Elderly Danish couple hit with huge fine for illegal summerhouse rental

Defendants must pay 2 million kroner for renting too many properties at the same time

An elderly couple from southwest Jutland have been fined 2 million kroner for illegally renting out summer and holiday homes. The rentals occurred between 2005 and 2012.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the couple earned as much as 12 million kroner from leasing as many as 18 summerhouses on the west coast of Jutland in towns like Blåvand and Henne.

The rules stipulate that a person can own all the holiday homes they want, but can only rent out two holiday homes, and only if they are actually used by the owner.

Location, location, location
The 76-year-old man and the 71-year-old woman denied they rented more homes than the rules allowed and appealed against a district court ruling from August 2015.

Now that Vestre Landsret, the high court, has agreed with the district court ruling the woman will pay a fine of 1.1 million kroner and the man will pay 880,000 kroner.

During the course of the trial, it became apparent that the couple have disposed of the majority of their holiday homes.They maintain seven properties and police reported before the hearing that there was activity at the properties that indicated they were still being rented.

Claim innocence
The court decided that, along with the fines, the couple will pay a 10,000 kroner per month fine for each cottage being rented illegally.

The couple said in court that they did not realise they were breaking the law. The prosecutor pointed out to the court that the couple had twice been convicted in 1998 and 2004 of illegally renting out summerhouses.