Frequently asked questions
What does ARA mean?
Applying for rental housing with us is different than with companies who do not offer ARA rental homes, which are constructed with state subsidy. What does ARA mean, then? ARA, or the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland, implements Finnish housing policy, and it is an agency operating under the supervision of the Ministry of the Environment. One of the key tasks of ARA is to support the construction of reasonably priced rental homes.
In the so-called free market, the owners of the rental homes can decide the amount of rent and rent increases themselves, which often results in high rents. The rents collected from ARA rental homes are regulated, so we cannot set our rents or rent increases ourselves. In addition, we give priority to those applicants who are most urgently in need of housing, with the most limited financial means and with the lowest income. More information on wealth limits governing the resident selection of ARA rental homes is available here. You can also read about how the urgency of housing needs affects the resident selection.
Have you received my application?
After submitting an electronic application, you will receive an email confirmation. From this email, you will know that your application has been received and that you will be considered when selecting residents for our homes.
How long is the application valid? Do I have to renew the application myself?
The application will be valid for 3 months from the date of submission. If we have not been able to offer you housing during the period of validity of the application, you must renew the application. The easiest way to do this is to submit a new electronic rental housing application via our website.
What should I consider when filling out my housing application?
You should fill in the housing application carefully and the information provided should match your actual situation. Read more about filling in the application here.
If your situation and wishes change after submitting your application, you should take a look at this page.
How long will it take to be offered housing?
Depending on the applicant's situation and search criteria, you can get a housing offer very quickly. The number of applicants is many times higher than the number of vacant dwellings. More than half of the applicants are in urgent need of housing and thus given priority. When making decisions on offering housing, we take into account the urgency of the applicant’s need for housing, wealth, and financial situation.
We do not have any queue numbers for housing applications. Getting a dwelling depends on the number of dwellings that become available, with the highest demand being for studios and small one-bedrooms. The regional wishes and other restrictions recorded in the application also affect getting a dwelling. For these reasons, we are unfortunately unable to provide an estimate of how long it will take for us to find you a home.
Will the number of areas I have marked as desirable and my wishes for the dwelling's level of furnishing have an impact on being offered a dwelling?
Yes, these issues affect being offered a dwelling, so you should fill in the application carefully. The broader your search criteria for your area of residence, type of dwelling, rent and level of furnishing are, the easier it will be for us to find a suitable dwelling for you. However, please choose your wishes so that you are ready to accept the dwelling offered to you on the basis of them. For example, in your application you should not mark as desirable areas that you are not prepared to live in.
Can I speed up getting a dwelling by calling or visiting a customer service point?
Phone calls and visits do not speed up getting a dwelling. We serve all our customers equally and, when making tenant selections, also take into account those applicants who are unable to contact us
What criteria are used to select residents?
Resident selection is based on needs assessment. Priority is given to those applicants who are most urgently in need of housing, with the most limited financial means and with the lowest income. In addition, we strive to have a versatile tenant structure in rental houses. More information on the selection criteria can be found here.
Will all applicants get a rental dwelling through you?
Approximately 1,500 rental dwellings become vacant each year. There are over 5,000 active housing applications in our register all the time and we receive over 24,000 applications annually. Because the number of apartments that become available is small and the number of applicants is very large, we cannot offer housing to all applicants.
What to do if I do not like the apartment I am offered?
If you decide to decline our housing offer, please let us know during the validity period of the offer. You can do this by calling or sending an email to our customer service. If you do not notify us of your refusal, we will withdraw your housing application. If you decline, you can also indicate whether you intend to continue to apply for a new dwelling. If for some reason you did not like the apartment you were previously offered, it is a good idea to consider the wishes you have indicated in your application. We strive to provide housing that meets the wishes you have recorded in your application. Please note that after the refusal, we cannot promise you a new apartment.
How can I switch apartments?
If you wish to switch apartments, you must send us a new housing application. Fill in the application as carefully as possible and explain why you want to switch apartments. The application is valid for three months. Please note that you must have lived in your current apartment for at least one year before you can apply for a switch.
Can I get emergency housing?
We do not provide emergency housing for homeseekers faced with homelessness. In such cases, it is advisable to contact your municipality's social service. Congregations also offer emergency housing.
How can I run errands on behalf of someone?
You will need a power of attorney if you need to run errands on behalf of someone.