Category Archives: Home & Housing

Finding a home, signing a lease, furnishing etc.

Finnish apartments

Most people in Helsinki live in an apartment. For a duplex house with it’s own yard, you will need to consider moving a little further out to areas like Espoo or Vantaa.

Most apartments come with a stove and fridge freezer.

Some may include a washing machine (often in the bathroom) or a room downstairs with communal machines you can pay to use.

Dryers are less common as most people dry their washing by hanging it on a rack inside. Good heating means clothes hung out at night are often dry by the morning. For sheets and towels, most apartment buildings have a communal drying room downstairs.


Most apartments have built-in wardrobes, including an area in the entrance-way to hang winter coats.

Wooden floors are more common than carpet and it is normal to remove shoes upon entry.


Radiator heaters are built in to most rooms and the heating is turned on by the building manager as the weather grows colder. You can adjust the level of the heaters in your own home.

Many apartments come with personal storage areas downstairs, which are useful for storing winter sports equipment. There may also be a communal room for storing bicycles and skis.

Mail is delivered directly to your home, through a slot in the front door.

For more info and photos of a Finnish apartment click here.



Who to notify when you move house


You must change your address at a post office or the Local Register Office (maistraatti).

You can submit your new address online, by phone or by using a form.

The notification of move is called muuttoilmoitus and should be submitted at most one month before you move and at latest, one week after.

Your details will then be updated in the Population Information System and with various government agencies.

Who to notify checklist

How to notify of your move

Mail Redirection Service

Population Information System

Social Security in Finland

Kela is the social security agency in Finland. They handle payments related to health, unemployment, children, families and disability.

Your eligibility for social security will depend on how long you are here for and where you have come from. All permanent residents are issued with a health insurance (Kela) card.

For more information, visit the Kela website.

Looking for Housing

You can search online for housing and then contact the agent or landlord to make a time to view. Sometimes an open viewing time will be included in the advertisement.

Finnish homes are advertised by the number of rooms, which includes living rooms and bedrooms. For example, a 2 room home is likely to mean a living room + one bedroom. This is written as 2h, where h stands for huoneet (rooms).

Kylpyhuone (bathroom) is shown as kph and keittiö (kitchen) is shown as k. Parveke (balcony) is shown as p.

Therefore, an apartment advertised as 2h + k, kph, p has one living room, one bedroom, a kitchen, bathroom and balcony.

You will generally find a stove and fridge freezer in place. Many apartment buildings come with a storage room, a shared space to store bicycles and maybe a room to store strollers and prams.

Bath tubs are rare but some apartments include their own sauna, or their may be a communal one in the building.

You will most likely be asked to pay a deposit when you rent although the amount can vary. Water is usually charged per person on top of rent, as well as internet and electricity.

Helpful search terms:

Helsinki is in the area of Finland called Uusimaa.

Furnished – kalustettu

Vuokra – rent

Vuokra/kk – rent per month

Autopaikka – parking space

Oma sauna – own sauna

Pesukone – washing machine

Jääkaappi – refrigerator

Vuokrakohteet – rental properties

For a full list of words, visit Expat Finland or The Dictionary for Rental Property Ads

Useful sites for accommodation searches include: Vuokraovi Oikotie Jokakoti  Sato

Facebook group: Vuokra-assunot Helsinki

You can also sign up for early notification of places for rent at Vuokraturva