- Rental homes
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- Resident services
- Applying & moving
We welcome you as a resident of a Sevas student home!
The Resident's Guidebook is designed to give you detailed information regarding living in a Sevas student home. Please familiarise yourself with the guidebook and search for further information. If you cannot find the needed answers in the guidebook, please contact us at the Sevas office. You can call us, drop by at the office or send us a message through our website.
In the guidebook, you can find information regarding contractual matters and the obligations for residents. The guidebook also offers advice for daily living in our rental homes.
We hope you enjoy living at your Sevas student home!
The tenancy is valid for an indefinite period of time or for a fixed period. The agreement is signed at the Sevas office. For a family apartment both residents sign the rental agreement.
When your tenancy period begins, you are entitled to the key and to move into the apartment. The key also gives you access to the communal facilities. The key is for your use only, and it must be used with care and responsibility in mind. You should inform the Sevas office if you lose your key. There can be unwelcome consequences if the key falls into the wrong hands. The key(s) must be returned to us when you move out.
The information on your application form will be entered into a database, and completed when you sign the rental agreement. Every month the data on our tenants and their rents is sent to the KELA Centre for Student Financial Aid, where your eligibility for student financial aid will be checked. This is why we need your full personal information.
The Local Register Office and the Post Office requires you to make a notification of moving. The simplest way to notify the Register Office is to call their phone number 0203 456 456 (total cost 1–2 €) or to make the notice via web. Making a notification of moving is an action prescribed by law. You can make the notification one week before moving at the earliest, and a week after moving at the very latest. Late notification may result in a fine of 35 euros.
Also, remember to notify your friends, etc. of your new address. You can get change of address notification cards from the post office. There is not a postage charge for these cards within Finland.
Immediately after moving into your new apartment, inspect the condition of the apartment, and fill in the apartment checklist. Write down any defects and faults that you notice, and return the form to us. In this way you can make sure that you will not be held responsible for any possible damage caused by the previous tenant. To enjoy your residency, as well as to protect your legal rights, be thorough with the inspection.
Student apartments have been designed to be multifunctional. This is both a benefit and a drawback: the floor plans of the apartments are always compromises, which result from having to adjust to many factors, money not being the least important of them. An apartment originally designed to be a shared apartment may not always be ideal for a family, but your imagination is the only limit to decorating your apartment so that it pleases you. Some apartments are already equipped with basic furniture, and you can add your own furniture to it.
As tenants come and go, the possibilities for decorating are limited; the walls and fittings should remain in good condition for future tenants. We hope that our tenants use furniture that is not fixed to the walls, and that pictures are hung from the wooden boarders skirting the ceiling. The use of all kinds of wall brackets, picture hooks, etc. should also be avoided. Rugs can liven up your apartment, and they also protect the floors.
All kinds of attachments, drillings and alterations to the permanent structures of the apartment are usually not allowed, and even in special cases they always have to be carried out in co-operation with our maintenance personnel.
Moving involves the transport of furniture and other items. A careful tenant does this without breaking his or her valuable furniture and without damaging the walls, corners, lifts, etc. in the building. Packing your possessions eases the workload and protects them from damage. You can get cardboard boxes from a local shop or you can rent special boxes from removal companies.
According to the law, the moving day is the next working day after the rental agreement expires, usually this is the first day of a month. On the moving day, the tenant who is leaving, must submit half of the apartment for the use of the new tenant. It is a common practise, as well as our wish, that the tenants move out of the apartment on the day when the rental agreement expires, so that the entire apartment can be used by the new tenant on the moving day. You can ask the old tenant about the moving day.
Please remember to clean the apartment thoroughly before moving out.
Our maintenance personnel usually carry out renovations in the student apartments, and renovating anything yourself is not allowed or has to be agreed with us. Renovating on your own without permission can result in demands for compensation.
If you think your apartment needs repairing, painting, etc., contact the Sevas office. Small repairs are made as they are needed in order to keep the apartments in optimal condition.
Larger renovations are carried out according to a special construction plan, and the tenants are always informed on such plans well in advance.
When you sign the rental agreement you agree to follow the stipulations of the Tenancy Act, the stipulations of the rental agreement, and all the directions given by Sevas Kodit Oy. Do not forget that the rental agreement has been made only for you and a particular apartment. The right for tenancy in a Sevas student home requires that you are a student. This status is checked at regular intervals.
The Tenancy Act and the terms of the rental agreement define the common rules and protect the rights of both you and the landlord. They have not been deliberately drawn up to be bureaucratic, but to be in the interest of both parties.
Rental period: Minimum is one calendar month. It does not matter, when the tenant moves in or out during the calendar month, the rent has to be paid for full months.
Usually the rental agreement is made until further notice, and the tenants themselves terminate the agreement after finishing their studies and/or when they move into another apartment. The period of notice for the tenant is one calendar month and it always lasts until the end of the following month after the notification of rental termination has been given. If the tenant has finished his or her studies, this provides sufficient grounds for the landlord to give the tenant a notice of removal. The period of notice for the landlord is three or six months depending on the length of the tenancy.
Rental agreements for a fixed time period can be made for short-term tenancy, exchange students, summer tenants, as extended agreements after the studies have been finished, etc. The fixed period is binding for both parties, and an agreement of definite duration cannot be terminated during the agreement period.
The law and the directions given by Sevas Kodit Oy also define the terms for subletting the apartment to a third party. Subletting a student apartment is allowed only through special permission given by Sevas Kodit Oy. In this way we aim to ensure the equal treatment of our customers, and the right to live in a student apartment. Subletting and accommodating third parties without permission can lead to the termination of your rental agreement and claims for compensation.
Rental deposit or guarantee fee, which has to be paid before signing the rental agreement, is the tenants’ guarantee that they will discharge their responsibilities and take good care of the apartment. When the rental agreement has been terminated, the landlord can use the guarantee fee to cover the cost of damages or the need for extra cleaning, should that be required. If the apartment is in good condition and all the obligations have been fulfilled, the guarantee fee will be returned to the tenant.
A home insurance policy is a relatively inexpensive way to cover costs that may arise from damage to either your own or Sevas' property. Sevas' real estate insurance does not cover the tenant’s personal property.
