Photographs: Phoenix Home
Text: Aarhus International Community
Aarhus and Eastern Jutland is home to many internationally-minded companies and organisations that all contribute to the internationalisation of this area. International Community will take you by the hand and show you the diverse scene on which internationalisation is built. This month we give the floor to Phoenix Home.
Carina Ringgaard, CEO of Phoenix Home, has close to 16 years of experience with housing and property management. Over the years she has seen an increase in the internationalisation of the Aarhus region, having a significant impact on Phoenix Home. Around 70% of their tenants in private housings are internationals. Also, the majority of their private landlords have moved abroad for a time.
Phoenix Home is a vital part of the relocation process of the major companies in the Aarhus region. It is not only about finding a roof and four walls. Carina emphasises: "At Phoenix Home, we believe that the greatest value of relocation will happen to both the employee, the workplace and the community if the employee and his or her family prosper in their new country. We believe that the home itself should provide a framework for family life and therefore is of the utmost importance for a positive outcome of the relocation and for the individual to realise their potential to the full benefit for him or herself, the company and society. We see it as our job to help with integration on the housing front."
Challenges in renting made easier
The past seven years Carina Ringgaard and her staff have built up vast knowledge on pitfalls and challenges in the process of finding housing for internationals. Many internationals voice frustrations on the difficulties of finding a rental in Denmark as they feel that private landlords are reluctantly renting to people of different ethnicity. Carina Ringgaard acknowledges the challenges, however, the landlords she represents often have a different mindset. "Moving abroad themselves the landlords wish for an international tenant as there is a mutual understanding of their situation and reason for renting out their private home which leads to a respectful usage of the house or apartment form the tenant's side." she says.
However, even professionals like Carina meet challenges. Phoenix Home always works with rental contracts and move-in reports in Danish, as some legal terms cannot be translated directly. The understanding of the single words are just not the same in Danish as in other languages. This can be a bigger issue for international tenants. "We try our best helping the international tenants understand our legal documents, but we encourage to have some help from a co-worker or likewise before signing," Carina says.
"Our speciality is finding the right match between an international tenant and housing on behalf of a landlord who moved abroad. We have succeeded if we match the tenant's housing wishes with a landlord's wishes for a tenant's qualities."- Carina Ringgaard
Carina Ringgaard also has discovered other issues: "Our houses and buildings are different from other cultures. For instance, ventilation is crucial as our buildings are often very dense. Humidity must be reduced by opening windows a few times a day. Also, the hardness of our water can cause problems if the tenant is not told to remove limestone/calcium in the shower or the washer or washing machine." Carina continues: "These are some of the most frequent issues we discover leading to frustrations, discussions and major costs once moving but also issues that we in Phoenix Home are aware of and try to eliminate before we discover the problems."
Phoenix Home supports the high value of internationalisation. As Carina states: "From my point of view, internationalisation has a huge positive impact on the business environment along with the socialisation in the Aarhus region."
About phoenix home www.phoenixhome.dk
Core service: Housing and property management Number of employees: 2 fulltime and three freelancers An estimated 1,200 to 1,400 internationals have found a home with the assistance of Phoenix Home.