Falling victim to the rental fraudsters

Copenhagen Police has warned international students about the number of phoney adverts offering a room for rent, reports Universitetsavisen.

According to the report, some 30 students have recently been cheated after it turned out the place had already been rented out to someone else, did not belong to the ‘landlord’, or did not exist at all.

Asger Jensen, a Copenhagen Police commissioner, believes international students are popular victims because they are less sceptical and do not know their rights.

Seeing is believing
One of the most common scams is to rent out the same apartment to 15-20 different people, asking each to pay a 20,000 kroner deposit.

Jensen recommends, therefore, that the students should not pay a deposit without seeing the rental place and reading the lease contract first.

He also advises them not to rent a room if they are told they cannot register the housing as their address.

This may be a tell-tale that the ‘landlords’ are not allowed to sublet the room or apartment – most likely because they are trying to hide the rental income while receiving social benefits from the municipality.

Know your rights
Lejernes LO Hovedstaden, an interest organisation for tenants in the capital region, estimates nine out of ten tenants pay higher rent than they should according to the law.

According to Boligportal.dk, the average monthly rent for a room in Copenhagen is currently 4,115 kroner, while a two-room apartment costs 8,175 kroner.
Meanwhile, a study carried out by the Ministry for Education in 2011 revealed that a third of all international full degree students have no place to stay upon their arrival in Denmark, and the same applies to one in ten exchange students.