As a tenant, you are responsible for informing Sevas Kodit Oy of any changes in the information you have given in the rental agreement (for example, finishing or dropping out of your studies). If you give false information or refuse to give the required information, this can lead to the termination or cancellation of the rental agreement.
In serious cases of violation, Sevas Kodit Oy is entitled to terminate the tenancy without giving a period of notice. Such cases are, for example, neglecting to pay the rent, disturbing neighbours, transferring the right for tenancy or giving a part of the apartment for the use of another person without the permission of Sevas Kodit Oy, etc. The tenancy expires immediately when the tenant has been given a notice of the cancellation of the rental agreement. If needed, Sevas Kodit Oy can bring action for eviction in the district court.
Capital costs comprise the interests and instalments of housing loans. Over 90 per cent of our building projects are financed by loans, thus the capital costs amount to approximately 50 per cent of the total rent. We cannot control the amount of capital costs in the rent, as they depend on the interest rate and housing policy of banks and the state.
Maintenance costs include fees for heating, water, repairs, maintenance, cleaning, general house management, etc. Maintenance costs form approximately 50 per cent of the total rent. We can control this part of the rent in many ways. We ensure that the buildings are well built and suited to their purpose. We monitor energy consumption in the buildings, and look after any due adjustments. The maintenance personnel keep the buildings and apartments in good condition and look after the daily maintenance.
A furniture fee is charged from tenants who use our furniture. The fee is based on the annual furniture budget and it covers the capital expenses, interests, and repair costs. You can influence the amount of this fee by taking good care of the valuable furniture.
A furnished apartment contains the following pieces of furniture: in the kitchen there is a table, two benches; in the study room there is a desk, chair, bookcase (not in all ap.) and a bed (80x200 cm).
The date by which the rent must be paid is stipulated in the rental agreement. When paying the rent, always use the reference number that is on the payment slip – it speeds up the handling of your payment, and prevents any errors from occurring. Also check that the amount on the payment slip is correct. Keep the receipts or your bank statements as proof the rent has been paid.
Leaving the rent outstanding is an expensive loan. If you do not pay the rent by the given date, (5th of every month) a penal interest ( 7.5 % in 2016) and a collection fee will be charged. Outstanding payments can lead to losing the right of access to the apartment. Also, a negative credit history can cause considerable inconvenience in the future. In family apartments, both partners are jointly responsible for paying the rent even in cases where the other partner moves out without terminating the rental agreement.
If you have problems in paying the rent, always contact the Sevas office. Together we can find a suitable and economical solution for you.
The rent amount is set by the same basis for all our tenants. We value equality and fairness, and fairness entails the efficient collection of overdue payments, which in turn ensures that no one lives off other tenants.
Foreign students should contact the local Social Insurance Institute (KELA) for details.
As part of student financial aid, single students can be granted housing supplement. Housing supplement is applied for when applying for student financial aid. The supplement covers 80% of the monthly rent, and is granted only for the months when you are studying. Housing supplement is not granted for the part of the rent that exceeds 215 euros.
Families with children can apply for general housing allowance at the local KELA office. The allowance amount is based on income and assets, as well as the size of the dwelling and the rent. At its highest, the housing allowance is 80% of the amount of rent exceeding the basic deductible (the amount which the household must in any case pay itself).
For further information, contact KELA, the Sevas office, your school, or student unions.
All apartments are connected to Elisa (Anvia's) internet-network. Elisa (Anvia) takes care of the network between our buildings and the WWW.
Tenants need to supply a computer, a network adapter and a network cable between the computer and WLAN router (or a plug on the wall in a room, if there is an ethernet network in the building).
Every bedroom in a shared apartment has an open Internet connection.
The basic connection speed (included in the rent) is 50 M.
Locations with cable TV network Internet connections (Cisco-router):
Locations with Internet connections through Ethernet & TP-link router:
Help for network users
Elisa (Anvia's) Helpdesk
Sat 10:00–15:00, tel. (06) 106 9040 (costs 0.45 €/min + local network fee)
If your internet is not working, please bring your modem and all cables (and your computer?)
to the Elisa (ex-Anvia) store:
tel. (06) 411 4019
Make yourself at home, but have consideration for your roommates and neighbours. Student housing requires co-operation and taking your roommates into consideration. Rules and regulations are meant to be followed to ensure smooth co-operation. By using common sense and listening to other people’s opinions, you can positively influence both your own and other residents' quality of life.
A shared apartment is like a small community where the rules are created jointly. Good co-operation begins by introducing yourself: tell your roommates who you are and where you come from, what you are studying, and what you expect from living in a shared apartment. Your roommates will be glad to inform you about the common rules.
Each tenant has a responsibility for the shared apartment, which also means that other tenants’ negligence does not give you the right to neglect your own responsibilities.
Smoking and having pets in a shared apartment is allowed only if all your roommates approve. Inform Sevas Kodit Oy and your roommates if you have pets or if you are allergic to animals.
All tenants in a shared apartment must do their share to keep the kitchen, the hall, the toilet, and the bathroom clean. You must also have respect for other tenants’ belongings.
If you have parties or invite guests, you should keep your roommates and neighbours in mind. Do not disturb people who are trying to study. Consideration for others is a basic virtue.
If your neighbours cause great disturbance, first try to talk to them. Anonymous letters or hostile behaviour is rarely effective. To settle any disagreement you may also contact members of the tenant committee or the Senior Resident. If the situation continues, you can leave a written complaint at the Sevas office. Your complaint will be looked into, and the other party will be asked to give their view on the matter, after which procedures stipulated in the Tenancy Act will be followed. It is a good idea to give a written response to any complaints so the views of both parties will be known.
If you live in a student house with your family, you may have different requirements for comfortable living than your single neighbours in a shared apartment. Even though our houses designed for families are usually somewhat more peaceful, it should be remembered that it is, nevertheless, a student house, not an old people’s home. Sounds of student life may sometimes become audible to neighbours, but being inflexible does not usually result in better housing.
