About “Residence Requirement” (Bopælspligt) in Denmark

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A house intended for year-round residence may be subject to a residence requirement. The duty means that the owner of the home is obliged to ensure that the home is constantly occupied – either by living there himself or through rental.

On agricultural properties in Denmark there is a residence requirement. A buyer of an agricultural property must meet the residence requirement for at least 10 years, either by the buyer himself living there or by another person having a permanent residence on the property. Lifting the residency requirement on an agricultural property requires zonal change. In addition, the concept exists in the case of certain official residences. Of other countries in Europe, only Norway has similar legislation. Here, in addition to official residences, only agricultural properties are legislated for. There, the residence requirement is disputed, including alleging that it is contrary to human rights and that it does not work as intended.

In many peripheral areas, the residence requirement leads to houses being empty and falling into obsession, which is why many municipalities would like to lift the residence requirement.

Owning a property without a residence requirement can be advantageous for expat Danes. They can then avoid becoming taxable if they stay within certain rules on the length of their stay in Denmark.

In 2002, Minister of Finance Thor Pedersen was the subject of a case concerning the residence requirement in connection with his country estate Graudebjerggaard in Nakke near Rørvig. The housing case led the government in 2003 to want to change the law on residency requirements for members of parliament, but not for other citizens who had jobs in two cities far apart. For several years, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt ignored the rules on the residence requirement for her apartment in Copenhagen while she actually lived in Belgium.


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To be able to purchase property in Denmark you are required to have either a permanent residence in Denmark or have lived in Denmark for a consecutive period of five years. The permission is obtained from the Danish Ministry of Justice.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you must apply to the Ministry of Justice for permission to buy real estate in Denmark. When the Ministry of Justice has received all the information necessary to consider an application, the expected processing time is usually about 4 weeks.

Buying property in Denmark (PDF)

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These laws could be at least a little bit helpful, in other White countries! And should be enforced even more strict!

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