:
* Operating costs are rising
* Improvements are made
* Increases in taxes and fees occur
* A rent increase has been agreed in accordance with the net price index.
If you want to make absolutely sure that you don’t end up paying too much in rent, you are most welcome to submit your rental contract to us (with your documentation attached for any subsequent rent increases). This will enable us to scrutinise how your rent is calculated.
If we find that you rent is too high, our first step will be to contact your landlords and ask them to reduce the rent. If your landlords insist on abiding by the agreed rent, you have the option of bringing the matter before The Rent Control Board. It will cost you a of DKK 315 to open a case in the board.
The Rent Control Board will either conclude that your rent is too high or that it fits the value of the rented property. They are precluded from concluding it is too low and should rise. Nor can your landlords arbitrarily terminate your lease in the event of such a case. Therefore, you do not have to worry about raising a case about the size of your rent.
If you decide to bring a case before the Rent Control Board within one year after moving into the tenancy or after receiving the latest notice, and if your claim is upheld, your landlords must not only reduce your rent. They must also repay you the overcharge. This could be a great advantage for you as a tenant, as you may recover a lot of money .
In some cases, the Rent Control Board will choose to inspect the tenancy in question. Even if your advisor from LLO is not involved in the inspection, LLO will still be involved, since one of the three board members will be appointed by the LLO to see the case from your point of view. The other two members of the board will be a chairman, usually a judge, and a representative of your landlords. Once the Rent Control Board has made a decision, they will contact either you or us. Next, we will find out together whether the decision is satisfactory or if it should – and if it can – be appealed.
You must arm yourself with patience. The casework time in the Rent Control Board could take up to a year. Since the Rent Control Board is a a municipal agency, the LLO has no influence on the case processing time. However, we are well aware that it can be stressful for you to have to wait so long for a decision. If it takes too long, we will therefore press the board for a decision.