House stories

Living in a rental apartment in the heart of the city

It’s nicer to live together than alone. Clarissa Attwood and Kaisla Kuusela are best friends and roommates living in Alppila, Helsinki.

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The landlord would have paid for the paint. That sounded great. They would’ve only needed to pick up some brushes and start painting. Clarissa and Kaisla didn’t accept this tempting offer because the new rental apartment was in perfect shape. Wall paint was not peeling off and there were no dents on the walls or floors. The apartment was tidy.

The two friends were impressed by its neat general condition, so it was settled: the young ladies would move in together for the first time. They still clearly remembered the previous apartment, which they almost moved into. They had already agreed on details with another landlord and everything was supposed to be settled. But things changed. The emptied apartment was dirty and needed some minor renovations. They weren’t able to agree on the repairs with the landlord, so Clarissa and Kaisla decided to back away.

This close call happened on the last Thursday of July in 2020. They started to look for a new place immediately. Clarissa was going through the website Oikotie for rental apartments. Something caught her eye instantly.

“We found this apartment on Friday. On Saturday we got the keys and on Sunday we moved in,” she says.

It sure was fast. No apartment showing, no queueing and no need for a security deposit. As students, they appreciated the last one especially. Renting a Lumo home was simple, they just had to pay one month’s rent. And they would have received the money back if they hadn’t liked the apartment.

Fast and diverse transport links increase Clarissa’s and Kaisla’s residential satisfaction.

They were very pleased with the apartment and, clearly, they still are. Clarissa, 21, and Kaisla, 21, have decorated the apartment to their own taste. Their nearly 60 square meter home radiates cosiness and comfort.

Fierce competition for rental apartments

In summer, the housing market is known to be hectic in student cities. A huge amount of new students arrives in Helsinki from all over Finland, but also locals make plans for moving out from their childhood home into their own place for the first time.

It’s not easy to find a suitable rental apartment. Apartment showings are very popular and students are competing for the same apartments with many others.

Clarissa and Kaisla think it was easy to find a Lumo rental apartment and the process was simple. Kaisla has registered herself as the head tenant of the apartment and Clarissa is the subtenant. They share the rent which is 1,350 euros a month. In addition to the rent, they pay 12 euros a month for sauna and the water rate is 21 euros per person a month.

“We wanted to move in together and share the costs. It’s nicer to live together than alone,” Kaisla says. “We have known each other since upper secondary school.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, they both have been working remotely in their two-room apartment. The apartment’s free Internet connection has been sufficient and the landlord has even been planning to increase the broadband speed.

Kaisla studies marketing at the Aalto University School of Business. She found a summer job at Fennovoima, in the Communications & PR Department. She has been working remotely most of the time and using the kitchen table as her desk.

For months, Clarissa prepared for the entrance examination for the faculty of medicine, which was held in June. It’s clear that she has been studying carefully; the bedroom wall is full of post-it notes. Clarissa has been working at K-Supermarket Hertta to earn some extra money.

The future is excitingly open for both of them. Clarissa is waiting for the results of the entrance exam and Kaisla for a confirmation of her student exchange to Canada. However, the future is still far ahead and now it’s time to live in the moment.

The kitchen is conveniently separated from the other rooms.

Handy My Lumo service

Living right next to Linnanmäki makes it easy to head to all the activities in the city centre. They can easily and quickly go anywhere by bike or public transport, using tram or buses.

“The building has a bike storage, which is a good thing,” Kaisla says.

The young ladies also appreciate the laundry room and Smartpost parcel locker.

“It would be simple to book a shared car, but we haven’t needed one yet,” Clarissa adds.

As the head tenant Kaisla has registered with the My Lumo service (my.lumo.fi/en/) where you can easily find different kinds of Lumo services. 

“I have liked the service. I can contact the landlord and send a fault report through it,” Kaisla says.

When daily life runs smoothly, they have more time and energy in their free time. Kaisla and Clarissa have the same goal: to run a half marathon in Helsinki in August. The are practising for it by jogging together. If they don’t feel like jogging, they can barbecue in the building’s inner yard or visit one of Konepaja’s terraces nearby.

Sometimes, they meet their neighbour’s Welsh Corgi at the stairway. They both find that dog adorable.

“It’s nice that you can have a pet here. It means that our guests can visit us also with their pets,” Clarissa says. 

In Kaisla’s previous private rental apartment that wasn’t possible. 

Kaisla and Clarissa standing on a small balcony overlooking the inner yard.

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