- Team play in living and maintenance: responsibilities in a tenancy
The responsibility of maintaining the apartment is divided between the tenant and the landlord. This division of responsibility is regulated by legislation, various guidelines and the tenancy agreement along with its terms and other attachments.
According to law, a tenant is responsible for looking after his/her rental apartment well and meticulously. In addition, the tenant is responsible for reporting damages to the apartment or deficiencies that TYS is required to repair. Should the tenant neglect his/her reporting duty, he/she shall be responsible for the damages caused by the neglect (Tenancy Act § 24). For more information on reporting faults and deficiencies as well as the division of responsibility between the tenant and TYS, see here
The landlord is responsible for necessary renovations in the apartment caused by normal wearing, and also for constant maintenance of the properties. Normal wearing is defined as taking place over time, such as the aging of surfaces. Constant maintenance of the properties is defined as surveillance and regular maintenance of equipment related to the building automation (heating, water etc.) of the buildings and structures.
The tenant is not responsible for normal wearing in the apartment. Instead, the tenant is responsible for repairing damages caused to the landlord on purpose and by neglect or other carelessness. Similarly, the tenant is responsible for damages caused by guests or pets, for instance. As such, the tenant should avoid anything that might cause damages. However, it is advised to acquire a home insurance in case of damages.
- Using and furnishing the apartment
Fixing paintings, shelves, mirrors etc. on the wall is allowed, but the fixing must be done reasonably. When fixing, take the wall materials into account, and if there are boards for paintings in the apartment, use those for fixing. The tenant will be liable to pay for unreasonably marks and holes left in the wall.
The tenant has no right to do repairs or renovations in the apartment without the landlord’s permission. Painting and tampering with structures (inc. peepholes and safety chains) are all SUBJECT TO LICENSE. Should the tenant do repairs or renovations in the apartment without permission, the landlord may receive the right to terminate the lease and receive compensation from the tenant. The tenant shall have no right to compensation for work done without permission or material expenses. If you wish to do something to smarten up your apartment or have a peephole installed, for instance, contact the property services first.
Please also remember to use the fixtures in your apartment with care: do not lay hot pots on the worktops without table mats, always use a knife with a cutting board, see to it that no water is left on sensitive surfaces whenever possible, clean the fixtures regularly etc.
Tenants are not allowed to build any kind of fence or screen on the Student Village’s yards on their own. Should a tenant wish to outline his/her yard, green wire fencing can be put between the existing barriers. The yard must not be extended; instead, the green wire fencing should be installed from one end of the barriers to the other.
- Tenant’s own devices
The landlord does not provide the apartments with dishwashers or washing machines. A dishwasher or washing machine may only be installed if the apartment has appropriate connections. In case you’re not sure if your apartment has the necessary connections or if there are other appliances besides a fridge and stove in the apartment when you move in, contact the service desk. Declining to contact is regarded as taking responsibility for the appliance. As such, a new tenant who has taken responsibility for the appliances shall be liable to pay for damages in case of water damage due to incorrect installations etc. by the previous tenant.
The tenant shall take responsibility when installing a dishwasher or washing machine. TYS requires a dishwasher to be installed by an HP professional and a safety tray to be fitted under the dishwasher to counter water damage. Notice that not all home insurances may cover costs caused by potential water damage unless the dishwasher or washing machine has been installed by an HP professional. The dishwasher or washing machine must never be left to run unattended, and the water taps must be always closed when the machine is not operated.
The incoming water and discharge water connections in a dishwasher and washing machine must have appropriate plugging whenever no appliance is connected to them (such as when moving out). Write a notice of defects if the connections drip or leak water or if the appropriate plugging is missing. In TYS apartments, dishwasher and washing machine connections are equipped with a back-pressure valve.
NOTICE: using portable cooling and air conditioning equipment that decreases the room temperature is absolutely forbidden. In contrast, using air rotation equipment (table and floor fans) is allowed.
- TV and Internet
A TV cable socket and Internet socket are found in all TYS apartments. In shared apartments, the sockets in question are found in each room.
