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Finding an apartment

Finding an apartment

4.1. Finnish homes

Finnish houses and apartments, especially in Helsinki, are of good quality and well connected to the city’s transportation network. Finns live in smaller apartments compared to other Europeans, and Helsinki residents’ apartments are smaller than the rest of Finland. For example, it’s pretty common for a couple to share a flat of 40-50m2, and a family of four to live in a 70-90m2 apartment.

Here are some rules of thumb related to apartment/home living in Finland to keep in mind:

  • Quiet time at night: most housing and neighbourhood rules dictate that 10pm-7am is quiet time. This means hosting parties or being noisy after 10pm is not alright.
  • Clean after yourself: if your house/building has shared areas (e.g. sauna, laundry room, yard), leave them tidy after you’ve spent time in them
  • No shoes policy: Finns take off shoes when entering their apartments, and many companies have applied the same policy at their office too

No smoking inside: it’s good to go outside and take a few steps away from the nearest doors and windows to respect your neighbours

4.2. Searching apartments

Our third party relocation service partner will also help you to find long-term accommodation in Finland.

The market for rental apartments and houses is quite competitive due to limited availability. The best way to secure a home in Finland is to first find temporary accommodation and then search for rental homes using popular websites. Through these portals or rental apartment providers you will most likely find your new home:

Oikotie →
Vuokraovi →
Lumo →
Sato →

4.3. Moving in

It is required by law in Finland for all residents to file a ‘Notification of Change of Address’ anytime they change their place of residence within Finland or move abroad, permanently. This notification must be submitted within a week of the move. You’re also required to notify when moving temporarily—if the stay lasts longer than 3 months.

Notification of Change of Address must be made to both Posti (the Finnish Postal Service) and the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV). You can do so by filling the form available at Posti or the Local Register Offices, or digitally via their websites.

Submit a 'Notification of Change of Address' via Posti →
More on 'Notification of Move' via DVV →

4.4. Amenities

Home Insurance

Having home insurance is very common in Finland and most landlords require it from their tenants. We highly recommend that you purchase home insurance, and you can find affordable and comprehensive packages that cover the apartment itself and the items inside, also during moving.

OP insurance →
If insurance →


You will have to set up an electricity contract with a provider of your choice and it’s an additional and separate bill (on top of your rent) you will have to pay monthly. In Finland, the electricity bill is a sum of your monthly usage and distribution charges, and there are plenty of providers to choose from.

Helen →
Fortum →


Water supply is integrated into homes in Finland. When you rent a property it can be included as a fixed fee to the rent or additional payment. The amount charged may vary depending on the number of people living in the house.


This too is a contract you’ll have to set up independently with a broadband provider of your choice. Make sure to check if there’s a specific connection integrated into your building complex, which will come at a remarkably cheaper price compared to other providers. Refer to the section on Internet and Mobile phone connections for more details.


In rental properties maintenance fee is most often included in the rent. If you purchase your own home, you’ll pay a monthly maintenance fee to the building company. It is used to maintain common indoor and outdoor spaces, and small renovations and upgrades of the building.


Most likely, you will have to pay a monthly fee to reserve a parking spot for your vehicle, if there are any spaces allocated to your building. If not you will have to find alternative parking down the street, which might require a fee and come with time restrictions.

4.5. Furniture and other appliances

Apartments in Finland usually come unfurnished, unless mentioned otherwise. However, kitchen items such as fridge and cooker are included. Many modern apartments/houses will also include a freezer, oven, dishwasher and maybe even a washing machine.

Furnishing a home in Finland can be quite pricey. Luckily there are both local and international brands offering furniture and appliances at affordable rates. If you have a taste for high-end pieces there are plenty of options to choose from and they will last for generations.

Second-hand furniture (as well as everything from clothes to bicycles) are quite popular in Finland. It’s a great way to source high-quality items at a bargain price and support the circular economy. You can find them at recycling centres (Kierrätyskeskus), flea markets (Kirpputori) and second-hand shops, as well as Facebook marketplace and groups dedicated to second-hand buying and selling, and websites such as

Furniture stores:

Jysk →
Isku →
Ikea →
Finnish Design Shop →

Household appliances & electronics:

Gigantti →
Power →

Simply anything:

Verkkokauppa →
Clas Ohlson →
Tokmanni →

Second-hand stores:

Recycling centers (Kierrätyskeskus) → →
Franckly →

4.6. The every day: Recycling, Laundry, Sauna, Groceries


Finns take recycling to heart and sort their waste very carefully. All housing buildings provide a shared waste sorting point where (in minimum) you should separate the following waste into the respective bins which are colour coded as follows, usually:

  • Biowaste (light brown): food remains, coffee filters, kitchen paper
  • Paper (light green): newspapers, magazines, envelopes, advertisement flyers
  • Carton (dark green): milk cartons, pizza boxes, egg crates, brown cardboards
  • Plastic (yellow): food containers and wrappings, plastic bags
  • Metal (blue): tins and cans, tops and lids, aluminium dishes and foil
  • Glass (blue): glass bottles and jars

In addition to these, Hazardous waste, Batteries and Electronics equipment should be disposed of accordingly.

What’s more, in Finland by recycling beverage bottles and cans you can earn money. Each time you buy a bottle or can of alcoholic/soft drink or water you also pay a deposit of 10 to 40 cents. By returning the empty bottles and cans to the collection machines at any grocery store, you can earn the deposit back as cash. This system is called Palpa and a whopping 93% of total purchases are recycled every year this way.

More information on waste and recycling →
More on the Palpa system →


If you have a washing machine in your apartment, then you’re good to go. If not, most housing buildings have a laundry room where occupants can do their laundry for free. Familiarize yourself with the booking system, which can be online or a simple signup sheet, and reserve your time accordingly.


Did you know that there are around 3 million saunas in Finland? The sauna is an integral part of Finnish culture. Your new home might come with a private sauna. If not, most housing buildings will have a communal sauna you can use for a monthly fee. There are also several public saunas around Helsinki. Women and men would go to the sauna separately, and it’s common to go into the sauna without any clothes.


There are plenty of stores and farmers’ markets for you to buy food and other household items from. While there’s a seasonal rotation in some of the products—like fresh produce—many items are available all year round and any time of the day, thanks to the 24-hour supermarkets. There’s also a vibrant selection of ethnic shops in Helsinki bringing ingredients from around the world to this nordic city. You’ll find a small variation in prices among the distributors and in general the bigger the store the lower the price.