Rental Process and Lease Agreements in Finland: Essential Insights

Published on Aug 20 2023

The subsequent sections provide comprehensive details about the regulations and legal aspects associated with renting accommodations in Finland. If you're actively seeking a rental property, you can refer to the sections on Finding Suitable Housing or Connecting with Real Estate Agents.

Exploring Rental Options

Selecting a rental dwelling in Finland requires a clear understanding of the terms outlined in the lease agreement. Notably, the Finnish rental landscape may vary from other countries.

When renting a property in Finland, it's important to note that the following amenities are generally not provided:

  • Lighting fixtures (excluding bathroom and kitchen lighting)
  • Carpets or carpeting
  • Curtains

On the other hand, you can typically expect to find the following amenities:

  • Refrigerator and freezer
  • Access to a communal sauna, which can be reserved for private use

Rights and Responsibilities of Tenants

Tenants in Finland have specific responsibilities, including timely rent payments, maintaining the rental unit in its standard condition, and adhering to the building's rules. In the event of any damage, tenants are required to promptly inform the landlord and can be held liable for compensation. Any alterations or repairs undertaken by the tenant must receive prior approval from the landlord. Lastly, tenants are responsible for cleaning the apartment at the conclusion of the lease period.

Subleasing Arrangements

Subleasing is allowed in Finland, permitting tenants to sublet their rental units to one or more individuals. However, such secondary leasing necessitates explicit approval from the primary landlord.

Lease Agreements and Their Elements

It's imperative not to make any payments until a legally binding agreement is established through the signing of a written lease document. A comprehensive lease agreement should encompass the following details:

  • Apartment condition: Inspect the apartment before signing, considering photographs for verification.
  • Tenancy duration: Indicate whether the lease term is fixed or non-fixed.
  • Rent amount: Clearly state the rent payment amount.
  • Rent payment date and method: Generally, rents are due on the 2nd of each month, unless otherwise arranged.
  • Additional charges: Finnish agreements often include water fees, and occasionally, even electricity charges.
  • Rent adjustment clauses: These provisions address rent adjustments.
  • Security deposit particulars: If applicable, detail the security deposit requirements.

Terminating the Lease

For fixed-term leases, termination is permissible under special circumstances, while non-fixed term leases can be ended by either the tenant or the landlord with written notice. The notice periods are as follows:

  • Landlord's notice: Six months for leases lasting over a year, and three months for those under a year.
  • Tenant's notice: One month.

Immediate termination is possible in cases such as threats to tenant health or payment arrears.

Security Deposit Guidelines

Landlords commonly request a security deposit from tenants to cover potential unpaid rent or damages. The security deposit usually cannot exceed three months' rent, with one or two months being the standard. Assuming rent is paid punctually and no damages occur, the deposit is fully refundable at the end of the lease.

Managing Disputes

Disagreements often arise when landlords retain parts of the security deposit for alleged damage. To mitigate such disputes:

  • Document any apartment defects at lease initiation and conclusion.
  • Capture dated photographs of apartment surfaces upon signing the lease.
  • Normal wear and tear from regular habitation is not the tenant's responsibility.

Fluctuations in Rent

Rent amounts are stipulated in the lease agreement. Changes during the lease term may occur based on agreed-upon clauses, including indexing, percentage-based adjustments, or specific euro increases. Landlords must provide written notice of such changes and their effective dates.

These insights offer valuable information for those navigating the rental landscape in Finland. Always seek professional advice for precise legal matters.

To explore the intricacies of laws governing residential leasing, refer to the Finnish Act on Residential Leases 1995.