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City of Helsinki issues guidelines on the provision of accommodation in apartments

Instructions for providing accommodation in a flat are available in English.

The City of Helsinki has prepared a set of guidelines on the provision of accommodation in apartments. With the new instructions, the City aims to clarify the conditions under which apartments can be used for the provision of accommodation and under which such provision is in breach of building permits or a local town plan. The instructions do not limit the short-term renting of your own home to others.

The instructions list the identifying characteristics of the provision of accommodation, provide information on relevant permits and notifications and answer key questions that have been submitted to the City in regard to the provision of accommodation in residential buildings.

Project Manager Sara Rintamo from the City of Helsinki’s Building Control Services states that there has been some demand for the guidelines. Building Control Services have received 12 requests for action so far and numerous enquiries primarily concerning the provision of accommodation in inner city residential buildings. Building Control Service are currently in the process of addressing the matters related to these requests.

“The instructions

concern housing companies, owners of shares in housing companies and accommodation providers alike. Housing companies and share-owners have a duty to make sure that their apartments are only used for the purposes defined in their building’s building permit,” Rintamo explains.

According to the instructions, providers of similar accommodation services are in the same position. This means that their operations subject to a permit and professional operations must comply with the Land Use and Building Act’s provisions on building permits, the Accommodation and Restaurant Services Act, the Health Protection Act and applicable tax laws, among other things.

In February 2019, the Environment and Permits Sub-committee of the Urban Environment Committee obliged one housing company in Helsinki city centre, a provider of rental accommodation and the owners of shares in said housing company who had allowed their apartments to be used for the provision of accommodation to stop the practice under penalty of a fine. The appeals against the decision were rejected by Helsinki Administrative Court (3 December 2019).

Instructions for providing accommodation in a flat are available in English on the City’s website.