Right to commence

You can apply for the right to commence construction of an entire building or part thereof before the building permit is legally valid. The right to commence may concern work such as foundation work or the construction of the entire building. The right to commence will not be granted for the demolition of a building or part thereof.

You can apply for the right to commence in connection with the actual permit application for the project or with a separate application. The right to commence is to be applied for by the same person who applies for the actual permit for the project.

Apply for the right to commence no later than 14 days after the end of the appeal period for the project's permit decision. The decision on the right to commence is subject to a fee.

Acceptable sureties must be provided when applying for the right to commence. The sureties will be used as security against any harm, losses or costs caused by revoking the decision or amending the permit.

Once the right to commence has been granted, you can start the work for which you have applied for the right to commence.

Apply for the right to commence

If you have not applied for the right to commence in connection with the actual permit application, send the application and the original surety document to the local permit secretary. You can find the permit secretary's email address in the map service.

The decision on the right to commence is subject to a fee.

Fill in a form

Apply for the right to commence

Online information

Find the contact details for the local permit secretary

Frequently asked questions

You can do the following types of work when the permit has been granted but is not yet legally valid:

  • Excavation, quarrying, felling of trees or similar activities. The work must comply with the permit.
  • Pile-driving for the foundations in accordance with the pile-driving plan. The work can be done at the builder’s risk even before the permit is granted.
  • Demolition of lightweight structures if the building and structures are not subject to protection regulations.

The amount of the sureties must be such as to enable the site to be restored, if necessary, in the event of the revocation or amendment of the permit decision.

The following are accepted as sureties:

  • a bank deposit, which must be evidenced by the bank with a certificate of waiving the right of set-off
  • a guarantee, which must remain valid until the permit in question becomes legally valid.

Both the bank deposit and the guarantee must be in the name of the person applying for the right to commence.

In the case of a permit for one detached house or one semi-detached house, a personal guarantee is accepted. In this case, two persons must commit to personal surety. However, the applicants cannot provide sureties for themselves.

When a housing company applies for a permit, the company’s shareholders can provide the sureties.

For further information about providing sureties, please refer to the instructions: Right to commence (PDF, in Finnish)

When the permit decision becomes legally valid, you can collect the sureties from the Building Control permit secretaries. You must present the permit decision and the certificate of finality marked on it. You can get the certificate of finality from the registry of the Helsinki Administrative Court.

The sureties will be given to the applicant if the applicant is a natural person, or to the applicant’s authorised representative. The applicant must provide proof of identity, and the representative must present a personal power of attorney to collect the sureties.


Permit fees and permit processing

Applications receive notification of the decision approvals in the Lupapiste online permit service.  

Permits decisions are officially visible for 14 days. During this period, it is possible to submit an appeal to the Environment and Permits Sub-committee of the Urban Environment Committee.

You can find a list of Building Control public notices in Finnish and Swedish only in the Julkipano (Public notices) section of the Lupapiste online permit service. No login is required to see this list. (Link leads to external service)

Find permits decisions on the following pages:  

A list of public notices and decisions is also on display in the lobby of the Urban Environment House, located at street address Työpajankatu 8, Helsinki.

A permit is legally valid if no appeals or complaints have been submitted against the permit decision. An appeal decision made by the Environment and Permits Sub-committee can be appealed to the Helsinki Administrative Court. The appeal period is 14 or 30 days.

You may only start the construction work once the permit becomes legally valid. Projects that have been granted a building permit must begin within three (3) years and the construction work must be completed within five (5) years of the permit entering into force. In the case of action permit, demolition permit or landscape work permit, the work must be carried out within three (3) years.

Be sure to apply for an extension of your permit while it is still valid. If the permit has expired, you will have to reapply for the permit in order to receive an extension.

In Helsinki, all applications for building permits are submitted electronically in the Lupapiste (Link leads to external service)online permit service. General and project-specific guidance and counselling are also primarily provided via Lupapiste. Documents related to the application and construction process monitoring are to be submitted in digital format to Lupapiste.

How to get started and ask for advice in Lupapiste

  1.  The first time you use the service, you will be asked to register. After this, you will be able to log in with your e-mail address and password.
  2. Enter the street address where your project site is located.
  3. Use the “Kysy neuvoa (Ask for advice)” button in the upper right-hand corner to request guidance. 
  4. Write a short description of your project and your question(s). The service will direct you to the appropriate expert who can answer your question(s). 

After the consultation, you can turn your request for guidance into a permit application.

The Lupapiste user manual (available in Finnish and Swedish only)(Link leads to external service) offers instructions for registering and logging in to the service, submitting a new application or request for guidance, turning your guidance request into a permit application, and submitting an application.

You can also submit a guidance request form (Link leads to external service)to receive technical support for using Lupapiste.