Tenant counselors help tenants

VAV tenant counselors step in to help, if you have temporary difficulties with the rent or there’s abnormal behavior in the community.

You may have setbacks in your life that make it difficult to pay the rent for a while. What to do then?

Contact VAV’s tenant counseling or rent monitoring as soon as possible. Having a professional on your side will make it easier to find a solution.

In practice, tenant counselors give advice to people with temporary payment difficulties.

”We can go through the tenant’s finances together and make a payment plan to get through the situation,” says Tuula Montonen from VAV.

The payment plan may be really tight for the tenant for a while. However, by sticking to it, you can succeed and see a new way forward in your life.

When rent or part of it is unpaid, VAV tries to contact tenants as soon as possible. A reminder is sent in about five weeks. This is not just for VAV’s benefit; unpaid rents have an effect on the rents of other tenants.

“And for the tenant, it is much easier to negotiate about 200 euros of unpaid rent than 600 euros. The sooner you can tackle the problem, the easier it is to find a solution.”

If reminders don’t work, the matter is taken to court. Even then, all is not lost.

”Even when the court has given its ruling, it is possible to reach an agreement with us on payments – as long as the tenant contacts us himself,” says VAV’s financial manager Liisa Kälvälä.

Tenant counselors also work on tenants that disturb their neighbors or don’t take care of their apartment.

The goal is to get the tenant to change his behavior. In best cases, the house is peaceful or the apartment is tidy and clean once again, so the tenant can continue living in his home.

If the tenant won’t or can’t change his ways, the tenancy agreement is ended. If the offense is not serious, the tenant is given six months’ notice. In serious cases, the agreement can be canceled, and the tenant has to leave the apartment immediately.

”We have to be honest. If you don’t take responsibility for your own actions, your time in VAV’s apartment may come to an end. Then the tenant has to think where he can go. There’s only so much we can do,” sighs Montonen.

If you have something to ask about tenant couselors, you can send email to asumisneuvonta@vav.fi.

 

Text: Anne Hänninen
Photo: Laura Oja

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