The ABCs of housing

Housing glossary


 

Housing terms

A subtenant leases a part of the apartment in which the sublessor or owner of the apartment lives as well.

An ARA apartment is a state-subsidised apartment with a set of criteria for residents, the rent of which is determined with the so-called break-even principle.

The abbreviation As Oy is commonly used to refer to a housing company.

ASP (housing savings reward) is a system which with the state supports young first-time home buyers.

Asumisen rahoitus- ja kehittämiskeskus (ARA, Housing Fund of Finland) funds the building and repairing of rental and right-of-occupancy houses and private persons’ apartments.

Right-of-occupancy housing means that the resident has signed a right-of-occupancy agreement, paid a right-of-occupancy fee and thus gained possession of the apartment. The resident pays a monthly charge for use.

An accommodation benefit means that the right to use the apartment is part of the resident’s salary.

A housing company’s shares give the right to possess apartments in a building owned by the company, as determined in the articles of association.

Gross earnings refers to a salary or other compensation paid for work from which taxes have not yet been deducted.

A first home is a person’s first (owned) apartment.

The form of occupancy refers to the manner in which the apartment is occupied. E.g. rental apartment, owned apartment.

Hitas is a system for regulating the price and quality of apartments built on land owned by the City of Helsinki.

An eviction can be ordered due to unpaid rent, disruptive living or poor upkeep of the apartment.

Duty to notify means that the tenant must immediately notify the landlord of any faults detected in the apartment.

A calendar month is the time between the first and last day of a month.

Kansaneläkelaitos (Kela, Social Insurance Institution) is an independent social security institution with its own administration and finances working under the supervision of the Finnish Parliament, from which you can apply for subsidies for housing and studying, for example.

A property company or a real estate company is a company usually established for owning and governing a building used for rental apartments or business premises.

Interest subsidy refers to a subsidy paid by the state in order to reduce the interest recovered from a bank loan.

Koy is an abbreviation commonly used when referring to a property or real estate company.

Home insurance means that the insurance policy holder pays a regular insurance fee to the insurance company. The insurance will cover any accidental damage.

A condition inspection is carried out when a resident moves into or out of an apartment to chart the condition of the apartment.

A payment default entry or credit information entry is made in the credit information register due to unpaid bills. The entry can prevent you from getting a rental apartment or a loan.

Net earnings refer to a salary or compensation from which taxes have been deducted.

A self-financing contribution refers to a sum that a home buyer must save in addition to funding granted by a bank, the state, municipalities or other funding institutions.

The housing supplement of the student financial aid is a subsidy for students living alone.

A household consists of a family or persons living in the same apartment. One person can constitute a household as well.

A security deposit or rent guarantee is the sum of three months’ rent at the most, which is usually given to the landlord as a guarantee of rent payments or maintaining the condition of the apartment. The landlord can also give the tenant a security deposit to fulfil his/her obligations.

A freely funded apartment has not been funded with a state or municipality loan or interest subsidy.

A funds transfer tax is paid to the state when an apartment is sold or purchased.

A lease agreement is drawn up in two copies, one for the landlord and one for the tenant, and it entails a leasehold of a building or part of it (usually an apartment).

A management charge is paid to the housing company to cover the costs of maintaining and procuring the property. It is confirmed at a company meeting and divided between the shareholders in accordance with the Limited Liability Housing Companies Act or the articles of association.

The general housing allowance is a subsidy paid by the state and granted by Kela to reduce housing expenses.

A non-profit producer of rental housing is a community that builds and manages rental apartments without significantly striving for profit. A non-profit status can be given by the decision of the Finnish Government or the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland, e.g. NAL apartments or municipal rental apartments.

The Ministry of the Environment monitors the development of housing policy in Finland and prepares key laws regarding housing.

 

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)

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