Vandalism is something that no one should be made to tolerate. It is a responsibility of every tenant to notify of any occurrences of such behaviour. All precautionary actions promote enjoyable housing on our sites. The person causing any damage is always financially responsible for them. Unsolved cases are paid for by the tenants in their rent, and therefore covering up for a friend is by no means advisable. It should be remembered, however, that people’s safety comes first, and material and financial matters are secondary in cases of vandalism. Ultimately, maintaining order is the duty of the authorities, and everyone has the right to turn to the police if needed.
The office of Sevas Kodit Oy is the heart of our service organisation, through which all matters relating to housing are channelled. You can find contact information from this guide, from the rental agreement, notice boards, our web pages, the telephone directory, and from all our notices. Our office is open from 9:30 am to 15:30 pm.
Particularly in the autumn and around New Year, our office is very busy, and it may be difficult to contact us by telephone. Therefore, we have set up automatic services on the Internet, and developed systems for leaving written messages. Their use is quick and simple, and they allow us to concentrate on matters, which require personal contact. Every contact is welcome, whether done personally or by email or telephone. Do not hesitate to contact us.
A service company looks after the maintenance of the sites. Each lobby and front door has the names and telephone numbers of the service personnel and the phone number of those who are on call. The numbers can also be found here.
The maintenance company looks after the general maintenance tasks such as the upkeep of electrical fittings, heating, plumbing and ventilation system, cleaning, heating of saunas, clearing the snow, mowing the lawns, replacing light bulbs outdoors or in communal areas, etc. The service company also opens your door if you have temporarily lost your key. You will be charged for this service, and usually you will pay the service man directly. Please remember that a lost key can be a security risk, and you should inform Sevas/the service company in order to have the locks changed. The expenses obviously are to be paid by the person who has lost his or her key.
The maintenance service is on call 24 hours a day.
Other maintenance work on the sites, such as painting of the apartments, sauna renovations, etc., is taken care of by our own maintenance section, which either does the work itself or chooses a contractor suitable for the task.
Notice boards are one our official information channels. Some of the notices on the notice boards are there permanently, whereas some of them are there only temporarily.
The tenants and the Tenant Committees can put up their own notices on the notice board, but only in the space reserved for them. In this way the notice boards remain tidy and uncluttered.
Sauna turns in student apartment houses are organised according to the following principle: families have their own sauna time, and students living in the shared apartments have a joint sauna time. Families can have one sauna time per week, and joint sauna turns are arranged 2–3 times a week, both for men and women separately.
Cleanliness is an inseparable feature of a sauna, and each tenant is responsible for keeping the sauna clean and in an appropriate condition. Please remember to rinse the basins, benches, floor, etc. Excessive use of water in the steam room is not recommended, because it increases the wear and tear of the wooden panels and benches.
Cleanliness is also a health factor in a sauna. Different kinds of micro-organisms easily breed in damp and dirty places, so let’s all follow the tradition of clean saunas, also in student apartment houses.
Each site is equipped with its own laundry room, which contains modern washing machines, tumble dryers, and other facilities for drying your clothes. You can find the instructions for their use and the booking system in the laundry room. You can book your laundry time in advance. The front door of the laundry room always has to be kept locked so that no outsiders can enter the building. Stealing designer jeans seems to be a hobby for some people. Sevas Kodit Oy is not responsible for any items of clothing taken from the laundry room.
The operating costs of the laundry room are covered in the rent. It is therefore wise to use the machines economically: washing only one item of clothing in a big washing machine is hardly economical.
Use all the machines according to their instructions, and immediately leave a repair notification if a machine is not working properly. Doing repairs by yourself can be dangerous. Proper use keeps the machines in good condition and clean: excessive use of washing powder does not make your clothes any cleaner.
Do not leave your clothes or washing powder in the laundry room, and always check that the clothes you have taken are really yours.
The tidiness of the laundry room depends on the tidiness of its users. Certainly you want the next person to be able to do his or her washing in a tidy laundry room.
The yards of student apartment houses have been designed with enjoyable living in mind. You should think of the yard as a part of your own apartment, and then you will probably end up paying more attention to its condition.
The yard is not merely for parking cars (for which purpose there is a separate area), but also for various activities and recreation for both adults and children. Swings, slides, etc. are for children and the barbecue, etc. is for adults, all to be used with tidiness and neighbours in mind. The children’s outdoor furniture is not to be used as firewood. Making an open fire in a populated area is prohibited, only appropriate charcoal is to be used when barbecuing, and all rubbish has to be taken to the rubbish bin. The municipal regulations prohibit preparing food on balconies.
Tenants can improve the appearance of the yard by tidying it up together, and if they want to plant bushes, trees, etc., Sevas Kodit Oy can provide help.
Maintenance takes care of the upkeep of the yard, lawn, and plants. The tenants can take part in the upkeep of the yard by looking after their own possessions and by respecting delicate plants and the lawn, etc. Marks left by car tyres should not be found on the lawn, and the garden path is not a place to park your car. Cars parked in wrong places prevent the upkeep of the yard.
Driving and parking cars in the yard or on the pathways is not allowed, except when tenants are moving in or out. Cyclists should also be careful when cycling in the yard or on the pathways as there may be small children playing. When moving into or out of the building you should also remember that the lawn is not an area for driving the removal van, and all unnecessary parking obstructs traffic and maintenance work.
We hope that our tenants keep their eyes open and immediately report any faults or damage they notice in the yard.
You should have consideration towards others, especially when walking your pets in the yard. Pets should be taken somewhere where their droppings do not get in people’s way, or you should pick it up immediately and take it to a rubbish bin or to a compost. Do not let your pet do its business in the yard.
There are electric heating points for cars in the car parks. You can ask the Sevas office for available parking spaces.
Parking spaces are meant for cars, which are in regular use: when the cars are away from the parking area during the day, it is possible to have the areas cleaned. If you are not using your car, please find a parking space that does not obstruct snow clearing in winter. Please ask the maintenance for further details.
The car heating points supply electricity, and their operation is controlled by a timer, which has been pre-set for all heating points for a certain time. There are also heating points with individual timers, which you can set yourself for two hours whenever you like.
The Post Office has its own guidelines for delivering mail to different types of buildings. In student apartment houses, the mail is delivered to the letterboxes, which are all located in one area. The letterbox can be opened with the letterbox key.
