Advise on signing rental contract while abroad

Hej everyone!

I'm moving to Copenhagen in May and have received a rental contract from Knh gruppen (website: provstehuset.dk)

As I am unable to be there physically to check the apartment and talk to the landlord, I am quite hesitant to pay the required deposit of 43000 Dkk (3 months rental + 3 months prepaid + 1 month rent).

I have tried to search for more information regarding the company but not much information is available. So I'm afraid that I'd be scammed of the huge sum of deposit required in order to secure a house before I move to Copenhagen.

The deadline given for signing the contract is within 5 days (which is really short!). Deposit has to be paid 1 week later. I would appreciate any advise on this matter, or if anybody have heard of the company? Thank you in advance!

Welcome to the Forum :)

You are quite right to be hesitant in not to hand over money. It is never a good idea to sign anything without seeing the property first and never send money. If you are unable to see the property, you are best to go over if you can if not, stay in a hotel/Airbnb and then look while you are in the country. There is never an easy way around it. Sorry to say.

For god's sake. Don't pay anything. I am convinced this is scamming of first degree. I should like to go on with this ad.

Can you give me the exact address as I intend to pursuit this case? You have already paid 200 kroner to be signed up?

All warning bells are ringing: Secret phone number, no administrator address, a home made homesite on WordPress where you won't find professionel companies, an ordinary gmail-account with the name postsnegl (snailmail), no photos from the finished apartments, the ad was in a strange mixture of English and Danish, the company number (cvr) doesn't lead to the KNH-group, but to another property company.

The apartments here are all advertised on anonymous sites where you always shall be on watch. It is very, very difficult to find apartments in Copenhagen, and if you do, the apartments will either be sublets or new ones or at another price level. You couldn't  find the apartments on e.g. Boliga.dk.

I have asked the bank about the stated account number. Unfortunately, they aren't allowed to tell me the owner, but I was advised to contact the police.

It's my intention to go forward with this 'trap ad'. I consider the law company behind the CVR-address will be glad to know.

I agree with SimCityAt: Never pay in advance, even getting a key in your hand doesn't secure that everything is okay as some people rent a room on AirBnB, put up an ad, pretend to be the owner of the place, get the money from you, give you the key, and when you show up later to move in, the real owner is back. It's not normal to put up ads in English, but in Danish. If the ad is in English, it might mean that the people behind the ad don't live in Denmark, or that someone is trying to scam an expat who doesn't know about the market.

You're welcome again if you need more information for the time being, but again, wait until you have arrived, book a hotel room or similar to start with. Don't expect to find an apartment at once.

/Nellie

Thank you SimCityAT and Nellie for your response.

The exact address is Theklavej 36, 2400 København Nv. The lady who replied my email goes by the name of Tally Paulsen. You can find her on linkedin.

It seems really strange to me that the university of KEA would help advertise this provstehuset on their webpage. I've also reached out to the organisation 'study in denmark', and this is their reply:

Study in Denmark: we can understand your concern being so far away. With a disclaimer of not being held liable, it seems legit. One of our institutions also refer to these new appartments. They were built in 2017. Only one bad review exists on Trustpilot https://dk.trustpilot.com/review/provstehuset.dk
But it only concerns the students communication with the admin. We hope this info helps your decision. :-)

I've also tried to reach out to people who have left feedback on their facebook page and 2 of them gave very vague replies that the apartment is nice? So I'm getting pretty mixed feelings about this.

My feelings are now just as mixed as yours.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/misspaulsen/?locale=da_DK
Calling herself Miss Paulsen on LinkedIn is very special. Normally Danes wouldn't use a title or their marital status, but first name and surname. I therefore called the stated number to see if it was answered or not. It was. The person presented herself very fast with Tally.

If you search for her on Krak.dk (a free address book), you'll only find her on Theklavej 36 in the cellar. It is not allowed to live in a cellar, so it should be her office.

I have now looked up the cvr.number once more, and I now realised that I had only look at the first page. There were really many companies registered under that number. It's one big investment company.

Maybe, everything is ok even if it looked suspicious at first sight. What made it suspicious to me was that I thought we talked of an apartment. Students are going in and out, and as it is a new and therefore not cheap student accommodation, this might be the reason why there are available rooms.

What about asking KEA if they have heard anything disadvantageous about Provstehuset? I begin to think that everything is all right.

/Nellie

I have sent an email to KEA just this morning and am still waiting for their reply. I'll update as soon as I can. I've also sent the contract which she've sent me for someone to look at.

