Private Rental Housing

Private Rental Housing

Comparative Perspectives

Edited by Tony Crook and Peter A. Kemp

A new focus on private renting has been brought into sharp relief by the global financial crisis, with its profound impact on mortgage finance, housing markets and government budgets. Written by specially commissioned international experts and structured around common themes, this timely book explores the nature and role of private renting in eight advanced economies around the world.

Chapter 5: Denmark

Hans Skifter Andersen

Subjects: politics and public policy, public policy, urban and regional studies, cities, urban studies


Like most other countries in Europe, the Danish PRS has been in decline for many years. Before World War II, it was the dominant sector but, after the war, social housing began to take over new rental house building. The real blow to private rented housing came in the last part of the 1960s when higher inflation increased the value of tax deductions and made owner occupied housing much more economically attractive. New private rented housing did not receive direct production subsidies, such as those given to social housing, which made it difficult to build housing at affordable rents and compete with social housing. Moreover, the older stock decreased by about one third from the middle of the 1960s to the end of the1980s. Besides demolition of old and neglected buildings, the main reason was the conversion of dwellings to owner occupied flats, which was made possible from 1966. This transformation of tenure was, however, partly stopped in the 1970s and totally prohibited after 1980. Instead, in the following years, many private lettings were transformed into cooperatives after the necessary legislation by parliament. This required landlords, who intended to sell their property, first to give an offer to sitting tenants who wanted to form a cooperative. This development of the PRS can be seen as a consequence of the low prestige this sector has in Denmark.

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