Repairs and replacement apartments  

We spend a couple of hundred million euros per year repairing our buildings and apartments. Every year, we renovate up to a thousand apartments. If a renovation or other major work prevents living in the apartment, we will provide our residents with replacement apartments for the duration of the renovation.

Once the renovation has been completed, the residents may choose to return to the renovated apartment or stay in the replacement one. Providing replacement apartments for the duration of renovations is a rare practice among rental housing operators. 

Heka provides replacement apartments for the duration of renovation 

All the residents of the building to be renovated will be offered the option of moving to replacement apartments. A replacement apartment is a Heka-owned apartment that can become permanent housing if the resident does not, for one reason or another, want to return the old apartment.  

When a building is to be renovated, we will inform the residents well in advance before the start of the renovation and need to move out. We usually hold an information event for the residents where they can ask questions and get information about what is to come.  

About six months before the need to move out, we will terminate the lease agreements for the residents’ current apartments and send the residents a survey of their need for replacement housing. By answering the survey, the residents can tell us their own wishes and needs related to housing. Needs related to accessibility, in particular, should be relayed to us as early as possible. 

Well before the moving date, we will inform the residents about their future replacement apartments and the estimated time they will need to live there. A resident moving into a replacement apartment will need to sign a lease agreement that is valid until further notice.  

Moving has been made as easy as possible for residents: Heka will arrange for moving boxes, removal firms and transportation. Residents only need to pack their belongings. 

Since there is a lot of need for replacement apartments at Heka and providing them is a complex process, we can only offer each resident one replacement apartment that may be located in an area other than the resident’s preferred area. Residents can also arrange their replacement housing by themselves and still be able to return to their old, renovated apartments. 

The resident has the right to return to the renovated apartment 

Residents have the right to return to their old apartment once the renovation is complete, but they also have the option of staying in the replacement apartment. However, rent payment problems and housing disturbances may prevent residents from returning to their old apartment.  

A few months before the estimated completion of the renovation, we will investigate the resident’s wishes concerning moving back into their apartments with a survey. If the resident decides to return to the renovated apartment, we will make a new lease agreement with them that is valid until further notice.  

In renovation and demolition situations, our residents’ positions are secured, because their income and wealth are only checked when they want to move out of their own volition. 

In all Heka leases starting on or after 1 January 2021, smoking is prohibited in the indoor areas of the apartments, as well as in the outdoor areas of the apartment that are under the control of the resident. The policy also applies to the lease agreements of people living in replacement apartments. 

Renovations include replacing almost everything 

In major renovations, everything that needs to be replaced will be replaced, including things such as the interior surfaces, kitchens, bathrooms, architectural engineering and façades.  

At the same time, architectural engineering will be updated, energy efficiency will be improved and the buildings will be made more environmentally friendly. Solar power plants will be installed on the roofs of the buildings, ventilation will be enhanced and geothermal heat will be introduced where possible.  

Our goal is to reduce the energy consumption of our properties by 40% through energy renovations carried out in connection with the renovations.  

Renovations aim to make the buildings’ apartments and common areas as accessible as possible. 

Residents also participate in the planning of renovations. From the very beginning, the residents’ representative is involved in the renovation planning meetings and acts as a link between the residents and the contractor.  

The renovation time of Heka’s buildings is determined through long-term renovation planning and condition surveys and inspections carried out at the site. If a need for repairs is detected, we will proceed from a project plan to actual plans and on to contract competition. You can ask the resident committee for information about the possible repair plans of your own building. 

Major renovations of Heka’s buildings are the responsibility of the City of Helsinki’s housing production.