You can ensure undisturbed delivery of mail by keeping the post office informed of any changes of address.
Advertisements, etc. have to be taken out of the letterboxes so that the mail fits in.
Some sites have their own day care centres for children. Usually they are run by municipal day care organisations, and you can get further information from them or from the Sevas office.
There are playgrounds on the sites as well. Teach your children to use the equipment safely and without breaking it, so that it will provide fun for many children for a long time. If anything is broken, you should always inform the service company.
We have tried to build our student houses near educational institutions and close to good traffic connections. This has resulted in sites, which meet the needs of students from different educational institutions. We also have sites in the city centre for those, who appreciate the services available there. You can get timetables and public transport routes from the local public transport company.
All appliances and fittings in the apartment must be used with care and according to their instructions. Any faults have to be reported to Sevas/service company. Faulty appliances can be dangerous.
Fuses ensure the safe functioning of all electrical appliances, and in newer buildings there are also fault current protectors. Fuses react to overload – which can be caused by a short circuit in a faulty device – and switch off the power. Fault current protectors measure possible leakage current in different appliances and switch the power off.
The fuses and fault current protectors are usually on the same fuse board in the hallway of the apartment. There are two types of fuses: the traditional removable wire fuse and the more modern automatic fuse, which can be reconnected by turning the switch back to the ON-position. The fault current protectors can be similarly reconnected.
Before you change or reconnect a fuse or the fault current protector, check what caused it to blow, and do not use this faulty device until it has been repaired. If the fuse or the fault current protector still keeps blowing, contact the service company. Do not under any circumstances replace the fuse with any other object. This can be extremely dangerous.
The front doors are always kept locked for security reasons. You can enter the building by pressing the buzzer of an apartment, and the front door can be opened from the apartment by pressing the buzzer there. The buzzers beside the front door have the numbers of the apartments on them, and the same numbers with the names of the tenants can be found on the name list on the door. Newer houses are equipped with intercoms which allow you to check the identity of the caller. Take care of the equipment, they are both for your and your guests’ benefit.
You must regularly clean and defrost your refrigerator. The refrigerator does not kill bacteria, therefore it is important to be careful in storing food. It is advisable to defrost older refrigerators every few weeks. An icy refrigerator uses a lot of electricity and does not function effectively. When removing the ice, do not use force or sharp objects, as it can turn out to be expensive.
Newer refrigerators defrost automatically, as long as you make sure that the melting water can exit without obstruction. The outlet on the back wall of the refrigerator has to be kept clean, for instance by using a cotton swab. If the outlet gets blocked, the melting water will flood into the refrigerator and onto the floor and cause damage. Do not cover the vents of the refrigerator.
A clean and functioning refrigerator is also economical and safe. A dirty and dusty refrigerator can even cause a fire.
Just like the refrigerator, the cooker is an electrical device, which may be very dangerous if faulty. Each tenant is responsible for using the cooker in an appropriate way. The oven, the baking plates and the hot plates must be cleaned regularly to prevent the build-up of burned grease and dirt. Follow the instructions when using cleaning agents meant for cleaning the cooker and the oven. Do not under any circumstances use abrasive cleaners or equipment which can damage the surface. To repair the cooker, contact a professional repairman.
The changing of light bulbs and fluorescent lamps in the apartment is the tenant’s responsibility. If you do not know how to change the light bulb or lamps, ask your roommates or the service company for advice, but do not use force with the lamp. A broken or misused lamp can be dangerous.
All our buildings are equipped with a mechanical ventilation system. According to building standards, the air in an apartment must change on average at least once every two hours. This is done with extractors, the operating times of which are timer-controlled between maximum and half speed. The exhaust air is sucked from the kitchen, the toilet, and the bathroom, i.e. from rooms where odours and dampness build up. Obviously the air changes in all the other rooms as well. From the apartments, the air goes to the communal areas via vents which are above the doors and which are also soundproof. These vents must not be blocked.
The extractors and the ventilator openings have been adjusted to keep the ventilation in the building balanced. Blocking the openings or changing the adjustments puts the ventilation of the whole building out of balance. When the ventilation is in balance, there is enough fresh and clean air for everybody. Functioning ventilation is the most important single factor contributing to a healthy apartment.
Air, which is sucked out by the extractor, is replaced by fresh supply air. In older buildings this happens through special gaps on the tops of the window frames, which are deliberately unsealed. In newer buildings there are air vents in the window frames, or on the walls, specially made for this purpose. Unsealed gaps and vents have to be left open. If the flow of incoming air is obstructed, the apartments become like bottles, out of which the extractor is trying in vain to suck out the increasingly damp, unhealthy and bad air. As the supply air forces its way in from all possible gaps, usually at floor level and at high speed, it can result in draughts.
The regular cleaning of the ventilator openings, which can be found in the bathroom and in the kitchen above the cooker, is the tenant's responsibility. Especially the ventilator in the kitchen quickly builds up with greasy dust, which blocks the vent. An easy and simple way to clean the ventilator openings is to wet a cloth with washing-up liquid and wrap it around a knife, and wipe the gap around the vent with it. To finish up, wipe with a clean cloth. Do not tamper with the vents or their adjustments.
If the indoor air feels stuffy and/or the windows steam up, you should first examine the ventilator openings, clean them, and check that the vents for the incoming air are open and that there is nothing obstructing the flow of air. After this you can try to see if the ventilator opening for exhaust air holds an A4 sheet of paper by suction, as it should. If it does not, and the air still feels stuffy, contact Sevas/ service company as soon as possible. We will see to the matter and fix it.
The adjustment of a modern heating system based on water circulation is two-staged. In each line and in each radiator the water circulation of the radiator system has been balanced by pre-settings, and the thermostat, which reacts to outdoor temperature, controls the temperature of the circulating water. The thermostat valves, which have been pre-set for each radiator, complete the entire pre-setting of the system so that there is an even temperature of +20–22ºC in all the rooms. The temperature cannot be raised any higher than this from the thermostat valve, it can only be lowered.
The thermostat turns the water circulation on and off so that the room temperature stays even. Therefore the radiator may sometimes be warm and sometimes cold, because the thermostat registers the room temperature as being warm enough. For the same reason, the thermostat must not be covered, e.g. with curtains. The temperature near the thermostat then gets higher than elsewhere in the room, and the radiator will be switched off earlier than it should, resulting in the room getting cold.
