10.09.2017

More info on renting an apartment in Finland

Tenancy agreements

A tenancy agreement should always be made in written form. Make sure you understand the contract completely before signing. The ISS personnel will help you with the agreement, if necessary.

When moving in

When moving in, you should check the condition of the apartment together with the landlord. It is recommended to photograph the apartment and especially the visible flaws or worn out structures.

Heating

Most homes in cities and towns have district heating systems (kaukolämpö). Heating expenses are usually included in the rent. However, if you live in a detached house or outside the city, you might have electric heating or oil heating and you should be prepared to pay for them.

Electricity

Electricity is not usually included in the rent and you need to make an electricity contract (sähkösopimus) as soon as possible. You can make a contract by contacting the electricity company of your choice. If you move, remember to terminate or update your electricity contract.

Some electricity companies in Finland:

Water

Water is often included in the rent. In some cases, however, you need to pay an additional monthly water fee either on the basis of water consumption, or a fixed sum depending on the number of people in living in the apartment. No additional water contract needs to be made in any case.

Check your rental agreement to see whether water is included in the rent or whether you have to pay for the water separately within the same invoice or with a separate invoice.

Internet connection

In recently built apartments the Internet access is often included in your rent. However, it is very likely that you need to make your own agreement with one of the Internet service providers to get an Internet connection.

Home insurance

Having home insurance is very common in Finland and the landlords very often require that tenants purchase one on rented property. We also highly recommend that you purchase home insurance. The price of home insurance depends on the size of the apartment, how valuable the movables are and how extensive the insurance cover is. Basic-level home insurance is approximately €45–76/year for an apartment of 28 square metres.

Some insurance companies in Finland:

Maintenance

If you live in a block of flats or a terraced house, a maintenance man (huoltomies)/maintenance company (huoltoyhtiö) usually takes care of the maintenance of the building. You can usually find the contact details of the maintenance man or company in the general notice board of the building and stickers on the main doors.

Some of the responsibilities of the maintenance company/maintenance man:

  • To clear snow from the yards in winter
  • Minor repairs in the apartment/building
  • To open your door if you forget your keys (usually a fee is charged)
  • To register reservations for common saunas and parking spaces.

General rules and regulations

In addition to the Public Order Act, all estates apart from detached houses have some common rules and regulations. Showing consideration to other residents is a guiding principle when sharing facilities with other residents.

Silence

In most buildings silence is required at night, usually from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on weekdays and from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekends. Please also avoid showering or bathing and using any noisy electronic devices at night.

Common areas

Residents are not allowed to keep any belongings such as bikes or prams in corridors or lobbies because they are a potential fire hazard and may block escape routes.

Residents living in block of flats or terraced houses are allowed to use common facilities such as saunas, laundry rooms, storage spaces, etc. Pre-booking is required for sauna and common laundry. Storage space (apart from a bike storage) belonging to each apartment is indicated by apartment numbers on the storage cubicles.

Pets

It is usually allowed to have pets in apartments unless it has been stated otherwise in the rental agreement. Please note, however, that pets are not allowed to cause any disturbance to your neighbours (e.g. continuous barking of your dog).

Smoke alarm

Every household must be equipped with smoke alarms. By the Finnish law, there must be a fire alarm for every 60 square meters of residential space. The residents of an apartment are responsible for replacing the batteries of fire alarms and checking that they work.

Rubbish

Rubbish must be taken out of the apartment into rubbish containers in the yard or rubbish shed. Sort your waste and put it into appropriate container. Usually there are separate containers for mixed waste, biodegradable waste, recyclable paper and recyclable cardboard. Please note that most plastic and glass bottles are recyclable in Finland and can be returned to grocery stores. A return fee will be paid for each bottle.

 

Termination of tenancy agreement

Tenancy agreements are usually in force either until further notice or for a fixed period. If a tenancy agreement has been made until further notice, it must be terminated in writing one calendar month before moving out. The period of notice is counted from the last day of the month the notice was given.

 

More information: