Fixing and maintaining your apartment
All kinds of things can happen at home
As a tenant, you are not responsible for the maintenance or caretaking of the entire building. However, you must ensure that the apartment in which you live stays in good condition. If the apartment has a device or piece of furniture that requires more detailed care or maintenance, ask for instructions. Also ask where the manuals for the household appliances are and familiarise yourself with them.
As the tenant, you must maintain the apartment carefully. You will be responsible for any damage to the apartment caused by carelessness. Carelessness can also be neglecting any procedures that you should have carried out as the tenant. The apartment and its equipment must be kept tidy, and things such as floor drains and air vents must be cleaned on a regular basis. You must follow the instructions for devices. As the tenant, you are not responsible for normal wear in the apartment and to its equipment. However, under contractual freedom, you can agree with your landlord that you will replace a household appliance, for example. This should also be deducted from your rent.
When an accident occurs
Accidents can happen during your residency, and faults can occur in the apartment. The most important thing is to immediately notify the landlord of any faults or damage. If you fail to make a notification, you may end up having to pay for any further damage. It is important that you have home insurance that is valid at all times. Having home insurance is a relatively affordable way to cover any costs from damage. Insurance companies offer home insurances at different prices ‒ look into them and compare prices!
- www. expat-finland.com > Insurances
When you move into a new apartment, make sure the smoke alarm works and familiarise yourself with the emergency plan for the building. The smoke alarm is compulsory, and the occupant of the apartment is obliged to acquire and properly attach it. You should test the smoke alarm once a month and change the battery once a year.
A safety lock and chain and a peephole in the door increase the safety of your home, but installing them requires permission from the landlord. These installations must be left in place at the end of the lease.
Cleaning the apartment and using and maintaining the household appliances properly are basic requirements for safety. Never use the appliances for anything other than their intended use. Furthermore, never use any damaged appliances, as they always contain a fire hazard. When a household appliance that forms part of the equipment of the apartment breaks, the landlord is obliged to replace the broken appliance or part. The emergency phone number, 112, will help you with any urgent need for help or emergencies.
The landlord must make sure that the apartment is safe in terms of keys and locks. The keys should be handed to the tenant in exchange for an acknowledgement of receipt. Never have your address or the number of the apartment on your key ring.
The landlord usually possesses one set of keys to the apartment. However, the landlord has no right to enter the leased apartment without a specific reason. You must let the landlord enter the apartment, however, if it is necessary for monitoring the condition and maintenance of the apartment. The visit will usually be scheduled in a time that suits the tenant. In an emergency situation, the housing manager or maintenance workers must have access to the apartment with a master key even if the resident is not home.
The maintenance company (huoltoyhtiö) is responsible for the cleanliness and safety of the building and the yard in accordance with an agreement made with the housing company. The maintenance company’s duties include maintenance repairs, such as thermostat adjustments, leaking faucets, changing name plates and maintaining the common facilities. Emergency work and opening doors are also a part of the maintenance duties. Maintenance companies are usually available around the clock, so if a fault or damage that requires urgent measures occurs, you can call them in even the middle of the night. The contact information is posted on the bulletin board in the stairwell or on a note on the door or at the entrance.
Housing management (isännöinti) plays a central role in the maintenance of our living environment. Properties demand constant care to stay in good condition and retain their value throughout their entire life cycle. Professional housing management will contribute to enjoyable housing and a safe living environment. The housing manager is the operative director of the housing or property company and responsible for financial and administrative matters. The housing manager is responsible for matters such as maintenance, cleaning and waste management agreements as well as resident co-operation. The housing manager can also help with difficult situations related to neighbour relations. A technical housing manager can also be appointed to help the housing manager. The technical housing manager has training in construction and he or she takes care of organising repair operations.
Excessive humidity in the apartment can harm the health of residents and cause damage to the structures of the apartment. Excessive humidity can be detected by a musty smell and marks on the surface material. Excessive humidity can also cause surface materials to come off or chip. If you detect something like that, always notify the housing manager immediately.
Excessively dry air in the apartment is also a problem. Dry indoor air affects the respiratory organs in particular. As a temporary remedy, you can use an air humidifier to increase the humidity, dry your laundry inside the apartment or keep the bathroom door open after taking a shower. However, don’t do this for too long, otherwise it may cause excessive indoor humidity.
Mechanical ventilation must be kept in constant operation in order to remove the impurities and humidity that collect in the apartment. Demand that the ventilation in your apartment is in working order and properly configured. By placing a sheet of paper in front of the outlet air valve, you can check whether air is flowing into to the air duct. The best way to detect any issues with the air quality is to enter the apartment from outside. You should always find out the cause of a smell and take measures to eliminate the problem. You must also ensure that the outlet valve is cleaned at least once a year, and the valve in the kitchen should be cleaned even more frequently.
Occasionally there can be pests or insects in the apartments or facilities of the building that interfere with living. The pests can cause health problems or damage textiles in the apartment or even the structures of the building. Sometimes eliminating the pests requires the entire building being fumigated. In other words, pests should be taken seriously. If you detect any, contact the maintenance company first and foremost. You can also ask the health inspector of your municipality for advice regarding pest control. You can prevent pests with regular cleaning, taking care of basic hygiene and taking your rubbish out of the apartment.