Adjust the thermostat only as far as the adjusting knob moves. Do not use force. It does not necessarily turn along the whole scale. Do not open the thermostat or interfere with the basic adjustments. The service personnel will remove the air from the radiators. Remember to keep the radiators clean. Dust prevents air circulation, and weakens the radiator’s performance.
The bathroom and the toilet are the areas most vulnerable to damage caused by dampness, and therefore they need special care and observation.
The wall and the floor materials are either ceramic tiles or vinyl covering. Neither material is watertight if the surface is broken or the seams have opened up, and in such cases you should always inform Sevas/service company. Damage caused by dampness is very slow and expensive to repair, in other words, it causes the tenants all kinds of inconvenience.
Faulty and dripping bathroom fixtures, and leaking toilet bowls waste a lot of water. Even a small leak can cost thousands a year. Therefore take good care of your bathroom fixtures, and report any defects.
Regular cleaning of the bathroom floor drain is the tenant's responsibility. A floor drain quickly builds up with hair and other residue, which does not pass through the drain trap, and eventually it blocks the drain. An easy way to clean the drain is to lift the grating and to scoop out the waste by hand. It may feel a bit messy, but it is mostly just your own hair. Finish up with clean water and perhaps with a drop of washing-up liquid, and replace the grating. The floor drain has a cleaning hole, which is sealed by a plug. If this plug becomes loose or comes off, some odours may pass through the air lock. If this should happen, contact Sevas.
The cleaning of the drain trap in the sink is done by unscrewing it and removing all deposits. If you feel like you need help with this, contact the service company.
The shower curtain makes the use of the shower easier and protects the bathroom from excess water, and in this way prevents damage caused by dampness.
You should keep in mind that grease and lime easily build up, particularly in the lower parts of the bathroom walls if they are not cleaned regularly. Since you go to the shower to get clean, it is quite obvious that the shower area itself should be kept clean.
If your apartment is already equipped with the fittings for a washing machine, you can order such an installation through Sevas/the service company. The installation is free of charge, but the necessary fittings will have to be paid for by the tenant and they will remain in the apartment permanently. In the bathroom the washing machine can only be plugged into the special socket installed for this purpose, and the machine must not be used when taking a shower. In a shared apartment the tenants should agree on the use of the washing machine, whether owned by all the tenants or only one of them.
Make sure that your washing machine is functionally and structurally in such a condition that it does not disturb your neighbours. Laundry is best dried outdoors or in the special room designed for this purpose. If you dry your laundry inside your apartment, take care to ensure sufficient airing. You must not dry laundry on top of doors, windows, or radiators, because wet washing causes dampness and assists the growth of mould.
Some apartments have a space ready for a dishwasher and the necessary electricity and water fittings. If this is not the case with your apartment, contact Sevas/the service company, so that we can find out whether it is possible to install a dishwasher in your apartment. The tenant pays for the installation and the parts, and the permanent fittings will remain in the apartment. A professional should always do the plumbing, wiring, and install and disconnect the dishwasher.
The dishwasher should not be left running without supervision. Even a small overflow may cause serious damage. Water damage caused by an unsupervised dishwasher is not covered by insurance, but is entirely the tenant's liability.
In student apartments each room is usually equipped with a fixed telephone connection. You can order the subscription from the local telephone company.
The student buildings have a master aerial system, which has been connected to the building’s own antenna, satellite dish, or the cable-TV network. In addition to Finnish TV channels, you can watch foreign broadcasts using satellite dishes and cable-TV. The channels on your television and radio are listed on the channel chart. To receive subscription channels, contact satellite or cable-TV companies (Sonera, Elisa etc.).
The radio aerial usually covers the FM, MW (medium wave), and LW (long wave) bands, and the cable network‘s station list can be found on the channel chart.
The aerial network of the building is very sensitive to interference, and making any extra connection to the antenna sockets by yourself is prohibited. Instead you should only use the standard connection and branching pieces and cables sold in specialised shops. Your apartment is equipped with one aerial cable.
For safety reasons you should keep all electronic devices clean and in good condition. Dust built-up inside TV sets have caused several fires.
A considerate TV viewer and radio listener does not disturb his or her neighbours with the volume. Music is just as enjoyable with a lower volume. If you want to play your favourite music louder, perhaps you should get earphones, which keeps your neighbours happy and you will still be able to enjoy the music. Please remember to check the output of your equipment and the type of fuse they require. Overload blows the fuses.
Computers are sensitive equipment, particularly when it comes to earthing. Always plug your computer in an earthed socket if possible, and plug all the accessories connected together in the same socket or in a multiple socket-outlet. Remember, however, that the power consumption in one multiple socket-outlet cannot exceed 10 A (amps), or the fuse will blow.
Regarding consumption, it is important that the equipment is not kept switched on all the time, even if the equipment makes it possible. Each device, which is switched on, uses energy, and they all can add up to a considerable consumption of electricity, which will eventually show in the rent. Each tenant himself and herself has an opportunity and a duty to limit the consumption of electricity and thus keep expenses down.
We hope that our tenants do their share to keep housing costs low. Sensible and economical living does not mean refusing the comforts available, but using them in a correct and appropriate manner. You do not have to live in the dark and cold, but on the other hand, using electricity excessively and controlling room temperature by keeping windows open is a waste of money. Imagine the consequences if everybody did this. Therefore, avoid unnecessary use of electricity and water, as well as unnecessary airing, etc.
Cleaning your own apartment and the shared areas is the responsibility of every tenant. Cleanliness not only shows consideration towards yourself and your roommates, but it is also very economical. There will not be any great need for repairs in a well-kept and clean apartment, which thus saves money. For example, sand on the floor can act as a grinder under your feet, and soon the floor will need renovating.
Special attention must be paid to the cleanliness of the toilet, the bathroom and the kitchen, because these areas are vulnerable to damage caused by damp, which in turn may result in health hazards. Damage in these particular areas is both difficult and expensive to repair. The shower curtain should be washed regularly, as a mouldy shower curtain spreads mould to the surrounding areas. The floor should always be dried carefully after using the shower. Immediately report any damage you notice in the surface materials or in the fixtures in these areas. Water creeps in from the tiniest of cracks and holes.
