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Using and maintaining a residence

A finnish flat

Keittiön kaapisto

Finnish rental flats do not normally include furniture, carpets or curtains. They, as well as light fittings, need to be purchased by the tenant himself.

The toilet, bathroom and kitchen have fitments as well as some lights. The flats are equipped with closets or other storage space.

No smoking is allowed indoors. In many homes, smoking on the balcony is also forbidden.

Safety and emergency situations

The emergency number is 112.

Call the number in case of emergency, i.e. when your own or someone else’s life, health, property or environment is in danger, e.g. in case of fire. The call is free of charge. No area code is required.

The law requires that all accommodation has a functioning fire alarm. If there is no fire alarm in your flat, you yourself must get one.

Every month, check that your fire alarm is functioning.

Replace smoke alarm batteries if flat.

Buy a fire blanket for your home, whereby you can extinguish small fires. Hang up the fire blanket e.g. on the kitchen wall.

The maintenance company must always be immediately informed of any leakage or moisture damage.

The tenant’s rights and responsibilities

You have the right to domestic peace and comfortable housing. You have the right to have an impact on matters within your home building.

A tenant must comply with the rules and regulations of the house. That way, all occupants have a comfortable environment and good neighbourliness is maintained. The tenant is also responsible for having his/her visitors comply with the rules of the house.

The tenant must see to maintaining the flat in good condition.

Should the tenant intentionally break something, he/she must pay for its repairs him/herself.

If damage is caused to the structure of the building, the landlord must be immediately notified.

It is advisable for you to take out home insurance with an insurance company, to provide security for your flat and for your belongings. By means of home insurance, it is possible to obtain reclamation for broken goods. The landlord may require that you take out home insurance.

If you do not pay the rent, the landlord may cancel the tenancy agreement. This may also occur, if you cause disturbance or damage. You must, in that case, move out from the apartment.

If an occupant does not look after his/her apartment or disturbs others, he/she will first receive a warning. If the tenant does not pay his/her rent, the landlord has no obligation to issue a warning before an eviction. Eviction means the requirement to move out immediately.

Housing allowance

If the family has a low income, the State may pay for a part of the rent in the form of a housing allowance. The allowance may be applied for from Kela (The National Social Insurance Institution). Kela’s contact information can be found on the back page of this guide. Ask for help as required.

Keys

Avainnippu

Take good care of your keys. Do not keep the key in the door.

If you are locked out of your house without a key you may call the maintenance company and a representative will come and open the door. A charge is applied for the opening service. The door shall only be opened to the occupant of the flat.

Advise your landlord if any house keys are lost. In most cases, the tenant will need to pay for the new lock as well as for changing the keys. Changing the lock costs hundreds of euros.

Electricity and water

Vesihana ja lasi

You must enter into an electricity contract together with the electricity company. The contact information for the electricity company of Tampere can be found on the back page of this guide.

The water taps provide cold and warm water to the homes. The water is clean and potable.

If no warm water comes out of the tap, contact the maintenance company.

The maintenance company must be notified of any leakages and problems with drains.

Electricity or water should not be wasted.

When you reduce consumption of electricity, your electricity bill will be lower.

The water charge may be separate or included in the rent. Either way, wastage of water will increase residential costs.

The fuses must be replaced by the occupant. If a fuse blows, you must buy a new one. If a power point is damaged, advise the maintenance company. A power point must not be overhauled by the occupant.

Ventilation and heating

In Finnish houses the ventilation occurs by means of valves and tubes. The valves must be kept clean. Ventilation must not be obstructed.

The room temperature is usually between 20°C and 22°C.

Ilmanvaihtokanava

The windows are equipped with seals that prevent the cold air from getting in. If the windows steam up, or are affected by frost or ice, contact the maintenance company.

The windows have small ventilation windows. Ventilate the indoor air quickly, especially in winter. Do not leave the windows open, when you leave the flat.

Keeping the windows open in cold weather will be expensive for you and the housing company.

Tuuletusikkuna

The heat comes into the rooms through radiators. The temperature of the radiators is adjustable by the thermostat provided on the radiator. If the radiator does not get warm, notify the maintenance company.

In summer the radiators are not heated.

The radiators may not be completely covered.

A sauna or a stove is not meant for heating the flat.

Lämpöpatteri

Cleaning

Finnish houses are not equipped to deal with copious amounts of water, so do not pour water on the floor.

No water must be sprayed on the walls or windows.

Detergents must be selected according to the surface and material.

The floors shall be washed with a damp cloth or a mop.

The ceiling may be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner or by brushing it lightly.

Wallpapered walls may not be washed. They may be vacuum cleaned, or lightly brushed. Painted walls may be wiped with a damp cloth.

Stains may be removed with an all-purpose detergent. Thereafter, the detergent shall be wiped off with a damp cloth.

Vinyl floorings / lino may be vacuum cleaned, and wiped with a damp cloth.

If a light in your house breaks, you must buy a new one, to replace it.

Kitchen

Keittiö

In the kitchen there is a mains connection, a stove and a fridge. Any defects should be brought to the attention of the property manager or the maintenance company immediately.

In Finnish kitchens there are cupboards and drawers for storing kitchen appliances. You will also find a dish draining closet and some sort of cutting board. The kitchen worktops may be used for preparing food and for storing objects. Do not place hot dishes directly on the worktops.

Astiakaappi

A dishwasher may only be installed by a qualified mechanic who must be ordered for the job. Keep the tap closed when you do not use the dishwasher. If you leave the tap open and the water tap comes off this may cause water damage.

A ventilator is located above the stove. You should clean the filter of the ventilator at two-month intervals.

Liesituuletin

Keep the fridge clean.

Clean the oven, stove and the hotplates, so that dirt will not stick.

