Apartment seeker’s check list


  • Check the distances. A good location for your home is defined by your life. City centres are attractive places to live in, but they are, without exception, more expensive and not necessarily more convenient. If there are good connections to your place of study, work and your hobbies, for example, and you find the area enjoyable, the location is good.
  • You can make a good impression at a showing with neat, ordinary clothes, appropriate behaviour and by clearly expressing your interest. A regular income and good credit status are important to a landlord. You should always bring them up.
  • You can also use a reference. Landlords are not allowed to ask applicants for references, but if you bring them up yourself, it can make getting an apartment easier. Especially when you are young and have low income, a reference can prove useful. The referee can be a former landlord or employer.
  • In addition to the rent level, clarify matters such as the length of lease, contractual penalties and any forthcoming renovations. You are entitled to a reduction in rent during a pipe renovation, but it can be inconvenient to live in the apartment during the renovation.
  • If you require accessible housing, you should check the information about lifts and the dimensions of passages beforehand. If the apartment needs to be modified to facilitate using a wheelchair, for example, find out how this is carried out in practice.
  • If you have a pet, make sure that having a dog, a cat or other animals in the apartment is allowed. The apartment must also be spacious enough for you and your pet(s).
  • Many rental apartments do not allow indoor smoking, and smoking on the balcony is often restricted as well. If you smoke, do it in a suitable place and be considerate towards your neighbours. Choose a place for smoking that is not under a neighbour’s window and pick up the butts.

Common  abbreviations used in Finnish rental ads

  • k = kitchen
  • kk = kitchenette
  • 1 h = no separate bedroom
  • 2 h = 1 bedroom + 1 separate room
  • 3 h = 2 bedrooms + 1 room
  • tpk = living room / kitchen (open-plan kitchen, no separate bedroom)

Check more housing terms at the NAL Housing Glossary.

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