Apply for a Heka apartment that is becoming available or look for a partner to exchange apartments with.

At some point, it may become necessary to move from your current apartment to another one that meets the needs related to your changed life situation in terms of its size, equipment or location. You can apply for a switch to a Heka apartment that is becoming available or look for a partner to exchange apartments with.

The City of Helsinki’s housing services selects the tenants

The housing agency of the City of Helsinki’s housing services, selects the tenants for Heka apartments. Tenants applying for a switch from one Heka apartment to another must also submit their apartment change applications to Rental apartment search.

Heka’s regional offices no longer process apartment change applications or make decisions on apartment changes. Income limits are no longer applied to Heka apartments, but the applicants’ income continues to affect the means-testing that guides the selection of tenants.

Requirements for changing apartments

If your housing needs have changed and you have lived in a Heka apartment for at least a year, you can apply for a switch to another apartment.

  • You have a justified need to change apartments. You can apply for a change of apartments on account of a change in family size, financial difficulties or health reasons.
  • You are a main tenant. Before applying for a change, you must have lived in your current Heka apartment for at least a year. The period of residence is calculated from the start date of the rental agreement. If you acquire an apartment through lease transfer, the tenancy begins on the date on which the lease is transferred to you. 
  • You have a rental agreement for a Heka apartment that is valid until further notice.
  • You have not been warned in writing about violating the rules of conduct or leading a disruptive lifestyle in your apartment within the last year.
  • You do not have any unpaid rent.
  • The lessor has no other financial claims against you.
  • There are no complaints about the condition of your apartment.

The wealth limits that apply to apartment seekers do not apply to apartment switchers.

If you want to change apartments within Heka, follow these instructions

  • You can apply directly to City of Helsinki for a switch to a Heka apartment that is becoming available.
  • You can look for another apartment or exchange partner through the Apartment Exchange Market. If you find a partner to exchange apartments with, please submit an application to City of Helsinki for an approval for the exchange.

You can also apply directly to City of Helsinki for a switch to a Heka apartment that is becoming available while simultaneously looking for an exchange partner through the Apartment Exchange Market. Your application is valid for three months at a time, and you can renew your application if your need to change apartments continues. If you cannot use the online services, you can also apply for a change of apartments by visiting the customer service point of Rental apartment search in Kalasatama.

Request an apartment inspection only after it seems that you will be changing apartments

Request the apartment inspection only after it seems that you will be changing apartments. You will receive instructions on how to order an inspection from the City of Helsinki. This is the procedure regardless of whether it is an apartment swap, changing to a new apartment or changing to an apartment that is becoming available. The apartment inspection is subject to a fee and valid for one year. 

Heka will provide the city with information about the apartment inspection. If the inspection reveals that there are significant concerns in the condition of the apartment, the apartment exchange is not possible. A new apartment inspection can be ordered no earlier than three months after the previous inspection, and a new fee is charged for it. Therefore, it is important that, before the inspection, the tenants make an effort to repair any defects or deficiencies in the apartment that they may have caused during their stay. You should use the apartment checklist to help you check the condition of your apartment.

Apartment checklist for the tenant

The condition of the apartment is always checked at the end of the tenancy. The tenant is not responsible for the normal wear and tear of the apartment. However, the tenant will have to compensate for any damage caused intentionally or through negligence.

If the apartment inspection reveals that the apartment has defects or deficiencies caused by the tenant themselves, this may lead to an obligation to compensate or, in the case of an apartment change, inability to carry out the apartment change.

Before the apartment inspection, you should go over the condition of the apartment yourself:

  • You have not had any alterations done to your apartment without the permission of the Heka regional office.
  • Your apartment does not contain so much property as to endanger fire safety.
  • The toilet bowl and sink are intact.
  • The cabinet doors are intact and firmly in place.
  • The internal doors of your apartment and their frames are in place.
  • The floor surfaces are intact.
  • The fire alarms are in place.
  • The windows and balcony glazing are in good condition.
  • The refrigerator, freezer and cooker are intact, and you still have all their accessories.
  • The sockets, switches and light fixtures are intact and functional.
  • Your apartment is in a tidy condition.  

Agreeing on changing apartments

Agreements must be concluded by the last day of the current calendar month. However, we recommend that agreements are concluded as soon as the decision to change apartments has been made.

Lease agreements can be terminated and signed online. The new agreements can only be signed once the notices of termination have been received from everyone involved in the exchange. If termination or signing online is not possible, we recommend that the swap partners visit the Heka regional office at the same time. An appointment must be made with Heka’s housing secretaries. If necessary, the contracting party can also be represented by another person with a power of attorney.

In apartment swaps, the apartments are not renovated when the apartments are swapped, but the swap partners receive each other’s apartments in the condition they are in at the time of the swap.

Once the lease agreement for the new apartment has been signed, the exchange cannot be cancelled.