Matter of fact: The ABC of yard work

A well-maintained yard is not only pleasant, but also accessible and safe. This is how the responsibilities for yard maintenance are divided at Heka locations.

Written by Anne Ventelä Photos by Essi Kuula

Notify Heka of any defects in the yard

Broken yard furniture? A creaking swing? If you notice any defects in the areas maintained by Heka, please call the local defect notification number for defects requiring urgent repairs, or submit a non-urgent defect notification online at

If you notice that the pathways in the yard are slippery, please call the emergency number of your area immediately. If multiple housing locations are sharing the yard, please ask the regional office who is responsible for the shared yard. 

Flying the flag at Heka locations

You may enquire at your regional office about celebratory flag-flying or flying the flag at half-mast. The office is also responsible for the flag on official flag-flying days. 

Distribution of responsibilities at locations with wooden or terraced houses

Please check for any exceptional distribution of responsibilities in the rental agreement. For example, snow removal and gritting the roads may be tenant’s responsibility at wooden houses.

The City of Helsinki's areas of responsibility and road maintenance in the winter

In the inner city, the City is responsible for clearing snow from the roads and gritting them, while property owners are responsible for the streets belonging to the properties. In suburban areas, the City is also responsible for the streets. Read more from city's Winter maintenance -site.

Importand numbers

22:00–7:00: Let everyone live in peace. Avoid making noise in the yard from ten in the evening until seven in the morning.

1/3 yard work: Yard work makes up a third of the work for Heka’s building maintenance staff.

Three days: The aim is to take care of urgent maintenance immediately, and minor defects within three days. 

Two weeks: At least two weeks before the date planned: agree with the site’s maintenance supervisor about organising volunteer yard work in the autumn and spring. 

How are the yard maintenance responsibilities divided between Heka and the Tenants?


Heka’s responsibilities

  • emptying the bins in the yard
  • maintaining the playgrounds and their equipment, as well as the fixed yard furniture
  • maintaining any fixed boundary fences
  • changing the light bulbs of outdoor lamps in the shared yards.

Yard maintenance in the winter

  • snow removal from the yard routes
  • gritting the yards whenever necessary.

Yard maintenance in the spring, summer and autumn

  • removing grit from the yards
  • mowing the lawns on the shared yards
  • caring for the plants, bushes and trees on the property
  • if volunteer yard work is not organised, Heka will take care of raking.

Tenants’ responsibilities

  • putting rubbish into the bin in the shared areas
  • maintaining the yard connected to the home: cleaning, snow removal, lawn and landscape maintenance
  • changing the light bulbs in the home yard: if the tenant has access to the light switch, the tenant is responsible for changing the bulbs.

Yard maintenance in the winter

  • placing bicycles, scooters, garden furniture and grills into storage or under cover
  • removing snow from the personal parking space, balcony, home yard or a path leading only to your home
  • independent gritting of the area in front of the door with grit from a container.

Yard maintenance in the spring, summer and autumn

  • organising volunteer yard work in the spring and autumn: raking the yard and planting flowers
  • maintaining and tidying the cultivation boxes purchased for the shared yard.