Good to Know about Housing
It is good to be aware of certain practices and principles concerning housing in Finland.
Notification of arrival
The notification of arrival must be submitted to the building maintenance company when you move into or out of the apartment. Without the arrival notification, you will not be entered into the register of residents and your name will not be placed on your letter box and the list of residents' names at the entrance to your building.
Please note that notification of arrival does not replace the statutory notification of move, which you have to take care of separately. Please visit the maintenance company´s website and look for a "muuttoilmoitus".
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/ maintenance company in the general notice board of the building and/or stickers on the main doors.
Some of the responsibilities of the maintenance company / maintenance man:
- clears the snow from the yards in the winter
- minor repairs in the apartment / building
- opens your door if you forget your key (usually a fee is charged)
- takes care of the reservations of the common saunas and parking space.
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.
In most estates silence is required at night-time, usually 22.00-06.00 (10 p.m – 6 a.m) on weekdays and 23.00 -08.00 (11 p.m – 8 a.m) on weekends. Please also avoid showering/bathing and running any other noisy electronic appliances at night.
Residents are not allowed to keep any belongings such as bikes or prams in the 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 communal facilities such as sauna, laundry room, storage space etc. Pre-booking is required for sauna and communal laundry. The rule of the thumb is that everybody cleans and leaves the shared premises after use.
Storage space (apart from bike storage) belonging to each apartment is indicated by the apartment number on the storage cubicle.
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 (such as continuous barking of your dog).
Every household must be equipped with a smoke alarm(s). By Finnish law, there must be a fire alarm for every 60 square meter of living space. Residents of the apartment are responsible for replacing the batteries of the fire alarms and checking that the fire alarm works.
- Further information on fire alarms, their acquisition and placement (tukes.fi)
- Safety at home (infopankki.fi)
Rubbish must be taken out of the apartment into rubbish containers in the yard / rubbish shed. Sort your waste and put them into appropriate containers. 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.
Parking is only allowed in parking spaces reserved for the purpose. Parking on yard areas is prohibited, except for short-term loading and unloading. You can reserve a parking space by contacting the building maintenance company. Guest parking is permitted only in the areas designated for guest parking (vieraspysäköinti)
Usually all parking spaces are numbered and equipped with an electric plug for pre-heating the engine during the winter. For safety reason, heating post's cover should always be locked and electric cables should always be unplugged from the heating post after use.
Termination of Tenancy Agreement
Tenancy agreements are usually in force either until further notice or for a fixed period. If the agreement has been made until further notice, termination of the tenancy agreement must be done in writing one calendar month before moving out. The period of notice is counted from the last day of the month when the notice was given.