Accommodation in Helsinki

Most expats choose to rent rather than buy accommodation in Finland. For those whose employer does not assist them in finding a place to live, the services of an estate agent can be helpful, especially as Helsinki’s rental housing market is very competitive.

Types of accommodation in Helsinki

Accommodation in Helsinki usually comes in the form of apartments. Freestanding houses are hard to find in the city, and those who want a larger family home with a garden will need to tackle a long commute to work each day. 

Expats should be able to find a range of furnished and unfurnished accommodation in the city. Furnished accommodation is generally more costly, but usually contains everything a new arrival will need to feel comfortable.

Finding accommodation in Helsinki

A good place to begin searching for a home is using established online property portals. The classifieds sections in local newspapers are also good sources of information. While estate agents in Helsinki will quickly be able to find a property that meets an individual’s needs, their fees are high in comparison to international standards.

Occupancy rates for apartments in Helsinki are high and nice rental properties are snapped up quickly. Speaking to friends and colleagues can be useful as many apartments are rented out through word of mouth before being advertised in newspapers or through estate agencies. 

Renting accommodation in Helsinki 

Once expats find a suitable property in Helsinki, they need to act fast to secure it. However, it’s important to fully understand what is included in the rental agreement. New arrivals often find renting in Finland to be quite different from their home country. For example, basic items such as light fittings, carpets and curtains aren’t necessarily included in all rental properties but amenities such as a fridge and washing machine might be.

Most leases will be for a year and tenants are expected to put down at least one month’s rent as a security deposit. The cost of any damages to the property will be deducted from this when the contract is terminated. Water is usually included in monthly rental costs, but tenants will usually be expected to pay for electricity, a phone line and internet.

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