Renting a house or apartment in Finland is straightforward. You can use the services of many real estate agents or join facebook groups. Contracts are either fixed-term or permanent contracts.
Landlords are entitled to ask for a maximum of three months’ rent from their tenants as a security deposit. This will protect the landlords from the possibility of unpaid rent or damage to their property incurred by the tenant.
The deposit will be fully refunded to the tenant upon moving out of the accommodation, as long as they have fulfilled their side of the tenancy agreement and the flat is in the same condition as when they moved in.
The amount of rent you pay is subject to negotiation between you and your potential landlord. The agreed amount must be in line with the current market rate in the area. If the Finnish courts deem this not to be the case, they are within their rights to alter your agreed rate accordingly.
The final agreement regarding how much rent you are going to pay will then be put into writing in the tenancy agreement, which will also outline any adjustment clauses that may be made.
Rent in Helsinki or other large cities such as Tampere or Oulu is higher than in rural areas. The countryside is cheaper and there is often plenty of availability, but you will need a car to get around.
Leaving the flat
If you signed a fixed-term contract you cannot legally terminate the contract before the end-date, but you can try to negotiate with your landlord and explain your situation. Usually, people are happy to help you in case of unexpected situations.
If you have a permanent contract then your notice period is usually one month. From the landlord’s side, the notice period is significantly longer, usually up to 6 months.