Understand what residency requirement - or "bopælspligt" - means for you as an expat in 5 minutes.


You might have heard the phrase “if it was easy, everybody would have done it”, right? Well, it’s actually kind of true in a special kind of way, but it most certainly applies to expat’s relocation. Everything is new. New country, new city and - not to forget - new rules, laws and regulations to take into consideration, when looking for accommodation.


And the latter is equally important, and can be a bit tricky to understand in Denmark - which properly also explains why you are here.


You are here to understand the famous Danish “bopælspligt”, also known as residency requirement, and this is exactly what we are here to help you with. Because we care (of course!) and because we want to give you the best possible experience already to begin with.  


What is “Bopælspligt” in Denmark - or residency requirement?

Bopælspligt - from now on residency requirement - is essentially implemented as a registration tool for the public municipality to make sure that private homeowners do in fact live at their residential private properties (for at least 180 days in a given calendar year, unless the property is listed as a summer residence). If the private homeowner does not have the possibility to live, occupy or reside in their homes for this amount of time, they are legally required to rent out their homes to other people.


The overall purpose of this regulation by law is to avoid that residential properties - perfectly fit for residence - are not left empty and unused. Likewise to make sure that certain parts of Denmark do not experience depopulation, to minimize the risk that people can speculate in the property market and that all homes are in essence available for residence - meaning more supply for high demand areas, such as C and Aarhus.


The residency requirement is thus a great tool for the public municipality to keep track of all listed homes and properties, and to see whether or not they are in use for residential purposes. If so, all good. If not, the municipality will reach out to either you or your landlord (that would be us!) and inform about the situation and (ultimately) the consequences of not applying to the rules in play.  


But what does this mean for an expat like you?

Well, it essentially means two things, which depends on whether or not the residency requirement is listed as a “yes” or a “no”.


If the apartment you are interested in is listed as residency requirement: yes, you are obligated to register at the address through the municipality no later than 5 days after your first lease date (e.g. the move-in date). Note that you can also apply for the registration 4 weeks before your move-in date.


This also means that the apartment can be used for CPR registration, which we know is super important to the majority of you guys. CPR registration is crucial if you are aiming to get the danish yellow card (e.g. “sygesikring”), set up a bank account, get a Nem-ID and have mail delivered to your respective address.


If the residency requirement is listed as no, you are unable to register at the address with the municipality, where the reverse scenario kicks in - e.g you are not able to use the address for CPR purposes.


So in basic, you should only apply for a non-residency required apartment, if you are not planning to register as a resident in Denmark, which we know apply for a small proportion of you guys.


What happens if you do not register at a residency required apartment? If you for whatever reason have not registered at a residency required apartment and the municipality makes us aware that no registration has been made, we will notify them on who lives in the apartment. We will also notify you that you have to formally register - which is also stated in the lease agreement you have signed with us.  


So! Here is the simple, short and sweet version!

  • Do you need a CPR number while living in Denmark (this is for most of you for sure!)? Choose a “residency requirement: yes” apartment.
  • Do you need the yellow card, and thus free medical care while living in Denmark? Choose a “residency requirement: yes” apartment.
  • Do you need to set up a bank account in Denmark? Choose a “residency requirement: yes” apartment.
  • Do you need to enroll your children in a public institution in Denmark? Choose a “residency requirement: yes” apartment.  


The grand finale - how do you register for residency and ultimately CPR?

We are thrilled to live in a country where our local government and public administration is so helpful and straightforward. So instead of having us explain everything, we strongly recommend that you visit the following links - depending on which city you are moving to.