The importance of preventing evictions was recognised at the Rent Day

  • 3.4.2023
  • News

Y-Säätiö was involved in organising the first ever Renters’ Day on 22 March 2023. The programme of the day covered topics related to rent debt and its prevention. The morning session focused in particular on evictions, the eviction process and the costs of eviction.

According to statistics from the Eviction Office, the number of evictions has increased in recent years. In 2020 there were 3,629 evictions and in 2022 there were more than 4,300. The increase from the previous year was 13%. The speeches at the Tenants’ Day highlighted the growing number of people facing financial problems. Indebtedness, low income and financial problems make people vulnerable to homelessness and the risk of homelessness affects a wide and diverse group of people. The need for housing advice and other preventive services may expand.

The costs of the eviction process are significant

According to a study published by ARA, the average cost of the eviction process is €6,300. When the rent debt and the cost of vacating the dwelling are added, the total average cost of eviction rises to more than €10,000. The study highlights the wide variation in the cost of evictions. While lower costs can be around €2,000, an eviction requiring renovation, storage of property and emptying of the dwelling, for example, can cost more than €21,000 without taking into account rent debts.

The costs accumulate as the eviction process progresses. In almost all evictions, the costs are compounded by the rent debt accumulated during the eviction process. Even if the eviction is interrupted, for example when the tenant moves out, the landlord still has time to accumulate costs. As evictions are often caused by significant financial difficulties and rent debts, the landlord ends up losing a large part of the costs. Preventing evictions is the most effective way to avoid the financial costs of eviction.

Housing advice prevents evictions and secures housing

The study shows that housing advice has a significant impact on preventing evictions and reducing the costs of eviction. The effects are by no means only financial. Preventing evictions is crucial for the tenant to be able to continue living there. There are also social impacts of eviction prevention, for example on homelessness or the use of services, but these were not explored in depth in the study.

Anu Rantanen of Y-Säätiö commented on the results of the recent study at the Rent Debt Day. Y-Säätiö has also recognised the importance of prevention. Avoiding evictions is in the interest of all parties involved, and the benefits are not limited to financial savings. Successes are the result of working together:

“The importance of working together to prevent evictions and secure housing cannot be overemphasised. In  Y-Säätiö, this means close cooperation between rent control, housing advice, management and tenant communication. The key is how to intervene in situations where the continuation of housing is threatened. On the other hand, it is important to lower the threshold for residents to contact us. In every situation, the best thing is to get in touch as soon as possible and to work things out and resolve them together.”

The Tenancy Debt Day was organised by ARA, Asunto ensin Network Developers, Guarantee Foundation, Financial and Debt Counselling, Ulosottolaitos and Y-Säätiö. The event quickly filled up, reflecting both the prevalence of rental debt problems and the need for information and education on the subject.

Box: New information on the costs of the eviction process highlighted the value and importance of preventive work. Housing advice can significantly prevent evictions and reduce the costs of evictions. The most important thing is to ensure the continuation of housing – its value in the life of the tenant cannot be measured.