I managed to find their Instagram account but again, information was quite sparse. As the deadline for contract signing is tomorrow, I am still unsure if I should go ahead and sign first, and then get someone from the school to go take a look at the apartment before I send any money over.

In my latest email to her, I asked if I could extend the deadline of payment (supposedly by 11th March), and if someone from my school could come to look at the place. She just replied (5 mins ago) saying that she needs to be sure that I will take the apartment, and if I send the signed contracts, she will be able to delay the payment. She also mentioned that it might be better for me to arrange for someone to take a look at the apartment on my behalf.

So.... I'm thoroughly confused.

http://files.meetup.com/7056/Engels-lejekontrakt.pdf
A standard contract

You may also ask for a room at this college
http://www.ehp.dk/da/node/2

Normally difficult to find a room at study start, but you'll come before.

https://studenterguiden.dk/studieboliger-kollegier

Hej! Just found your post and I'm in the same position.
Did you sign?
Can you tell me a little about your experience?

Thanks!

Hey! I am just in the same position!
Could you please share your experience?
I am quite confusing about the 42k deposit. It is not usual!

It's not illegal, but ....
https://www.lejeloven.dk/lejer/indskud

You'll have 3 months' notice. If you leave before, your prepaid rent must be lost unless another tenant moves in. In this case, the landlord may not charge double rent, but that means that you shall know about this, maybe sue the landlord to get your money back.

It's normal to pay a deposit, but  when you leave, you shall only pay for damages beyond normal wear and tear. However, you risk that the landlord insist on giving the flat a full make over.  And this make over might be expensive as it is also a way for the landlord to earn some extra money as he will use his own crafts. Again, if so you'll have to sue the landlord to get your money back.

As you understand, I am very sceptical regarding this landlord, even if it's a company because it's very, very difficult to find housings in Copenhagen, and here there are constantly flats to rent.

/Nellie

Thank you very much Nellie!

After searching for this apartment, I decided to give up it and turn to sharing apartments on BoligPortal. Other than your kind reminding words, I found that other student apartments always reject applications from PhD students but this one does not care about that. It is a complicated feelings - I should feel pleased and happy but can not help myself thinking - why does it have no restrictions? I could not trust it until I see it and feel it by my own eyes. Therefore I decide to give up it.

Yue

As it seems there are always flats available there,  you can always took a look at it when you have arrived to see if you find the flats are worth the price. However, be prepared not to see you 3 months' prepaid rent again if you leave before this time as Provstegården will have more interest in renting other available flats out first.

A PhD student isn't technically considered a student  as they already have a full master degree. As a rule, student housings are built as social housings for 'real' students

New flats in Copenhagen shall have a size of minimum 95 m2 to avoid to become slum.

Provstehuset is a private enterprise. Maybe, it's okay for them to build small flats and call them student housings and rent them out as such, maybe not, but who checks them?

I guess that the housings are okay, but that it's a pricey solution.

/Nellie

Hi Nellie, I've had a situation and you seem to know as I've read some forums here.
I'd like to ask for some information regarding deposit laws.
I rented for almost a year one room shared with my brother. We were asked by the owner to pay extra money (2.500 kr) the first time in order to get a cpr number.
  One day the owner contact me saying that i had 4 days to move from this house to another also owned by her or to find a new house by myself, so we took her second house as it was the easiest for us. She didn't want to change our cpr address because they where too many people in the 2nd house. Also some of the new flatmates had to register cpr in different address even being the first time they where registering it in Denmark.
Many times the owner came to check the rooms and private belongings even when i wasn't in the house and the door was locked, she had an extra key for every room. I complained about this because i have my rights to keep my room locked but she didn't care.
I left the house last 15th and she's not willing to pay back my deposit.
My brother has payed rent untill the end of July in this house. On July 17th (2 days after i left),
he arrived after work and all his belongings where outside the room and the lock changed. Without any excuse she said he had to leave or she would send people to kick him out. So of course he did missing some of his belongings and he's also not getting deposit back.
I'm not sure who i should contact and if there's anything i can do. There have been more weird situations that i could complain but this is the most important. I hope i can get some information about what to do.
Regards, Juan Morgan

Hi Juan,

What a scammer!

You shall only tell your CPR number to the authorities, banks, insurance companies, employer and a few more. Never to private persons.

I would address the free legal advice service(s) first.
If they think you have a good case, I would address Huslejenævnet.
And last, but not least, I would tell the authorities (municipality and perhaps also SKAT) about her scam. Not even does she deceive you and the other tenants, but also the authorities.

I think you might find the necessary information in below links. If else, do return to this forum.

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=749651
https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=626725
https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=724189
https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=715545

Good luck,

/Nellie

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