In order to use the Internet connection, you’ll need a RJ45 cable (connected directly to a device or alternatively to a wireless router). More information on the Internet connection can be found on the Kyläverkko website. Details on the network and troubleshooting are handled by the IT Management of the University of Turku: http://www.yok.fi / firstname.lastname@example.org / 02 333 6000.
All TYS housing locations have a TV cable antenna system (provided by Sonera, except for Auringonnousu, which is provided for by DNA). As such, see to it that your equipment is cable network compatible. Installing a TV and/or a digibox and doing a channel search shall be the tenant’s own responsibility. Notice that when moving equipment into a new home, a factory reset is usually required in order to find channels.
- Tenant communications and maintenance visits
TYS carries out its tenant communications in accordance with the Tenancy Act: the tenant is informed of maintenance work to be done in the apartment two weeks in advance, and bigger renovations are announced at least six months in advance. TYS partners have also been instructed to act in the same manner in situations where tenant communication has been designated as the partner’s responsibility. If the procedure in question is urgent and it can’t be postponed without causing damage, it may be carried out without prior notice. A visit can also be arranged with the tenant in person. In such cases the above notification times don’t apply.
The landlord has the right to access the apartment in order to assess its condition together with the tenant at an agreed-upon time. The tenant must let the landlord into the apartment without delay at an appropriate time.
TYS methods concerning apartment visits require that the doorbell must be rung / the door must be knocked regardless of whether it’s possible to use a master key or no during the visit. Should no one be at home, a note will always be left in the apartment that states what work was done and who visited when and why. Visitors to apartments have been instructed to carry an ID card and possibly wear company clothing as well.
TYS announces apartment maintenance-related matters mainly via email and on the bulletin board on the tenant pages. Should you not receive TYS notifications via email, check that your email address is typed correctly on the tenant pages. If the address is correct, check also your spam folder. If you still can’t find the notifications in your email folders but they’re visible on your tenant site, contact the rental services.
- Apartment inspections
Apartment inspections are a central part of constant maintenance. Up-to-date information on the condition and renovation requirements of apartments is continuously acquired through both the apartment form filled by the tenant when moving in and the apartment inspection carried out or ordered by TYS when moving out. For more information on the apartment form, see the ‘Moving in’ site, and for details on the apartment inspection done by TYS during the termination month, see ‘Moving out and cleaning’. More information on apartment inspections can be received from the TYS service desk.
Please note that if a specific time for an apartment inspection has been agreed upon with the tenant and the inspection cannot be carried out at the agreed time due to reasons caused by the tenant (e.g. there’s a pet in the apartment and the tenant is absent), the tenant shall be charged a fee for a redundant inspection visit according to the liability price list. Should you need to cancel the visit, notify the property services immediately via your tenant site, by phone (02 275 0200) or via email (servicedesk(at)tys.fi).
Heating in all TYS housing locations is controlled by house automation, which regulates the temperature of the water circulating in the radiator network based on the outdoors temperature. Bathrooms usually have a separate heating system, which means that a bathroom radiator can feel warmer than other radiators in the apartment. As such, bathroom radiators and optional floor heating are turned on in many locations regardless of the season so that wet facilities could dry more quickly.
Should you feel that your apartment is cold:
• Check that the radiator thermostat is open. When the thermostat is turned to maximum heat, it should raise the room temperature to c. +21°C degrees.
• The thermostat must not be covered with thick curtains or furniture. It’s good to place furniture at least 20cm from thermostats so that warm air can spread into the apartment.
• Notice that when the outdoors temperature is around +10°C, the temperature of the water circulating in radiators is around +31°C. In such cases, the radiator feels cold to the touch even though it’s already raising the room temperature. In addition, when operating correctly, a radiator’s lower edge is often cooler than the upper edge. As such, there’s no reason for concern if the radiator isn’t warm throughout.
• Measure with a thermometer if the room temperature decreases clearly under the recommended level (+20 – 22°C) repeatedly or for long periods. The temperature should be measured at a height of 1.1 metres and at least 0.6 metres from a wall.
Should you measure a temperature of below +20°C and the other above issues have been taken into account, submit a fault report. Enter the temperature you measured into the report.
