This week’s What I Rent is outside of our usual UK setting, heading north to Finland.
We chat with Henna, 39, who lives in a rented three-bedroom apartment in Finland that she shares with her husband, Mike, their five-year-old son, her 17-year-old daughter, a dog and a cat.
Henna is a fashion designer by training, but during the pandemic he worked on creating medical supplies.
She lives in her hometown, where she returned in 2013 after 10 years living across the country.
Here is what she praises.
Hey, Henna! How much are you paying to live here?
The rent is 750 € per month and other charges (water / electricity) around 200-250 € per month, depending on whether it is summer or winter.
And what do you get for what you pay for?
An apartment with three bedrooms, a kitchen, an open plan living / dining room, three bathrooms (we only use two) and a sauna / wet room.
Do you feel like you’re getting a good deal?
It’s a good deal compared to other prices here.
Where is your home? What do you think of the neighborhood?
We live in central Finland, a small town beautifully situated on an island surrounded by lakes and forests.
Our apartment is located right in the city center, but within walking distance of lakes and forests.
It is also a culturally rich city with a large number of well-known artists who have roots and beginnings here.
Unfortunately, compared to my younger years here, we are losing a lot of businesses, events and events. We are about 60 km from a large city.
How did you find this property?
I had visited this apartment before when I was a teenager when an acquaintance of my family lived here.
I remember that day vividly because it was the tragic day of Princess Diana’s death, which was broadcast on television around the world.
Later my husband and I had a New Years party here with the previous tenant and after knowing she had moved I asked the owner directly if he was available to rent. We needed a bigger place since I was pregnant.
How did you make this place a home from home?
Living in this house, I realized that even though we don’t own the place, I can be bold and crazy decorating it.
I used colors and painted furniture. Our sofa and everything that looks and feels more like us.
Did you have trouble decorating during the rental? Is your landlord happy for you to make songs?
The layout of this apartment had potential which was one of the reasons we wanted to rent it out. The other reasons were the sauna, which is important for people living in Finland, and the size.
The wallpaper and white walls in the place we moved in weren’t really our style so it was a bit difficult to decorate, but I managed to make it work.
At first we didn’t even consider asking if we could make any changes here, but when a few magazine photographers got interested in my interior style, I thought now was the time to ask the owner if we could personalize this apartment.
We got permission to give the house a facelift. Then, little by little, we painted the walls and used wallpaper.
I also decided to paint the kitchen cabinet doors. By doing all of this, it was easier to make this space feel more like home and personal.
We are keeping the budget low with the changes we make because this is not our forever home.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
The apartment is quite spacious but we dream of having more workspace as I do arts and crafts and my husband would like a shed for his forge and knife making.
We also love to DIY, so a separate area to do everything would be fantastic.
Are there any problems with the house?
There haven’t been any big issues since we’ve lived here – mostly plumbing issues here and there.
The owner will take care of any problem.
Do you plan to move again? Would you like to become a homeowner one day?
We plan to buy our own place in the future.
Shall we take a walk?
What I Rent is a weekly series that comes out every Tuesday at 10 a.m.
Check back next week to get another nose around a rented property.
How to get involved in What I Rent
What I Rent is Metro.co.uk’s weekly series that takes you to the places people rent, to give us all a better idea of what’s normal and how much we should be paying.
If you would like to participate, please send an email to [email protected] You will need to take pictures of your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, as well as some photos of yourself in your bedroom or living room.
Make sure you get permission from your roommates! You will also have to agree to share the amount you pay for rent, as this is quite large.
By the way, we’re not just looking for the most beautiful places. We want the reality of rental, so if you’re currently renting a place you hate, we’d love to see that too (and sympathize a lot!).
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