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Determining health hazards

The purpose of apartment inspections is to determine whether the conditions in an apartment cause health hazards. The inspection is not a condition assessment nor is it carried out to draft a repair plan. The health conditions of an apartment are not usually assessed during repair or renovation work.

All parties are generally notified of the inspection in advance. Inspections are mainly carried out during office hours. Apartment inspections are performed using non-destructive methods. The inspection includes sensory observations, an examination of the operation of the ventilation system and an assessment of the condition of the structures, among other things. Some of the examinations and measurements performed by the Environmental Services are subject to a fee, such as noise level testing. Fees are charged from the party liable for the hazard.

An inspection report is drafted of the inspection, and it is sent to all parties. If Environmental Services finds that the conditions in the apartment may cause health hazards to those spending time in the apartment, the party liable for the hazard is requested to take action to determine, remove or restrict the hazard and the factors contributing to it. If the request is not complied with, the Environment and permits sub-committee has the option of issuing a binding correction order, which may be emphasised by a conditional fine. Before issuing a correction order, all parties are heard in writing.

Environmental Services will not comment on the manner or executor of the corrections: the liable party is responsible for selecting the manner of correction and performing the measures, as well as supervising the work. Neither does the job description of Environmental Services include temporary housing arrangements during repairs and other arrangements, or the resulting costs. If Environmental Services do not find any conditions causing health hazards in the apartment, the processing of the request for action ends.

Any decision issued by Environmental Services can be provided upon request in the form of a decision made by the head of the Environmental Health Unit. This decision may be appealed to the Environment and permits sub-committee. The decision of the sub-committee can be appealed to the Administrative Court of Helsinki, and further to the Supreme Administrative Court. The operations of the Environmental Services are supervised by the Regional State Administrative Agency and the Ombudsman.

06.12.2019 18:25