The balcony is an extra room in your apartment, and needs to be looked after accordingly. The balcony has to be cleaned just like any other room, and keeping it tidy is important, particularly in the winter, when snow and ice can cause structural damage.
If needed, Sevas can give the tenant a notice for cleaning, and in obvious cases of neglect, it can have the apartment cleaned at the tenant’s expense.
The floors and walls in the apartment have been designed so that their upkeep is simple. You can use normal mild detergents to clean them. Strong solvents only damage surface materials. Most painted surfaces tolerate wiping with a damp cloth, but no wall or floor endures excessive use of water. Water should not be poured onto the floor or onto other surfaces. Any marks and stains left by stickers or sellotape (the use of which should be avoided) have to be removed carefully without damaging the surface.
The apartments have skirting boards circling the ceilings which can be used for hanging pictures or other decorations. You are not allowed to attach things directly to the walls, because nails, screws, and adhesive tapes leave stains, which are difficult to remove and often need to be painted over.
Mould is a modern-day nuisance particularly in small houses with poor airing or cleaning. In apartment houses problems may arise in areas, which are often damp if the cleaning has been inadequate, or if the ventilation is weak or its operation has been obstructed by blocking the ventilator openings or by not cleaning them.
Not all dirt in damp areas is mould, but if you suspect that there is mould, contact Sevas/service company immediately so that the situation can be viewed and required measures can be taken.
There will be no great problems with mould if we keep places dry and tidy.
The sorting of wastes is based on waste management law, and is an important part of taking care of the environment. In student apartment houses each apartment has rubbish bins for different types of waste, and you can empty them into the respective bins outside. Do not mix different types of waste, since it will spoil the larger system. The sorting and collection of waste is done differently in different cities, therefore always follow the rules and the practice of your own Housing Foundation. The introduction of waste sorting takes place in different sites at different times.
Small laundry, which you have washed with your own washing machine, can be dried in the apartment, for example, on a drying rack, which you can buy in supermarkets or hardware stores. You can also put up a clothesline in the bathroom, or you can use a small rack on the balcony, but you should never dry your laundry on top of the radiators. When you are drying your laundry inside the apartment, remember to air properly. If the windows steam up, contact the service company, because it is a sign that the ventilation is not working properly. You should not bring dripping wet laundry into the apartment.
There are special racks in the yard for dusting rugs and bed clothes, and some sites have balconies with similar racks. You are not allowed to dust rugs, etc. on your own balcony.
Each tenant has the responsibility to report any defects or damages, and if you neglect to do this, it may result in you being held responsible for the possible costs.
When you give a notice of defects, you will be asked for information by which the problem can be identified as precisely as possible. This ensures that the defect can be repaired quickly and accurately, and any unnecessarily visits can be avoided.
Always give your name and your contact information, where the problem is, and give as accurate a description as possible. If the defect is in your apartment, mention whether the service company can use the master key to enter your apartment, or in other cases arrange a time when you can meet the repair personnel. When leaving a notice of defects, mention if you have a pet or pets so that the repair personnel will be aware of this. After the personnel have made their call, they will always leave a note in your apartment, stating whether the defect has been fixed or whether another call is needed. They can also leave information on how to fix the problem yourself and how to prevent it in future.
Remember to always report if:
You can send the notice of defects/fault report through the web pages.
SOL Palvelut Oy (SOL Services Ltd) takes care of the buildings in:
SOL, tel. 020 570 0200.
Lassila & Tikanoja takes care of the buildings in:
Lassila & Tikanoja, tel. 010 636 7030
Key duty fee is 20–40 €/door opening, depending on the time of the day. Fee must be paid in cash at once to a person, who opens the door.
During DUTY-time, please call only, if there is a defect that need to be repaired the soonest possible (for example: water pipe leaks) to avoid bigger defects or costs.
Continuous maintenance is one of our principles. This means that in all buildings defects are repaired when the need arises, e.g. when tenants move out.
Apartments are checked when the tenants move out, and any necessary painting work or other repairs are carried out. All the other areas and equipment in the buildings are taken care of according to the same principle, for example, the saunas are renovated regularly.
Renovation and modernisation is carried out when the buildings reach the economic age when renovations are needed. Renovations are made according to an evaluation of the building’s condition, and plans are made for each site according to a construction programme. The tenants are always informed about any evaluation inspections. Renovated buildings are repaired to the quality level of new buildings, which results in the rent being higher after the renovations.
For the duration of the renovations we usually have to terminate the tenancy agreements, and this is done in the time period stipulated by law. We always try to find a similar apartment for the tenant for the duration of the renovations, or we draw up a new tenancy agreement for another apartment on another site.
The basic rule is that the tenants should not repair the apartments themselves.
In some exceptions, Sevas or the service company may grant permission for repairs, and the rules agreed upon must be followed. Such possible repairs may include small painting renovations (using the original colours of the apartment) or other small changes, which can be later undone by the tenant. All renovations made by the tenant will be inspected and approved by the service company, and if need be, will be finished off at the tenant’s expense.
A professional must make any electrical or other repairs, which require authorisation. All repairs must be agreed upon with Sevas/the service company.
The tenant is responsible for their own safety, as well as the safety of their neighbours.
A checklist of things you should not do:
Environmentally friendly housing consists of not only an efficient waste disposal system, but also recycling and sensible use of energy. Sorting of waste is done according to waste management law, as mentioned earlier. Waste is sorted to separate recyclable glass, paper, and biodegradable waste from other types of waste.
Basically anything that has been alive once can be put into a compost or an organic waste bin, but never put any plastic, paper, diapers, fabrics, glass, metal, etc. there.
Problem waste (batteries, fluorescent lamps, dissolvents, fuels, glue, paint, etc.) must not be thrown away with other waste, but has to be taken to a special collection point. Find out about your closest collection points. Medicine past its expiry date can be taken to the chemist’s to be disposed of.
Always put your waste into a waste bin, and keep the lids closed. Untidy and overflowing waste bins are a health hazard, and they also attract mice, rats, and birds, which spread the waste and transmit diseases.
