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Renting an apartment in Finland

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

There are a couple of ways to get a rental apartment in Finland. You can acquire it from private individuals, rental homes provided by the cities and municipalities, rental companies, and associations such as pension foundations. However, the activity of rental companies is guided by the Act on the Transfer of Real Estate and Rental Apartments.

What is a dwelling or a living space?

According to the Ministry of Environment and other housing laws in Finland, the definition of an apartment is a whole house, a detached house, or part of a building. The living space is an apartment that consists of a kitchen or kitchenette. It can be a single or multiple-room apartment for year-round living with its immediate entrance. The apartment must have facilities for rest, leisure, dining and cooking, hygiene, and the necessary maintenance and storage of housing. The purpose of the premises is also defined by law, meaning that the landlord cannot rent any room as a living space if it was legally denoted as a business space. In addition, the landlord cannot rent a cottage or an office space as a continuous living space.

The living space (asuintila) must at least be 7m2, and the room does not include an area lower than 1.6 meters. The living space height must be at least 2.5 meters, and the minimum height of the house is 2.4 meters. The window of the living space must be 1/10 of the room space. There might be rooms in an apartment, such as attics or workrooms, that are smaller in height and width, but they are not considered living spaces.

The rented apartment

Typically, the rented apartment has a refrigerator with a small freezer or a separate refrigerator and a freezer. There will also be a stove with an oven. However, a dishwasher and a washing machine are not part of the equipment of the rented apartment. The tenant can acquire these items for themselves.

There will be light in the kitchen and bathroom, but there are no roof lights. The floors are usually parquet, laminate, or vinyl-made materials for easy up-keeping. Usually, the color of the walls is white, and the walls should not be painted or otherwise renovated without the permission of the landlord.

There are lights in the kitchen and bathroom, but the tenants are responsible for changing the apartment’s bulbs. Tenants are responsible for cleaning appliances such as fridges and ovens, cooker hoods, and air vents.

The apartment building or a row house complex might have joint spaces for washing clothes (pyykkitupa). The laundry room usually has a professional washing machine, a room where you can dry textiles and clothes. Other joint places might have a clubroom for family parties and a sauna.

Rent agreement

It is recommended to make a written or electronic agreement; therefore, both parties need written consent. The duration of the contract must also be agreed upon.

Roles, rights, and responsibilities


The tenant is the person renting the apartment. They are responsible for securing the rent deposit, paying the rent on time, maintaining the apartment in good condition, and following the apartment building rules.

It is the responsibility of the tenant to inform the landlord immediately if any damage or change occurs. The tenant is liable for any compensation if anything happens to the apartment, which is why it’s critical to have home insurance. Finally, the tenant is responsible for cleaning and leaving the apartment in good condition at the end of the lease.


The primary tenant can sublease half of the apartment as long as the primary tenant lives in the apartment. The sublease agreement must not exceed the amount of the whole rent. The sublease agreement can be made between them if the sublease does not cause significant damage or disruption to the original landlord. The primary tenant is responsible for the apartment’s rent; if the prior tenant leaves, the sublease tenant will also lose the apartment.

The landlord

The landlord is the person who owns and rents the apartment to the tenant, and they can acquire an agency to find them a tenant.

The broker or agency

The agency firm executes its customer’s services when they have an explicit mandate agreement with the landlord. The broker does not have the right to charge the fee solely based on the person’s willingness to rent the dwelling, nor can they act as a party to the tenancy agreement unless authorized. The agency is therefore only responsible, in principle, for mediation within the scope of its mandate, but not for errors occurring during the lease.

Originally written:25.2020

Updated: 25.7.2022



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