Important: tenants must not bleed radiators on their own under any circumstance. The tenant shall be responsible for water damage caused by radiator bleeding. Should you suspect that there might be air in your radiator or for other reasons believe that the radiator doesn’t work properly, write an electronic notice of defects via your tenant page.
Should you feel that your apartment is too hot, check that the radiator thermostats are adjusted to a closed position. In the summer, it’s good to close the curtains during daytime and ventilate the apartment in the evening and at night. Check that the replacement air valves are open and that the outgoing air valves function normally (see ‘Ventilation and indoor air’). Using portable cooling and air conditioning equipment that decreases the room temperature is absolutely forbidden. In contrast, using air rotation equipment (table and floor fans) is allowed.
- Ventilation and indoor air
Ventilation and good indoor air are based on the fact that air is constantly being removed from the room and replaced with fresh air from outside. TYS housing locations have an extraction ventilation system which is turned on at all times (boosted two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon). In Haliskylä, replacement air is brought to the apartments mechanically as well.
Outgoing air valves, or valves through which air is removed from the apartment, are usually located in ‘dirty and damp spaces’, meaning the kitchen, bathroom and walk-in closet, for instance. Replacement air valves, or ventilation valves which let fresh air from the outside into the apartment, are located near windows, most often above the radiator. This means that the radiator already warms up the replacement air a bit as it comes into the apartment.
It’s important that both the replacement air valves and outgoing air valves are kept open and clean.
A replacement air valve must never be fully closed or taped shut, for instance. If the replacement air valves are blocked, the ventilation system will start sucking replacement air from the next easiest place, such as the letterbox or sewer. Many replacement valve models have different positions that can be adjusted based on the outdoors temperature (winter and summer positions), for example. If a valve is set in an open position but doesn’t let any fresh air in, write a notice of defects.
You can test an outgoing air valve easily: put a piece of toilet / kitchen paper on the mouth of the ventilation valve. If the piece sticks to the valve, the ventilation is working as it should. If the piece drops down instead, the ventilation system doesn’t remove air from your apartment for some reason, and the reason must be found out. Ventilation valves become dusty over time and must be washed whenever necessary. A valve must never be adjusted while being washed: it has to be pulled out entirely (by grabbing its collar) via counter-clockwise turning and washed carefully with a mild dishwashing solution, for example. The tenant is responsible for cleaning the outgoing air valve regularly.
After taking a shower and when drying laundry, it’s good to leave the bathroom door open so that the ventilation valve gets replacement air smoothly from elsewhere in the apartment. This way, the bathroom will dry more quickly and the ventilation system won’t suck in stinking replacement air from the sewer.
There’s usually an outgoing air valve behind an optional cooker hood in the kitchen. The tenant is responsible for cleaning the cooker hood’s grease filter with a mild dishwashing solution or in a dishwasher regularly.
- Water and plumbing
The tenant should prevent sewer blockages from forming and report difficult blockages, all leaks and a broken or hairline-cracked sink or toilet seat immediately to the landlord. If a sink doesn’t drain well, you can try to open the blockage with a drain gel. Should this not fix the situation or the problem lies with another sewer, write an electronic fault report via the tenant pages.
If the sewers don’t drain at all, the situation has already reached an urgent state, and the landlord or maintenance service must be called immediately. Declining to report may lead to the tenant being held responsible for compensation. Water must not be let to a clogged sewer either in order to avoid water damage. Should water leak out due to a clogged sewer, the tenant must take immediate action to counter and minimise damages.
Food leftovers, oil, grease, toiletry etc. must not be put in the sewer, as they accumulate over time into the pipes, causing a blockage. Oil and grease can be put in a closed plastic bottle, for instance, which can be put in the trash. Find out more on ‘Waste sorting’ or visit the Southwestern Finland’s waste management’s website: www.lsjh.fi/en/
Always submit a notice of defects if the toilet seat doesn’t work properly: for example, it the seat leaks onto the floor, keeps flushing constantly, has been split at a certain spot (including hairline cracks) or if the flushing mechanism doesn’t work properly.
