Communal living for adults is also possible at Heka

What if you shared an apartment with other people? Students are more accustomed to shared housing than other adults, but anyone can choose a communal form of living.

Written by Tarja Västilä Photos by iStock

‒ It is often thought that those interested in communality want a shared home. However, living in multiple places is increasing and cabin culture is diversifying, so large-scale users of cultural services and nature enthusiasts, for example, could also choose a shared apartment as their second home, says Housing Specialist Laura Hassi from the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities.

According to Hassi, these kinds of people are not interested in housing but rather in activities. Communal living would provide occasional company, a place to store one’s things and a place to stay for the night. 

Trust is important in communal living

Heka does not have any detailed information on the number of tenants living communally, as they are not statistically separated from couples or multi-generational families.

‒ Applying for an apartment is normally carried out by filling in an application. You can add multiple adults to the application and mention as additional information that you are looking for a shared apartment. There are applicants like this, and some are also selected, says Team Manager Kati Hytönen from the City of Helsinki Housing Services.

If there are several main tenants, Heka lawyer Trinka Jusufi says that they are jointly responsible for the apartment. Everyone’s credit score is checked, although a payment default does not necessarily prevent receiving the apartment.

If one of the tenants causes damage to the apartment or does not pay their rent, for example, the others must bear the responsibility. You should choose people you know and who are reliable as your flatmates.

The main tenant is responsible for the apartment

When a main tenant takes subtenants, the main tenant is responsible for the apartment. The rental agreement is made with them. According to the law, half of the apartment can be rented onwards to others, i.e. the apartment must be a one-bedroom apartment or larger for subtenancy to be possible.

If you know and trust your flatmate, your cohabitation should pose no problems. Good insurance is always necessary. However, home insurance does not necessarily cover damage caused intentionally. Jusufi advises drawing up a written agreement with the subtenant or other communal tenants so that the liability for damages is clearly agreed upon.

Communal living is ecological

There are many benefits to communal living. According to Jusufi, communal living is cheaper and more ecological – and more fun.

– People living alone suffer the most during a pandemic, for example; in communal living, there is always someone to talk to and things can be shared. People living communally also share the living expenses with each other.

Hassi states that a good urban environment is multidimensional. The diversity of urban culture creates different ways of living for different needs. Communal living has a place in there too.

Apply for a shared apartment:

Submit your application at State your wishes about the size of the apartment and also provide information on those moving into the apartment.

If you apply to be the main tenant, you are responsible to the lessor. If you wish, you can take a subtenant with whom you should draw up a sublease.