We aim to keep our buildings in good condition through systematic renovation work and on-demand repairs. Repairs can be performed on sections of the buildings, or entire buildings can be renovated. 

Hundreds of Heka apartments renovated each year

We renovate our apartments with a budget exceeding a hundred million euros each year. In 2020, an investment decision was made on renovating nearly 800 apartments, and at the end of the year, a total of almost 2,000 apartment renovation projects were under way. 

We also carry out various smaller repairs in our buildings as needed. When the tenant of an apartment changes, a so-called moving renovation can be carried out in the apartment. The potential need for such a renovation is surveyed when the apartment is inspected upon expiration of the rental agreement. Occasionally, repairs have to be carried out in apartments due to faults caused by the tenant’s carelessness, incorrect treatment of the apartment or neglected maintenance. In such cases, Heka charges the tenant for the costs of the repairs. 

The longer you live in the apartment, the more normal wear is caused to the apartment. If some part of the apartment falls apart as a result of normal wear, Heka will repair it or have it repaired for you.

Read about normal wear

If necessary, we also carry out discretionary smaller repairs and maintenance work, such as repairs on shared saunas, washing facilities and laundry rooms, and yard maintenance.

Tenants can also carry out small surface renovations in their apartments with Heka’s permission. 

How the planning of renovations goes at Heka

Repair and renovation times are surveyed in connection with long-term renovation plans, and the plans are discussed with the building committee. Renovations are currently being carried out in particular in buildings completed in the 1980s. The developer in the renovation projects is the Helsinki Housing Production Department ATT, which is responsible for seeing the renovation process through (including planning and construction contract tendering, and the supervision of contracts).

Each renovation begins with a needs assessment. In connection with the assessment, the building undergoes condition surveys in which the condition of its structures and technical systems is assessed. If needs for repairs are detected, the first step is to create a project plan, followed by creating the actual plans used in tendering the contract. All of Heka’s contracts are tendered as public procurements. Usually, the project planning and planning stage and the tendering take around two years in total, sometimes longer.

In large locations, renovations are often divided into two or more parts. 

The purpose of renovations is to extend the service life of the building. For example, renovations can involve an overhaul of the building’s pipes, drains, electrical wiring and ventilation. Kitchens, bathrooms or other surfaces and furnishings of apartments can also be renewed. In connection with renovations, lifts can be built into the building, or existing lifts can be upgraded to meet current requirements. Today, renovations always involve installing apartment-specific water meters, meaning that in renovated locations, tenants are charged for water in accordance with their actual consumption.

Where can tenants find information about the renovation situation of their building?

Heka regional offices inform tenants of upcoming repairs and renovations well in advance.

A tenant representative is always involved in renovations. For the duration of the renovation, the tenant representative serves as a link between the tenants and the contractor, informing the tenants and the building committee of the progress of the project.

You can request information about any planned repairs in your building from the building committee. 

Housing is secured during renovations

We provide a temporary replacement apartment for our tenants for the duration of renovations. We notify our tenants of upcoming renovations roughly half a year before the moving day and terminate the rental agreement for the current apartment. However, terminating the rental agreement does not mean that the tenant has to stop living in a Heka building. When notifying our tenants of renovations, we also inquire as to whether they need a temporary replacement apartment. We inform our tenants of their future replacement apartments and the estimated length of stay well before the moving day. Tenants who move into a replacement apartment sign a rental agreement that is valid until further notice. Tenants can choose whether they want to return to their previous apartment when the renovation is completed or stay permanently in the replacement apartment. 

Read more about living in a replacement apartment

All of Heka’s new buildings and renovated properties the renovation of which began after May 2016 are completely non-smoking. Smoking is prohibited inside the apartment, on the balconies and in the outdoor areas belonging to the apartment, as well as in shared facilities. Electronic cigarettes are also prohibited in these buildings. 

More energy-efficient buildings through renovations

Heka is currently carrying out an EU-funded project, the goal of which is to reduce the energy consumption of Heka’s extensive renovation locations by approximately 40% through multi-goal optimisation.

Read more about Heka’s HELENA project 

Renovation or demolition?

When a building approaches the end of its service life, a decision may be made based on cost calculations for different options and careful consideration to demolish the building instead of renovating it, whereby it will be replaced with a new building. With new construction, a demolished building can often be replaced with more apartments and more efficient use of space.