Quiet, laid back, non-pretentious, frugal educated retiree from America has grown very weary of extremist, anti- government conservative movement. Looking to retire to progressive, (hopefully) affordable European country with (moderate) temperate weather. Currently paying ~$1000 U.S. monthly rent. Quality health care important. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Thanks for your response. Obviously, anybody considering relocating to a foreign country should give it a try for 3 to 6 mths. before considering a long term commitment. Of course, when you're considering countries whose citizens are considered pretty reserved, such as Denmark and Germany, it may take longer than six months just to "break the ice"! BTW, I do have a pension and SS, which provides a monthly income of about $3600 (US) as well as some $$ stashed in an IRA. (Still very far from being a "one-percenter".
Thanks again, Jeffrey
as an american ex-pat, I feel your pain. If you were thinking of Denmark, the weather is good, but your budget will keep you from Copenhagen. Once out in the sticks, you'll find people are fairly conservative. Religion isn't a big issue with the Danes, as long as you subscribe to theirs.
Apologies for this long text, a key part would be after the dash below, if you don't have time.
I didn't expect life to be easy here, but this is starting to get really ugly.
Back in August we came to Copenhagen to study and were desperate to find a place to live (as everyone else). After living at friends' and hostels for two weeks we finally found a room in two room apartment 10km from the center of CPH. We each signed a tenancy agreement and were really happy to finally settle somewhere.
The room was spacious, fully carpeted. The owner was living there with his boyfriend just before we moved in. It was partially furnished, they just took their double bed and left a sofa.
Shortly I went to kommune to register my new address, but they said it's impossible because I didn't have residence permit, and even if I did, there are already many people registered there and landlord should come over to explain. Before leaving I was asked what size the apartment is and the woman at the desk suspiciously looked at the papers. So landlord went there, and told us later the problem will be solved in a month. So I thought by the time my permit arrives, I could register, no rush.
When in the Borgerservice, I ask how I could receive my mail with the permit, they tell me to write c/o in the form with a person who's on the post box (landlord). They didn't tell this to my girlfriend before, and when I asked how she could receive the mail, they say 'just put your name on the mailbox and it should be fine'. So we do and wait for her permits.
Several days later I come back late from a conference. Gf is almost crying, it appears landlord's boyfriend had come over and told her we have to move out within a month because someone from some office noticed 5 names (3 + 2 ours) on the postbox and contacted landlords about having too many people registered on the apartment. It appears even without us there were more people registered than allowed.
I have a short trip back home for a couple of days after that. After I come back, my gf is crying. Landlord's boyfriend called, told her we have to move out asap, also threatened her 'we can do this the easy way or the hard way'.
We find a temporary place in few days, get the deposit back, and move out as fast as we can from these people.
Couple of weeks later my residence permit arrives at that place and landlord invites me over. I come over. The carpet is gone, and there are two boards on two places of the floor. Below those boards were two big cracks in wooden floor about 1.5 meter apart. I immediately thought "so that's what the squeaking and swinging was about in that place". We noticed it after we moved in, but just wrote it off since we thought it's just an old floor under the carpet and they should've known this from before. But guess who he is blaming for it? I deny it, but he claims I'm lying and that it hasn't been there before we moved in, and "it's my apartment, I know how it was before". I don't have time, tell him to send me an email of what the handyman tells him and leave crushed.
Few weeks pass and I get an email with an estimation of 5000+DKK for changing of 3 broken wooden boards. I write him back with a detailed explanation why it couldn't had been us, how we didn't move or buy any furniture, how we didn't even have any guests or parties in that month, nor we did anything else that could possibly break it down. And also that I'm not willing to blindly pay anything before I consult with my lawyer.
Advice? Next step?
I think you should slow down and not react quickly. Don't be frightened into making a quick decision. You have your deposit back, and it sounds like the Landlord was renting to you illegally. Danish tenant law is pretty favorable to you, so the burden is on the landlord to find fault with you. The time for the landlord to complain was before he gave you back your deposit.
It would be ideal if you had photos of the apartment from your move out.
But again, returning the deposit is usually a sign that the condition of the apartment is acceptable.
A wild back, I thought about moving to Copen Hagan also bought while doing my research I came across many stories similar to yours. It seems Danish landlords are notorious for this type of thing and the only advice I can give is probably too late for you. When ever you plan on moving in to a Danish apartment, carefully inspect the apartment and make sure the lease mentions any problems before you sign the lease. If you don't do this, you very well may be on the hook for these so-called damages. I honestly think this is all part of just the general anti-Farner atmosphere in Denmark because I doubt this happens to natives nearly as much to foreigners!
replied to the thread Apartment hunting
on the Denmark forum:
Hi - I'd like to move over in January to Copenhagen, and apartment hunting is seeming to be impossible! If anyone has a spare room they know of, no matter how small, temporary (1-2 months) or long term - please let me know as I really need to find somewhere!
Also if anyone has any tips on searching - good websites (in English) or where to stay while homeless and searching, let me know!
I have had very good luck with AirBNB, and don't be afraid to move a little out of the city. Gentofte is really nice.
replied to the thread Mortgage in DK
on the Denmark forum:
I'm looking at buying a place in Copenhagen, I just would like someone to advise regarding mortgages.
If I took out a mortgage, do they have rules regarding repayments if I later move abroad? I am planning to stay here, with the flat as my prime residence, but I'd like to know what happens if for example my work situation changes (i.e. will I have to repay the entire loan).
Contact a lawyer, but I am pretty sure the rules are that if you cease to be a resident, you are required to sell the house. They have these laws to prevent wealthy Germans from buying up homes for vacation properties.