Inadequate condition of a rental apartment

You have the right to a reasonable reduction in the rent if the apartment has defects that affect living in it or it is not in the agreed condition. If you cannot live in the apartment  because of defects and their repairs, you do not have to pay rent for that period. It may be possible to cancel the lease if the defect is major and the landlord does not rectify it appropriately. 

The landlord is usually responsible for the condition and maintenance of the apartment unless you have agreed otherwise. You can expect the apartment to be of a standard condition and equipment. This means that the condition of the apartment must not differ significantly from the housing stock of the same age in the same area and that, for example, the household appliances are in working order. The apartment must always meet the requirements for living health.

You have a duty to take care of the apartment carefully. Read about a tenant’s obligations <linkki>

Compensation for the defective condition of the apartment

You have the right to have your rent reduced for the period when the apartment has not been as agreed or required by law, if the defect is to be repaired by the landlord.

You can refuse to pay the rent if the apartment has not been habitable. You may even have the right to terminate the lease. Report any problems you notice to the landlord as soon as possible. The right to a rent reduction is calculated from the date on which you reported the defect to the landlord, or the landlord learned about it in some other way.

Entitlement to a reduced rent or rental-free period, does not depend on if the landlord has caused the defect that is affecting your life in the flat. However, you do not have this right if you have caused the fault yourself, for example if you have installed a dishwasher and a leak in the connecting hose causes water damage.

Typically, you are entitled to a reduced rent if a renovation of the housing company causes harm to living in your apartment. Assessed on a case-by-case basis, and it depends on to what extent the defect affects living in the apartment.

If you suspect that your apartment has indoor air problems or it causes other health harms

The quality of indoor air, temperature, humidity, noise, ventilation, light, radiation and other similar conditions must not cause health harms to people staying in the apartment.

If you suspect that your apartment has indoor air problems or it causes other health harms, contact the landlord and the representatives of the housing company. If the problems are not properly investigated and fixed, you can contact the municipal health inspector. A health risk may give you the right to cancel the lease, but you must have evidence to support your case, such as measurement results.

The landlord is obligated to compensate you for any harm caused to you if the defective condition is the result of an action or neglect on the part of the landlord.  However, the landlord does not have to find you somewhere else to live while the repairs are being carried out.

You cannot refrain from paying rent on your own initiative; you must always try and agree on the compensation and its amount with the landlord. Only after the repair work has been completed can the amount of the damage or harm and the corresponding reduction in rent be assessed.

Filing a complaint and dispute resolution

  • Claims should be submitted in written to the landlord. You can use the Complaint Assistant to draw up your complaint to the landlord, for example concerning the following situations:

    • Return of security deposit
    • Inadequate condition of the apartment
    • Contesting a claim for compensation
    • Reducing a rent increase
    • Termination/cancellation of the lease

    Making a complaint and the Complaint Assistant (linkki)

     

    Consumer Advice Telephone Service

    Service time Monday–Wednesday and Friday 9 am – noon, Thursday noon – 3 pm

    029 505 3050 (only in Finnish)
  • You should first try and resolve any problems with the landlord. If the dispute cannot be resolved, you can contact the Consumer Advisory Services and get instructions for the next steps.

    You should note that if the landlord is a private person, the Consumer Advisory Services cannot investigate the problem or mediate in a dispute, and we can only provide advice at a general level.

    The Consumer Disputes Board can deal with most disputes over rental apartments between private individuals.