How a property owner can ease the anxiety of moving into one's first home

 Tia-Maria Leino ja Elias Rosenberg
Tia-Maria Leino ja Elias Rosenberg

As the results of entrance exams are confirmed, many young people face the prospect of moving to a new city and renting their first home. Renting an apartment and managing their finances independently for the first time often raises a lot of questions. How can we, as a property owner, help with these challenges?

Joo Kodit

A worrying phenomenon inspired us to visit schools

The idea of school visits came up on a spring morning at our Turku office. People from various rental and rent management teams started talking about how it's easier than ever to order products online on invoices, and how that affects consumer debt, particularly amongst young people.

We also touched upon the increasing difficulties young people have in paying their rent on time, as well as their level of financial literacy.

According to research by our partner Intrum, there's been a notable rise in indebtedness, and this holds especially true for young people. With young consumers, the proportion of heavily indebted individuals with claims in debt collection is currently as high as 44 percent.

Responsibility is one of Joo Group's values, and it's at the heart of everything our Joo teams do. As a result, we decided to come up with ways to put our values in practice and share our expertise with young people, many of whom may become our customers in the future. As a major player in the rental housing market, we also believe it would benefit everyone if tenants were more aware of their rights and responsibilities.

Inspired by this, we had an idea – what if we visited schools to explain what renting an apartment involves these days and what responsibilities every tenant must take into account?

We were invited to several schools

Elias and Tia-Maria visiting a school

We approached upper secondary schools and vocational schools in the Turku area about the subject. The timing was perhaps not ideal, as schools were already in the last half of the spring semester. As a result, lesson plans were already in place, and not all schools had a slot available for us. Fortunately, we were able to kick off our school visits, as we received an invitation from the Klassikko upper secondary school to give our presentation. What's more, several schools asked us to visit them in the coming autumn.

At the law course of an upper secondary school social studies class, we were welcomed by a group of around 30 young students. Elias who works as a rental representative at Joo Kodit, presented a checklist for tenants, which highlighted important things to keep in mind when searching for and renting a home. We explained what happens after finding a suitable apartment, what the tenancy agreement entails, and why it's essential to have home insurance. We also discussed picking up the keys and moving in. The students asked insightful questions about security deposits, rent payments, and tenants' responsibilities.

Once we'd covered topics related to rental living, it was our collection expert Tia-Maria's turn to step up and discuss rent payments. We explained how to deal with any challenges in paying the rent and the potential consequences of unpaid rent invoices. Rather than to scare the students, our aim was to inform them that life has its ups and downs, and solutions can usually be found when both parties are proactive.

The 75-minute class allocated for us went very quickly, without even a minute to spare. At the end of the class, we had the opportunity to answer a few more questions from students regarding Joo Kodit apartments in Turku. Some students also gave us praise for our presentation, which was heartening to hear.

The teacher promised to ask the students to share their thoughts about our visit during the next lesson and let us know what they said. Their really positive feedback was summarised as follows:

Students found it both interesting and refreshing to hear about rental living from industry professionals. They also said that moving into their own apartment no longer feels as daunting after getting practical advice on topics like contracts and other aspects of renting.

We'll continue the presentations in the Turku area this autumn, and possibly elsewhere in Finland, too.