Acquisition of secondary dwellings in Denmark

Section 1(1) of the Acquisition of Real Property Act stipulates that persons who are not residents of Denmark and have not either had their residence in this country for a total period of five years previously may only acquire title to real property in Denmark with permission from the Ministry of Jus-tice.

All persons who are covered by section 1(1) of the Acquisition of Real Property Act must irrespective of their nationality obtain permission from the Ministry of Justice to acquire a secondary dwelling in Denmark. Such permission will be granted according to current practice if the applicant has special ties to Denmark.

Examples of aspects that will be considered in the overall assessment of whether permission to the acquisition of a seasonal property may be granted based on the applicant’s ties to Denmark include:

  • Previous stays in Denmark,
  • special family ties to Denmark, and
  • special linguistic or cultural ties to Denmark.

According to the current practice of the Ministry of Justice, in principle the Ministry will only grant permission to the acquisition of one secondary dwelling.

Previous stays in Denmark

According to the current practice of the Ministry of Justice, the main em-phasis in the assessment of ties to Denmark will be on whether the appli-cant has regularly throughout a long period spent a significant part of his/her holidays in Denmark. While 25 holiday visits of one week’s dura-tion over a period of 25 years or more will as a predominant main rule in itself be a reflection of special ties to Denmark, it will only be considered in fully exceptional circumstances that ties of such a nature have developed during holiday visits distributed over a shorter period than ten years, irrespective of any other aspects of ties to Denmark an applicant might try to rely on.

If an applicant has previously been a resident of Denmark for a period of at least six months’ duration, this will furthermore be considered in the as-sessment.

Family ties to Denmark 

The overall consideration of an applicant’s ties to Denmark will moreover involve an assessment of whether the applicant has special family ties to Denmark. For example, applicants may have parents or grandparents in this country, with whom they maintain frequent contact. Some applicants may have a spouse who is a resident of Denmark or has other special ties to Denmark in the sense of the Acquisition of Real Property Act.

Linguistic or cultural ties to Denmark

Another aspect of the overall consideration of ties to Denmark is an as-sessment of whether the applicant has special linguistic or cultural ties to Denmark. This may be the case where, in addition to being familiar with the Danish language, an applicant has special insight into Danish history, cultural life and society and, for example, keeps updated via Danish media, is a member of or attached to Danish associations or cultural institutions abroad or is committed to similar activity.

Attachment to the specific property

If the situation involves extraordinary attachment to the specific property which the applicant applies for permission to acquire, it will be possible to ease the requirement of ties to Denmark. It may be the case if, for instance, the applicant has spent a considerable part of his/her holiday visits at the property in question or the property is or has been owned by the applicant’s family.

Application

Applicants who wish to apply for permission to acquire a secondary dwell-ing may use the application form of the Ministry of Justice. Applicants must be able to provide documentation of previous holiday visits and other ties to Denmark, etc. to a relevant extent, for instance by stating the name and contact details of a Danish reference, who will be able to confirm the information provided, or by submitting documentation that may underpin the information provided such as copies of travel documents or similar ma-terial.

When the Ministry of Justice has received all the information necessary for considering an application for permission to acquire a secondary dwelling, applicants should usually expect a case processing period of about eight to ten weeks.

Order to dispose of a property

If the requirements for the granted permission to acquire real property are no longer satisfied, or if a property is acquired without the necessary per-mission having been obtained, the Ministry of Justice will impose an order on the owner under section 8 of the Acquisition of Real Property Act to dispose of the property within a time limit set by the Ministry of at least six months and not more than one year. It is not possible to extend the time limit beyond one year.

An owner who does not comply with an order to dispose of a property will be punished with a fine as prescribed by section 10(2) of the Acquisition of Real Property Act.