Responsibilities and rights, practical matters

Main responsibilities of both the parties

The landlord’s main responsibility is to assign the right of occupancy to the tenant at the time and on the terms and conditions stated in the tenancy agreement or law. The landlord has the right to enter the rented property during tenancy only on certain separately specified occasions, for example, to check the condition of the property or to show the property to possible buyers or new tenants.

The main responsibility of the tenant is to pay the agreed rent at the agreed time and to take good care of the property. If the tenant damages the property due to carelessness or negligence, the tenant is obliged to compensate the landlord for the damages. The tenant is also responsible for damages caused by visitors to the property.

Maintenance of the property

The condition of a property and its maintenance and the tenant's and landlord’s rights to make changes to the property are regulated by the Finnish Act on Residential Leases.  However, it is possible for the parties to agree differently from what is stated in the law. In many instances, the parties have freedom of contract concerning the condition of a property. It is advisable to agree on these matters in writing. 

It is advisable for both the tenant and the landlord to check the condition of the property before the tenancy starts. In this way, both have a realistic view of the condition of the property at the beginning of the tenancy. When the tenancy ends, it is then easier to agree on the damages and defects that have been in the property to begin with or possible damages caused by the tenant. It is also possible to document the condition of the property. We provide our customers with forms that they can use for inspecting the condition of the property.

If the property has to be renovated or altered in some way during the tenancy, the parties can agree on who will do it, pay for it and supervise the work. It is also a good idea to agree on the choice and purchase of materials. Most often, normal wear and tear during the tenancy is the landlord’s responsibility, but the matter can also be agreed otherwise. Unless otherwise agreed, the landlord also takes care of water supply and kitchen fittings. 

When the tenancy ends, it is advisable for the landlord to ensure that the property is in the same condition as it was when rented out, however,  bearing in mind normal wear and tear. The final inspection should be performed as quickly as possible after the tenancy has ended. If the tenant has damaged the property, the landlord is entitled to make repairs at the tenant’s expense. The funds needed for this can be deducted from the security deposit. The security deposit can also be used to cover unpaid rents.
If the landlord finds nothing wrong during the final inspection and all rents have been paid, the security deposit must be returned to the tenant without delay. If the tenant has a security deposit account, the landlord must sign the security deposit certificate provided by the tenant’s bank and return it to the tenant. 

Other stipulations

The tenancy agreement may also contain statements concerning other responsibilities and expenses.  If necessary, these stipulations can also be written in a separate appendix. Besides rent and the water fee, the tenancy agreement can include conditions concerning electricity, heating, furniture, insurance, pets and smoking. If you rent out your property through Vuokraturva, you can discuss with our agent the special conditions to be included in the tenancy agreement.

Usually, the tenant is responsible for making the electricity contract. If the property has central heating, the heating expenses are included in the rent. In buildings with electric or oil heating, the tenant is most often responsible for the heating expenses, which is always sensible to include in the tenancy agreement. In furnished rented properties, a separate appendix is often written to list the furniture in the property.

It is advisable for the landlord to demand that the tenant takes out a home insurance policy for the entire period of tenancy. In the agreements prepared by Vuokraturva, home insurance is always one of the basic stipulations. For good reasons, the landlord may prohibit the tenant from smoking or bringing pets into the property. Another possibility is that the tenant agrees to pay for any damage caused by his or her pets.

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