If you want to throw away things, which are still usable, you can take them to a recycling centre or a flea market. Many recycling centres have a collection service. Some buildings have a special recycling room, where you can bring or take things. However, junk or rubbish should not be left there.
Almost everything in your apartment uses energy. The most important factor is heating. Energy is used to warm up the air and water in your apartment. Hot water uses about 30–40 per cent of the heating energy, and the rest is used to warm up your apartment to a healthy temperature of +20–22ºC. Most of the warm air goes out via ventilation, and therefore it is important that both the ventilation and the radiator thermostats are working properly. For the sake of your health, a well-functioning ventilation is of utmost importance, but excess airing, on the other hand, is a waste of energy.
All the electrical appliances in the building and in your own apartment consume electricity. The single greatest electricity user is the sauna stove, and therefore sauna turns should be organised sensibly: heating up an empty sauna only costs money. High electricity consumers in your apartment include the stove and the refrigerator, especially if the latter has frozen up. Lights and other appliances use a surprising amount of energy if they are always switched on. Use only the lamps and appliances that you really need.
Regarding water, the water itself and heating it up costs money. Even the tiniest of leaks, if not seen to, can cause an increase in the bill. In other words, negligence can turn out to be very costly. Ultimately, all costs are paid for in the rent.
Energy is also consumed in communal areas, so similar carefulness is as necessary as in your own apartment to avoid extra energy expenses.
Sevas controls consumption by means of monthly budgeting and consumption control, which quickly reveal at least the largest leaks. Smaller leaks only show in consumption after a couple of months of observation. Therefore, all reports on faults in the equipment and fittings help us all to keep consumption down.
Here are some simple tips to save energy:
Enjoyable housing should be much more than hiding inside your apartment. At its best it consists of getting to know your neighbours and your surroundings, having new opportunities, and having fun together with other tenants.
In Finland, the law stipulates the rights and responsibilities of tenants when making decisions on matters concerning the houses; thus you have a chance to influence your own housing.
Each site has a tenant committee, which is elected at the sites' tenant meetings, and which can name candidates for the administration of the Student Housing Foundation. We want the students to regard their apartments as their own, to take care of the apartment and to participate in common issues with the enthusiasm and responsibility of an owner.
Tenant committees take care of the tasks assigned to them by law, they are in contact with both the tenants and Sevas, give statements, partake in planning repairs and the budget, organise social gatherings for the tenants, etc. Tenant committees report on their activities on the notice boards and by distributing handouts. Do not hesitate to participate. Taking part in the decision-making and having fun with the other tenants is your right, not an obligation. The easiest way to join in is to contact the active members of the tenant committee on your site. They will be pleased to help you.
Housing Foundations contribute to the operation of tenant committees by reserving funds for the committees in their budget. The tenant committees can decide on the use of this money independently. However, it should be kept in mind that the money comes from the rents paid by the tenants; in other words, the tenant committees are using the tenants' money.
Voluntary work and independent initiatives can save more money than is actually given to the tenant committees’ activities. We are always ready to participate in planning and supporting this, because we firmly believe that the best kind of maintenance, both for the tenants and for Sevas, is a joint commitment and responsibility in taking care of our valuable possessions.
Student apartment houses have a variety of premises and equipment for pursuing different hobbies. These obviously vary from site to site, and you can influence these matters via the tenant committee. Clubrooms are either open to everybody or have to be booked in advance. Some sites have gym equipment, whereas at other sites you can play table tennis, etc. For details check the notice board on your site or ask the tenant committee or Sevas.
Remember that the equipment on the sites is meant for every tenant's use and enjoyment.
We have also tried to see to it that the sites are conveniently located for pursuing many different kinds of hobbies. There are good opportunities for various outdoor activities in the immediate vicinity of many sites, and the sites in the city centre are close to the cultural and recreational services of the city.
Many sport centres and cultural institutions have reduced rates for students. Ask about such rates, and have your student card with you.
Sevas looks after their tenants during the different stages of their lives. If the circumstances concerning your family or studies change, you can apply for another apartment, which would be more suitable for you in your current situation. Your wishes will be taken into account, and we will try to see if suitable apartments are available. Do not forget that in a family apartment both partners – even after separation – are responsible for the apartment and paying the rent for as long as the tenancy agreement (which both partners have signed) is still valid. The partner, who is moving out, has to terminate the tenancy agreement on his or her own behalf, and his or her responsibility for the apartment and the rent continues until the end of the period of notice.
The precondition for changing apartments is that the applicant does not have unsettled payments for Sevas, e.g. rent.
When you get a student apartment, you also get a right for tenancy in a student apartment for the duration of your studies. You still have this right when you are living somewhere else because of a military service, a training period relating to your studies, temporary studies abroad or in another city, etc. However, when moving out, you have to report to us that you are only moving temporarily, and when you move back, you also have to show certificates of your military service, training, work, or studies. Thus, upon returning, you are entitled to have an apartment similar to that which you had before. We cannot, however, keep your old apartment reserved for you.
If you live alone in a family apartment or in a single room apartment, we can, if needed, sublet the apartment on your behalf, or give you permission to sublet the apartment to another student, which then enables you to leave your furniture, etc. for the use of the temporary tenant. When subletting your apartment, you are still held responsible for all matters concerning the apartment. In other cases, you have to find a place to store your belongings for the period that you are away. Sevas only has limited space for storing tenants’ belongings.
Sevas can give further information on all matters concerning temporary absence. Follow the terms of your tenancy agreement and the rules of Sevas. It is certainly the safest, cheapest, and most flexible way to handle this matter.
The grounds for the right for tenancy in a student apartment include studying in an educational institution after comprehensive school, or being a postgraduate student in such an institution. Sevas regularly checks your status as a student. When you have finished your studies, you lose your right for tenancy in a student apartment, and Sevas may terminate the rental agreement. Checking the right for tenancy is a procedure for the legal protection of all parties. Student apartments are meant to be used only for the duration of one’s studies.
