What is right-of-occupancy?

Right-of-occupancy is an intermediate form between a rental apartment and an owner-occupied apartment. For the residents, it is as secure a way to live as living in a home they own, as the owner of the building cannot terminate the right-of-occupancy contract or make it only valid for a fixed period. Right-of-occupancy housing has been built in Finland since 1991. 

The resident who holds the right of occupancy pays 15% of the purchase value of the apartment. This is called the right-of-occupancy payment. The rest of the purchase value is financed with state-subsidized ARAVA loans or interest-subsidy loans. To keep the right of occupancy, the resident pays the monthly residence charge and takes care of the other obligations defined in the right-of-occupancy contract. The right-of-occupancy apartment must be used as the resident's own permanent residence. The right of occupancy can also be given as inheritance to a relative in direct line of descent or ascent. The right-of-occupancy apartment cannot and does not have to be purchased outright at any stage of residence.

Who can have a right-of-occupancy apartment?

Anyone aged 18 or older can apply for a right-of-occupancy apartment, if they fulfil the criteria of needs. If there are no applicants who fulfil the criteria, another applicant may also be approved for a right-of-occupancy apartment. The criteria of needs are that the applicant must not own a reasonably habitable home nor have the assets for buying one. There are no income limits for getting a right-of-occupancy home. The size of a right-of-occupancy apartment is not limited either: it is possible to apply for and get a home that corresponds to your future needs. The applicant's information will be checked before the occupancy rights are given.

The criteria of needs do not apply to applicants aged 55 years or older. The needs criteria also do not apply to those who are switching from one right-of-occupancy apartment to another.

Queue number and applying for a right-of-occupancy apartment

To get a right-of-occupancy apartment, you need to apply to the municipal housing authority for a queue number. The application form for a queue number and the instructions are available here. The applicant must also apply for the apartment from the owner of the right-of-occupancy building. For this, you need to fill a right-of-occupancy application. If you wish, we can fill the application form for you. The right-of-occupancy apartments are granted according to the queue numbers: the applicant with the lowest queue number has the priority.

Right of occupancy contract as security for a loan

The right-of-occupancy contract is the basis on which the rights holder possesses the apartment. The right-of-occupancy contract can be used as security for a bank loan taken to finance the right-of-occupancy payment. If you take a personal bank loan to finance the right-of-occupancy payment, the interest on the loan is tax-deductible.

Apartment maintenance and getting extra appliances

The holder of the occupancy right decides what kind of appliances to have in his home. Thus, he can get the extra appliances he wants and make alterations to the home. However, the holder must notify the owner of the building in advance of any alterations or major upkeep work. When the owner of the building has consented to the extra work, it is possible to get remuneration for it when the apartment is given up, in accordance to our alteration work guidelines. 

Read more about possible alteration work.

Giving up the occupancy right

The notice of terminating the right of occupancy must always be given in writing to Oy Vaasan Asumisoikeus. The right is terminated three months after the notice has been received by the owner of the building. The holder is liable to pay the monthly residence charge until the right of occupancy is transferred either to a new holder or to the owner of the building.

When the holder of the occupancy right terminates the right, the holder gets back the right-of-occupancy payment he invested, but adjusted according to the construction cost index. He can also receive remuneration for any extra appliances bought for the apartment, in accordance to our alteration work guidelines.