There are two kinds of tenancy agreements:
- tenancy agreements that are valid until further notice
- fixed-term tenancy agreements.
A tenancy agreement that is valid until further notice (toistaiseksi voimassa oleva vuokrasopimus) will only end once either the tenant or the landlord terminates it. If you do not know in advance how long you will stay in the dwelling, this kind of agreement is a good alternative.
A fixed-term tenancy agreement (määräaikainen vuokrasopimus) means that the tenant and the landlord agree upon conclusion of the tenancy agreement when the agreement will end. A fixed-term tenancy agreement will automatically end on the date specified in the agreement without separate notice. If you wish to continue staying in the dwelling after this, you need to make a new tenancy agreement.
A fixed-term tenancy agreement cannot be terminated during its validity period. This applies to both the tenant and the landlord. If you know in advance that you will only need the dwelling for a specific period of time, a fixed-term tenancy agreement is a good alternative.
Payment of rent
Rents are usually paid once a month. The rent must be paid by the latest on the due date. The due date is specified in the tenancy agreement. Pay the rent as a bank transfer to the landlord’s bank account. You cannot pay rent with a credit card.
Rent security deposit
In Finland, almost all tenancy agreements require that you pay a rent security deposit. This means that you pay the landlord in advance a sum of money that equals a few months rent. The rent security deposit usually equals two months' rent. The deposit can be worth three months' rent at the most.
Pay the rent security deposit to the landlord by the date agreed in the tenancy agreement. Usually, you get keys to the dwelling once you have paid the rent security deposit.
Once the tenancy agreement ends, a final inspection is made in the dwelling. The landlord will return the whole rent security deposit to you if
- you have kept the dwelling in good condition and
- you have made all the payments agreed with the landlord.
If, however, you have broken something in the dwelling or failed to pay enough rent, the landlord will not return the whole rent security deposit.
The rent security deposit cannot be used to pay the last months rents.
In addition to rent, you should reserve money for other expenses, too.
The tenant is usually required to pay a water rate. Pay the water rate in connection with the rent, either to the landlord or the housing company. The water rate is often determined according to the number of residents in the dwelling. If the dwelling has a water meter, the amount of water rate depends on how much water you use.
You will usually need to sign an electricity contract with an electricity provider yourself. You can obtain an electricity contract by calling an electricity company and supplying them with your name and new address. You can compare the prices offered by different electricity companies if you wish to find the cheapest one.
If the dwelling has central heating, it is usually included in the rent. If the dwelling has oil or electric heating, it sometimes needs to be paid separately.
Sauna, laundry room and parking space
If you wish to use the housing company's sauna, laundry room or parking space, this is usually subject to a fee. These fees are usually paid directly to the housing company.
Payments in a detached house
If you are a tenant in a detached house, you often have to pay for the heating and waste management, too.
Termination of tenancy agreement
The notice period refers to the period of time in which the agreement remains in force after a notice of termination has been given. The notice period applies to a tenancy agreement that is valid until further notice.
For a tenant, the notice period is always one calendar month. Remember to consider how the notice period is calculated. Usually, the notice period does not begin until the end of the month during which the notice has been given. For example, if you want to move out on 1 December, it is advisable to give notice on 31 October at the latest. Otherwise, you will also need to pay rent for December.
Always make the notice of termination in writing. You must be able to prove that you have given the notice to the landlord.
For a landlord, the length of the notice period depends on how long the tenancy agreement has been in force. If the tenancy agreement has been in effect for less than a year, the notice period is three months. If the tenancy agreement has been in effect for more than a year, the notice period is six months.
A fixed-term tenancy agreement cannot be terminated during its validity period.