Submitting an application, when there are sufficient grounds for it, can extend the right for tenancy. The right for tenancy is always extended for a fixed period, and also the new rental agreement will be made for a definite duration. A reason for continuing the tenancy can be for example a temporary lack of accommodation upon starting work, a short-term wait for the right for postgraduate studies, etc. If the tenant has unsettled payments for Sevas, the right for tenancy will not be continued.
The operations of Sevas Kodit Oy are regulated by laws, regulations and directions issued by the government and other authorities, by municipal rules and regulations and by Sevas' own directions and rules.
Tenants can contact any member of our team in matters concerning their tenancy. If you are not satisfied with the service you have received, you can turn to the managerial personnel or the managing director.
You can address a complaint to the board of Sevas, if you feel that you have not been treated fairly in apartment allocation, or if you suspect that the law or the rules of Sevas or the authorities have been violated.
Cases, which cannot be solved in Sevas, can be taken to the district court.
All parties have the right to give their own views on matters at every stage of the appeals and disputes hearing, and all parties will be informed on the decision made.
In the rental agreement, which has been made until further notice, the period of notice is one calendar month. The period of notice is counted from the last day of the month when the notice is given.
The tenant is responsible for terminating the rental agreement after finishing his or her studies, based on the regulations on the right for tenancy in a student apartment.
For the landlord, the period of notice is six months if the tenancy has lasted at least one year, and three months, if the tenancy has lasted less than a year.
A fixed period rental agreement usually becomes invalid at the end of the tenancy period, and no separate termination of the agreement is needed.
In serious cases of violation, Sevas Kodit Oy is entitled to terminate the tenancy without giving a period of notice. Such cases are, for example, neglecting to pay the rent, disturbing neighbours, transferring the right for tenancy or giving a part of the apartment for the use of another person without the permission of Sevas, etc. The tenancy expires immediately when the tenant has been given notice on the cancellation of the rental agreement. If needed, Sevas can bring action for eviction in the district court.
As a tenant, you are responsible for informing Sevas of any changes in the information you have given in the rental agreement (for example, finishing or dropping out of your studies). If you give false information or refuse to give the required information, this can lead to the termination or cancellation of the rental agreement.
The termination of the rental agreement is always made in writing, either by visiting the Sevas office, or by post, fax, or via the Internet. In all cases, the tenant has to prove his or her identity in accordance with the regulations of Sevas Kodit Oy. When terminating the rental agreement, the tenant gives Sevas permission to carry out an inspection of the apartment.
The form for terminating the rental agreement must contain all necessary information about the tenant, the apartment, and the tenancy. You can get these forms from the Sevas office or on our web pages.
Make sure that you have paid the last month's rent on time before you move out.
Before you move out from your apartment, you have to clean it so that it will satisfy the new tenant. This shows consideration and courtesy towards the new tenant. Do not forget to clean the shared areas in the apartment. You should take special care in cleaning the kitchen, the toilet, and the bathroom. Even if your apartment was untidy when you moved in, it does not mean that you can leave it in a similar condition when you move out. Do not forget to empty and clean your storerooms.
If you neglect to clean the apartment when you move out, Sevas is entitled to have the apartment cleaned at your expense. This means that the cleaning expenses will be taken from your guarantee fee.
The moving day is the day when the rental agreement expires. All keys to the apartment must be returned to the Sevas office. Do not send the keys by post, and do not leave them in the apartment. If you are unable to return the keys to the Sevas office during office hours, you may leave them in an envelope in the key return box/hatch. Enclose a note with your name, the address of the apartment, date and your signature. Remember that the guarantee fee can be paid back to you only after you have moved out of the apartment and handed in the keys as required.
Inform the Local Register Office and the Post Office immediately of a change of address. According to law, you have seven (7) days to do this. Do not forget to notify your friends and other people and institutions as well.
We will inspect your apartment about one week before your agreement ends AND if needed, immediately after you have moved out. You are obliged to pay for any expenses caused to replace missing or broken fixtures and fittings, cleaning an untidy apartment, etc. Natural wear and tear is obviously allowed and taken into account during the inspection. Your guarantee fee is used to cover any expenses, and if it is not enough, you will be sent a bill. During the inspection the general tidiness and the condition of the following items will be checked: fittings, electrical fittings in the kitchen, lights, shower curtain, sockets, switches, etc.
The guarantee fee will be returned to you on condition that you have fulfilled all your obligations towards Sevas Kodit Oy. When everything is in order, the guarantee fee will be paid into your bank account within a month from the termination of the rental agreement. If you have any unfulfilled obligations, for example, you have not returned the key or cleaned the apartment, then a corresponding amount will be taken from the guarantee fee to cover any costs. If the fee is not enough to cover all the expenses, the rest will be collected by the usual routes, with interest and collecting charges added. The guarantee fee cannot be used to pay the last month’s rent.
When you have given notification that you are terminating your rental agreement, Sevas will send an offer of an available apartment to an applicant. Often the student to whom your apartment has been offered will wish to see the apartment before moving in. In such cases, we may give the new tenant your name and contact information. We hope that you do not mind, if someone rings your doorbell and wants to come and see the apartment. After all, you were once in a similar situation yourself, and the new tenant should be entitled to see the apartment.
If you move out of the apartment during the period of notice, and you have agreed with the new tenant that he or she can move in earlier than the official day of moving in, you have to arrange all practical details yourselves. If you give your apartment keys to the new tenant, you and the new tenant must give a written notice about this to Sevas. The following information must be given in the notice: the name of the current tenant, the name of the new tenant, the address of the apartment, when the keys have been given to the new tenant, as well as the signatures of both tenants. If this written notice is not given, the guarantee fee of the tenant moving out cannot be returned, because there is no record that the keys have been returned. The tenant moving out has to pay the rent using his or her own payment slips and reference numbers.
If you move out during the period of notice, you can also leave the keys at the Sevas office. Let us know that the apartment is vacant, and we can give the apartment to the new tenant earlier. However, in such cases the new tenant is not required to pay rent, which means that you will not get back the rent you have paid for the month in question. According to law, the landlord has access to and control of the apartment after the tenant has handed in the keys.
Open weekdays 9.30–15.30
RENTAL AND SENIOR HOMES
06 420 3311
STUDENT AND STARTER RENTAL HOMES
06 420 3366
06 420 3355
REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT
06 420 3333
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