Renting apartments in Finland is considered low risk and stable investment. The landlord has many obligations and rights in conformity with the law and based on good renting policies and practices. A longterm tenant helps minimize the overall expenses of the landlord.
The landlords can decide if they want to rent the apartment themselves or hire an agency to find them a tenant. Suomen Vuokranantajat (the Finnish landlord association) has published an article in 2018 about Fair Rental Practices.
Two roles of renting the apartment
Owning an apartment to rent
National Land Survey of Finland (MLL Maanmittauslaitos) states that a foreigner can freely acquire a property or an apartment in Finland. A foreigner may also acquire ownership of the property as inheritance, gift or exchange. Acquisition of the properties by rent or purchase is in accordance with the Finnish law.
Subleasing a rented apartment
The main tenant can sublease half of the apartment, but the main tenant is responsible for the overall condition and payments of the rented apartment.
Roles, rights, and responsibilities of the landlord
The landlord and the tenant agree on the terms of their rental agreement with respect to the legislation about certain rights and responsibilities which both parties cannot change.
The landlord is held responsible for making sure that the tenant has a safe place to live in and the rented premises comply with the legislation – a dwelling or a living space that's liveable all year round. Residential leasing should cover the landlord's expenses, remain profitable on a long-term basis, and can produce a return of invested capital.
Both parties commit to contributing to what's beneficial for the environment by understanding their responsibilities when using the residential common facilities and garden areas.
The Rental Advertisement, or when the apartment is offered, must clearly indicate the features of the apartment, the key terms of the residential renting agreement, and special terms and other responsibilities of the tenant such as smoking or animal ban, maintenance, separate reimbursement, and the nature of the contractual agreement. It is important to inform the tenant of any renovation that will occur at the time of tenancy as soon as possible. The condition of the apartment and accuracy of the material must match the advertisement. The contact information for both parties remains up to date throughout the duration of the lease.
Principally, the landlord is obligated to notify the tenant who has signed the lease contract if they plan to sell the apartment or visit the apartment for sales purposes. Termination of the agreement must verify that the counterpart has received the notification.
There are free leasing agreement formats available online, but it is good to choose the templates that comply with the regulations and policies in Finland. The lease agreement should be executed in written format in order to protect the landlord and the tenant in cases of dispute. It is advisable that both parties familiarize themselves and clarifiy the issues that concern them before signing the lease agreement. A condition inspection form and other necessary documents should be attached in the lease agreement, which is in compliance with the lease agreement and with the Act on Residential Leases (481/1995).
The landlord must inform the tenant one month prior before the rent increases, unless it is already agreed upon in the lease agreement. The law states that increasing the rent and compensation base on use is applicable when the provisions and date have been included in the agreement. Rent increases must be reasonable and may not exceed over 15% a year, except in renovated premises where the value of the rental apartment has also increased. There are some exceptions, for example, ARA Rental apartments, which is a governmental housing agency.
Sustenance and maintenance
The apartment should be vacant and cleaned before presenting the apartment to the tenant. The landlords are responsible for the renovations and removal of defects. Smaller repairs can be notified within 14 days while extensive repairs at least six months before the work begins. The notice must include information of the contact person, starting date, the estimate time of the renovation, and the possibility of rent discount. The landlords must make sure that the repairs do not cause the tenant any unnecessary disturbance.
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Read this to know more about renting an apartment in Finland.