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Signing a lease contract with Kauhajoen Asunnot

If your application is successful, you will receive an offer for a rental apartment and the details about it relating to the location, size and rent. If you wish to accept the offer, you can book an appointment with our customer support team so that the lease agreement can be signed.

Before the agreement is signed, the support team will go through the content of the contract and its supplements in detail so that the future tenant understands what the tenant as a customer and the company as a landlord are committing to, and what is expected from both parties. The matter of a security deposit is also discussed, and a deadline for the deposit is set. The handover of keys and pre-move apartment inspection is organised after the tenant has provided proof of payment regarding the deposit.

Security deposit is a pre-requisite for a rental agreement

Before the prospective tenant receives the apartment keys and the contract is valid, they must organise a security deposit. The deposit is the equivalent of two months’ rent, payable before the first month’s rent and other fees. The funds must be deposited to the company’s rental security account and a proof of payment supplied to the customer support team so that the process can continue. If no deposit is received, the landlord has the right to terminate the agreement.

Why is the deposit requested?

The security deposit is a commitment that the company (landlord) requires from the person who they have selected as their tenant by signing a rental agreement with them. The deposit works as a financial buffer in case any damage to the apartment or its contents should occur while the tenant is living in the apartment. If there is nothing to fix at the end of the tenancy, the apartment is clean, well taken care of and all rents and payments have been paid as expected, the landlord will return the deposit to the tenant. The amount does not generate interest while it is held on landlord’s rental security account, so the amount returned will never total more than what was paid in.

Discretionary alternatives

Finnish residents who are eligible for means-tested Finnish social security can apply for a commitment of expenditure from Kela if they are unable to pay the security deposit out of pocket. The benefit is discretionary, which means that the application is not automatically approved. The prospective tenant must submit an application to Kela in good time after receiving an offer for a rental apartment, as processing times can vary. The offer is conditional, so the commitment of expenditure must be approved before the actual contract is signed and the keys handed over.

If the prospective tenant is unable to pay the deposit themselves, they can also request a personal guarantee from two other natural persons. The guarantee is unconditional and payable on first demand, should the tenant fail to pay rent or other fees. A credit check will be conducted concerning both the tenant and the guarantors and the application can be rejected if there is a record of default or arrears. The credit check means that the guarantor must have a Finnish identity number and a clean credit record. If the application is accepted, the tenant must still pay a 100-euro deposit out of pocket as a security.

Handover of keys and the pre-move apartment inspection

When the proof of payment for the deposit has been accepted by the company, an appointment will be scheduled for the handover of keys and a pre-move apartment inspection. The inspection will be conducted by a representative of the maintenance company contracted by the landlord, and they will check all baseline meter readings (water, electricity, etc.), that all the equipment in the apartment is in good working order, that the apartment is clean and that the baseline condition of the apartment in the beginning of the new tenant’s tenancy period is recorded. They will also take photographs of the apartment as visual evidence that will be kept in record for the eventual second inspection when the tenant is moving out and the condition of the apartment is checked again.

The apartment is routinely cleaned before the previous tenant moves out and any faults checked, recorded and fixed as part of an inspection held before their departure. However, the new tenant still has an opportunity to make note of anything that they think should be fixed in the apartment during their inspection before they receive the keys. The things observed will be recorded in the inspection report. Normal wear and tear includes some scuffing on the floors, colour changes on surface materials as a result of sunlight exposure over time and small markings on the walls from wall hangings or pictures. Big scratches, cracks or large holes on surfaces and damage from pets are not normal.

When the tenant is happy with the inspection report and ready to receive the keys, they are asked to sign the report to indicate that they have received the keys and are aware of the condition of the apartment at the time of receiving it. The report is also signed by the maintenance company representative, and delivered to the office for safekeeping, as it is needed again when the tenant moves out and the apartment is checked before their departure. After the first inspection the tenant can start planning their move if they already haven’t – the apartment is now their new home.

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