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Rights as a tenant in Finland: A Guide for Facing Rental Issues

Discover your rights as a tenant in Finland with our comprehensive guide. Learn about lease agreements, privacy, fair treatment, and what to do if you face rental issues.

Renting an apartment in a new country can be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with local laws and regulations. In Finland, the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords are governed by the Act on Residential Leases (asuinhuoneiston vuokrauksesta annettu laki). This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of your rights as tenant in Finland and offer guidance on what to do if you encounter problems in your rental relationship.

Understanding Your Rights as a Tenant

Right to a Written Lease Agreement

It is crucial to have a written lease agreement that clearly outlines the terms and conditions of the rental. This document should include the rent amount, payment terms, duration of the lease, and any other specific conditions agreed upon by the tenant and the landlord.

Right to Privacy

As a tenant, you have the right to privacy in your home. The landlord can only enter the apartment with your permission, except in cases of emergency. Regular inspections or maintenance should be scheduled in advance, and you must be informed beforehand.

We have extensive experience on dealing with rental issues.

Right to a Safe and Habitable Living Environment

The landlord is responsible for ensuring that the apartment is in good condition and meets health and safety standards. Any significant repairs or maintenance issues should be addressed promptly. If the landlord fails to do so, you may have the right to a rent reduction or even terminate the lease.

Right to Fair Treatment

Discrimination based on race, nationality, religion, or any other personal characteristic is illegal in Finland. You are entitled to fair treatment and respect from your landlord, neighbors, and fellow tenants.

Right to Receive Essential Information

You are entitled to receive all necessary information related to your tenancy, including contact information for the landlord, details about rent payments, and any house rules that apply to your residence.

Person checking the essential information

Dealing with Common Rental Issues

Despite the protections offered by Finnish law, rental disputes can still arise. Here are some common issues and steps you can take to resolve them:

Rent Increases

The landlord does not have the right to increase rent one-sidedly. Grounds for rent increases must be stipulated in the lease agreement. Typical clauses for this are an index-linked increase, a percentage-based increase, or an increase in a euro amount. The adjustment clause is invalid if it does not contain the grounds for the increase. If the landlord wishes to increase the rent, they must provide written notice in advance.

It is typically deemed unjust if the rent increases more than 15 % a year, however, it may be justified if certain conditions are met. Whether the raise is reasonable or not is decided on a case-by-case basis. For a comprehensive answer on the problem you are facing, you can always contact our expert lawyer to provide you with an answer.

If the lease contract does not have a clause on rent raises, the tenant and the landlord can agree upon it. It may give the landlord a right to terminate the contract if the parties cannot come to an agreement and the raise would be justifiable. Demanding unreasonable raise with the goal being terminating the contract is illegal and gives the tenant a right to take the matter in district court to seek compensation.

Unlawful Termination of Lease

The landlord cannot terminate your lease without a valid reason. Valid reasons may include non-payment of rent, significant damage to the property, or violating the terms of the lease.

If you receive a termination notice, ensure it is in writing and states the specific reason. The notice period is six months when the landlord terminates the contract. Termination of contract by tenant has notice period of one month. If you believe the termination is unjust, you can seek legal advice and challenge it.

Deposit Disputes

At the beginning of your tenancy, you may be required to pay a security deposit. This deposit should be returned to you at the end of the lease, provided there are no damages or unpaid rent. If the landlord refuses to return your deposit without justification, you can seek mediation or legal assistance to resolve the dispute.

Maintenance and Repairs

If your apartment requires repairs that the landlord is responsible for, inform them in writing as soon as possible. If the landlord does not address the issue in a reasonable time frame, you may have the right to arrange for the repairs yourself and deduct the cost from your rent, but it is advisable to seek legal advice before taking this step.

Seeking Legal Assistance

If you encounter any issues with your tenancy that you cannot resolve on your own, it is important to seek legal assistance. An experienced attorney can provide you with advice and represent your interests in disputes with your landlord. Our law firm has extensive experience in tenant rights, and we are ready to help you navigate the complexities of Finnish rental law.

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Contact Us

Don’t let rental issues disrupt your life in Finland. If you are facing challenges with your tenancy or simply need advice on your rights as a tenant, contact our law firm today. Our dedicated team is here to provide you with the support and legal expertise you need to ensure your rights are protected.

We are committed to helping you secure a safe and fair living environment in Finland.

For further information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us.

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