The oven should be pulled out once a year and the back of the oven cleaned.

Toilet and bathroom

In the toilet there is a mains connection, a toilet with seat, and an adjacent hand shower. The toilet and bathroom are often fitted in the same space.

Only toilet paper may be disposed in the toilet bowl. Do not throw sanitary towels, diapers, cotton, hair, litter, food or other waste into it.

If the drain of the toilet seat becomes obstructed, notify the maintenance company immediately.

Also let the maintenance company know if the tap or the toilet bowl leaks.

WC

Clean the floor drain once a month.

The seal of the washbasin shall be cleaned by the occupant, as necessary.

Turn off the washing machine when you leave the house.

Keep the connected water tap closed when you are not using the washing machine. The water hose may detach and cause water damage if the tap is left open.

Viemäri

If you have a sauna in your apartment, keep it clean. Warming the sauna uses a lot of electricity. You must not pour anything other than water on the heated stones. Do not use the sauna for drying laundry or keeping it for storage.

Sauan ja kylpyhuone

Balcony

The balcony must be kept clean. In winter, the balcony must be cleared of snow.

The drainage channels located on the balcony must be kept clean.

You may dry your laundry on the balcony. Keep the laundry on a rack within the balcony.

Dusting and airing of carpets and other textiles must be done in the yard.

Common areas: stairwells, yards and lifts

The stairwells, hallways and the yard are common areas. No noise or smoking is allowed in these common areas. Goods may only be stored in the spaces reserved for them. Keeping objects out in the corridors constitutes a fire safety risk. Prams may not be kept on the stairwell.

Keep the stairwell clean.

Keep the door of your flat closed. Ventilation of the stairwell is not allowed.

Porrashuone

Children must not play in the lift, stairwell or storage area, but at home or in the yard.

There may be furniture, plants, as well as play areas for children in the yard. Damage to objects or the recreational areas will not be tolerated. Notify the property manager if any furniture, trees, bushes and flowers situated in the yard are damaged.

Piha

Utility rooms

There is usually a common storage area for bikes and prams.

In addition, there may be a small storeroom for each flat. You may buy a lock for the door of your storeroom, to safeguard your belongings.

Keep bicycles locked in the bicycle rack or the bicycle garage.

Laundry

Pesutupa

The laundry room must be reserved for your turn before you do your washing. After using the laundry or drying room you must always leave them clean.

You should bring your own detergents and softeners.

The drying room is intended only for drying laundry. Sometimes a turn must also be reserved for the drying room.

Kuivaushuone

Sauna

The occupants take their own turns in the sauna facilities of the housing company. You can reserve your own weekly turn from the property manager.

Only take a sauna when it is your turn and keep the dressing room and other spaces tidy. Dry the floor of the washroom before leaving.

Tv and telecommunications

The housing company has a general television antenna, or it belongs to the cable network. The aerial lead shall be connected to your personal plug, as well as to the TV or digibox.

If you want to have an additional or a parabolic antenna on the terrace, ask for the property manager’s authorization. An authorization is not always available.

There are many types of Internet connections. Usually the Finnish residential buildings have a quick Internet connection already in place. You must, however, take up a contract with the operator. You may ask your landlord for a recommendation.

In the flats or in the common areas of the housing company there may sometimes be pests or insects that cause a nuisance. The pests may also cause health issues, damage textiles in the flat or even in the structure of the building of the housing company. Sometimes, extermination of pests requires that the entire building must be treated with pesticide.

Waste and recycling

Trash bags may not be stored on the terrace or staircase, even temporarily.

Household waste and other refuse must be taken to the sorting containers located in the yard. The waste must be sorted by content to the different bins. Individual bins for paper, cardboard and compostable waste are provided in the yard of the housing company. There may also be individual sorting containers for plastic, glass and metal.

Do not put food oil or leftovers down the drain, as they will choke it.

The “biowaste" is for decomposable articles, such as coffee and tea grounds, paper towels, fruit peels, etc.

Wastepaper is for old newspapers and magazines, advertisement flyers and other paper waste.

For disposal in cardboard bins are sorted milk and juice cartons, cardboard, paper bags and cardboard packaging.

Metal waste shall take all household metal objects and packages. Glass objects may be placed in a glass recycling bin. Empty bottles can be taken back to the shops. You may get some money for their return.

Place food oil in a closed container for miscellaneous waste, and treat solid grease as organic waste. Place rotting food with organic waste.

Do not leave furniture or electrical appliances in the yard or in the waste container area. These items must be taken for recycling or to a landfill.

Place the waste already at home into different bins and take them to the appropriate containers.

Batteries, fluorescent lights and chemicals are hazardous waste and must be taken to proper collection points or a recycling centre.

Old electrical devices or electrical waste shall be taken to the recycling centre, home electronics stores or to a rubbish station.

Repairs

Renovation work or repairs to the flat are not allowed without the prior permission of the landlord. The upkeep of rental flats is the responsibility of the tenant, whereas the maintenance company or property manager is responsible for minor repair jobs.

If you wish to repaint or otherwise decorate the house, ask for the authorization of the property manager first. A rental flat may only be repaired with the permission of the landlord.

Parking

Some dwellings provide a parking place or it may be rented separately. An agreement is drawn up in writing. The rent for the parking place is paid in conjunction with the rent of the flat.

Car parking is only allowed in places reserved for the purpose. You may receive a fine for a parking violation.

In very cold weather the car may be plugged into an electric socket at the parking spot. The electric socket must be kept locked.

Lämpötolppa

Travel and guests

If you are travelling abroad for more than two months, please advise the property manager. The rent must also be paid during the period of your trip.

If you have guests at your place, they must comply with the same rules and regulations as the others. If your guest stays for longer than two weeks, you must notify the property manager.

Pests