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Renting an Apartment or House in Finland

This is a guide only, and does not constitute legal advice

This page deals mainly with the legalities and regulations regarding renting in Finland. If you're looking for an apartment, see the Finding Housing or Estate Agents pages.

This page refers to rental houses and rental apartments in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Hämeenlinna, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kajaani, Kotka, Kuopio, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Mikkeli, Oulu, Pori, Rauma, Riihimäki, Rovaniemi, Savonlinna, Seinäjoki, Tampere, Turku, Vaasa

General Information

Rental Properties in Finland

When choosing a rental apartment, be sure to understand what is included in the rental agreement. In Finland the situation is rather different to Australia, for example.

In a Finnish rented property, do not expect to find:

Do expect to find:

Tenant's Rights and Responsibilities

The tenant's responsibilities are to pay rent on time, to maintain the apartment in normal condition, and to adhere to the rules of the building. If damage occurs to the apartment the tenant must notify the lessor immediately, and is liable for compensation to the owner of the apartment. Any alterations or repairs performed by the tenant must first be approved by the lessor. Finally, the tenant is responsible for cleaning the apartment at the end of the lease.

Sub-tenancy / Secondary Leasing

Sub-tenancy is allowed; tenants may lease a rental apartment to one or more tenants of their own. Secondary leasing is subject to the primary lessor's express consent.

Lease / Tenancy Agreement

Do not pay any money before a legal agreement is made by signing a written lease agreement.
A lease/tenancy agreement should contain at least:

Termination of Lease
Fixed term lease agreements are binding for both parties for the set period and may only be terminated under special circumstances - see below.
Non-fixed term lease agreements may be terminated by either the tenant or the lessor by giving notice. Notice must be given in writing.

Immediate Termination for either fixed or non-fixed term leases can occur if:

Security Deposit

Lessors usually require a security deposit from the tenant to ensure payment of unpaid rent, or compensation for damage caused by the tenant. A security deposit may not exceed three months' rent. Usually the deposit is one or, more commonly, two months' rent. At the end of the lease relationship, if rent has been paid on time and there has been no damage caused to the apartment, the security deposit is returned in full.

Most disputes occur if the lessor withholds the security deposit, or part of it, because he considers the tenant to have damaged the apartment or otherwise left it in inappropriate condition.
To avoid such disputes:

The tenant is not liable for normal wear and tear from living.

Rent Increases

Rent is shown in the lease agreement between the tenant and lessor. The amount of rent may be changed during the agreement period based on the adjustment clauses included in the lease. These may include for example increases based on indexing, percentage-based increases or increases in euro amounts.

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