Good to know

Utilities and Setting Up Your New Home

  • Electricity can usually be connected in advance by simply calling the local electricity company in your new region and providing them with your name and new address. This is the easiest way to get started.
    Top Tip: The cost of electricity in Finland has two components; electricity sales and electricity distribution. When you first sign up with the local electricity company, they will be both your vendor and distributor. However, you can purchase electricity from any vendor operating in Finland who offers electricity to your region. You cannot choose the electricity distribution network. A month after I settled in I changed vendors for a saving of about €80 per year (50m² apartment, one person). I found the new vendor using the electricity price comparison site www.sahkovertailu.fi, which is in Finnish but you can work it out with Google Translate www.translate.google.com
     
  • Phone: If you need a landline, inform the telephone company of your new address and a landline connection will be established
     
  • Internet: Many apartments are already "wired" for broadband, and access may be included in your rent. Check the situation before you make other arrangements with an Internet Service Provider.
     
  • Insurance: It is a common requirement of lessors that tenants purchase insurance on rented accommodation. Contents insurance is reasonably priced and can be obtained from many insurance companies.
  • Fire alarms: By Finnish law each residence must have a functioning fire alarm. Home insurance does not cover damage from a fire if the fire alarm was out of order prior to and during the fire, so keep the batteries fresh!
     
  • Water is usually included in tenancy agreements, and sometimes in maintenance agreements. Check your agreement to see whether water bills are included, or whether they are payable separately each month.
     
  • Barbecues: Some apartment buildings do not allow residents the summer fun of cooking on the balcony or terrace. I don't know of anyone who is allowed to barbecue with charcoal on the balcony, but some buildings allow electric barbecues - check your building regulations

“Ei Mainoksia”: If you don't want to receive a barrage of advertising through your mail box every day, tape a small note on your letterbox saying “Ei mainoksia, kiitos” (No advertising, thanks). But don't make it too permanent - sometimes you'll probably want to get some advertising, as I'll explain in the Shopping 

http://www.expat-finland.com/

Internet, electricity, water and telephone line

http://goscandinavia.about.com/od/finland/f/eloutletfinland.htm

http://www.expat-finland.com/housing/housing_and_utilities.html

Electrical plugs in Finland need two round prongs. They can be the ungrounded Europlug Type C or the grounded Schukoplug Type E/F.

Insurance

Information from www.expat-finland.fi.

  • Life and General Insurance in Finland

Banking

Information from www.expat-finland.fi

  • Finnish Bank Accounts

Law services

Information from www.oikeus.fi and www.expat-finland.fi 

The more complex the society, the more numerous the legal problems where individuals need professional assistance. It is often necessary to retain the services of counsel for court proceedings, for settlement negotiations and for the drafting of documents. Legal aid is there to give individuals the possibility to obtain assistance for legal matters fully or partially at the expense of the state. In Finland legal aid covers all sorts of legal matters.

http://www.oikeus.fi/oikeusapu/en/index.html

  • Legal Representation in Finland

http://www.expat-finland.com/entrepreneurship/lawyers.html

Taxation

Information from www.expat-finland.fi

Countries with high levels of social security usually have high levels of taxation as well; Finland is no exception. All income is taxed, as are goods and services. Value-added tax (VAT) is known in Finland as arvonlisävero (ALV).