The tenant is responsible for cleaning the floor drains regularly. If a floor drain doesn’t drain properly despite having been cleaned, write a notice of defects, as the blockage may lie further down in the piping. Typically, hair and other normal washing waste will accumulate into the floor drain, which will block the water from flowing smoothly into the sewer network.
- Electricity and fuses
In TYS apartments (as elsewhere in Finland), the mains voltage is 230V and the frequency is 50Hz. Depending on the apartment and facility, sockets can be either grounded (CEE7/4 Suko) or ungrounded (CEE7/16 Europlug).
For ceiling lights, the apartments are equipped with ceiling sockets. A ceiling socket will always have a back plate and a hook. In addition, the socket will have either a screw terminal or a plug, depending on the model. However, the ceiling socket must always include all three parts; otherwise the installation is regarded as insufficient.
A tip in case your apartment has a plug-in ceiling socket but your light has no plug and only cables: don’t disassemble the ceiling socket. Instead, get an adapter that you can purchase for a couple of euros in hardware stores and bigger department stores.
The light switches in TYS apartments are typically normal switches, but some apartments have dual switches, for instance. Submit a fault report if a light switch has been damaged in any way. The tenant must not make any repairs or changes to light switches on his/her own.
All TYS bathrooms have been fitted with a light by the landlord. This light may be a ceiling light or wall light and/or a light integrated into the bathroom cabinet. The fluorescent lamps on the kitchen worktops have most often been installed by the landlord as well. All shared apartments have TYS kitchen and hall lights. Other apartments as well may have TYS lights in the walk-in closet or hall, for instance. The landlord’s lights must not be switched to one’s own lights. The tenant is always responsible for switching lamps, but the landlord is responsible for all other light-related maintenance work. For more details on the division of responsibility in maintenance work, see ‘Notice of defects and maintenance’.
Should an electric device suddenly stop working, always check the fuses before writing a notice of defects. It’s up to the tenant to change fuses. The fuse box is usually located in the hall but can also be in the walk-in closet or kitchen, for example. Fuses in studio apartments with shared kitchens in the western part of the student village are located in the hallway. Always turn off the main switch before changing fuses.
TYS provides apartments with a stove and a fridge or a fridge-freezer. The tenant is responsible for acquiring a dishwasher and a washing machine as well as other appliances, such as a coffeemaker, microwave oven etc. For details, see the above section ‘Tenant’s own devices’.
The target temperature of a fridge is +6 – 8°C and -18°C for a freezer. Should you notice that the temperature of the fridge or freezer is unstable or clearly too high or low, write a fault report (report the refrigeration device’s temperature also when possible). If the freezer is too cold, make sure that the quick-freeze function isn’t turned on. The quick-freeze function is meant to quicken the freezing of large batches. If the quick-freeze button is constantly on (usually depicted with an orange light and the letter S), the freezer is always too cold and won’t preserve your foodstuffs properly. In addition, using the function continuously wastes energy and overloads the device, which causes a fire safety risk.
Don’t use the stove burners if they’re cracked. Submit a notice of defects immediately, as the burner might be dangerous.
Most of the kitchens come equipped with a cooker hood, which is a part of the extraction ventilation system. Cooker hoods have been connected to the extraction ventilation mechanism and are virtually always ‘on’. During boosted periods (two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon), the cooker hood sucks air a bit more efficiently than usual. The TYS housing location Henrikki has range hoods that operate with their own motor instead.
When living in the apartment, the tenant must also take care of the fixtures (such as the kitchen and bathroom cupboards etc.) and immediately report their breaking to the landlord. The landlord is responsible for normal wearing, but the tenant is responsible for damages caused by his/her carelessness (knowingly or involuntarily), neglect or intentional actions. As such, please use the fixtures with reasonable caution: no hot pots etc. should be laid on worktops, always use a knife with a cutting board, see to it that no water is left on sensitive surfaces whenever possible, clean the fixtures regularly etc. In most cases, it’s most effective to report a fault as soon as you notice it: when a door hinge starts to loosen, it’ll be much easier to fix right away compared to fixing a torn hinge.