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Renting of land areas

Children on a playground

City-owned public areas can be rented for various purposes, such as urban farming, circus or funfair use or for dog training. There are also water areas available for rent. Other types of land renting include daycare centres applying for the right to use a park as a playground or renting an additional yard for the daycare centre’s own use.

If you wish to use a street or a park as a work area, you must submit a notification about the use of the area to the City. A notification must be submitted when a street or park is used for moving, lifting work, storing a demountable container, property renovation, rooftop snow removal or film and television productions, for example.

For instructions on renting plots for temporary use, please see the Land Property Development and Plots page.

COVID-19: Exemption from rent of land areas and other rent pertaining to lesser use of land

The City has decided on exemptions from fees concerning companies and associations that have land lease contracts or other leases pertaining to lesser use of land with the City. The decisions on exemptions shall not apply to usage fees collected based on legislation governing the maintenance and cleaning of streets and certain public areas (Laki kadun ja eräiden yleisten alueiden kunnossa- ja puhtaanapidosta).

These exemptions are designed to help viable businesses manage despite financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic independent of the tenant and prevent the companies that lease premises from the City of Helsinki from being drawn into financial crisis.

The exemption from fees must be applied for using the application form (pdf) on this page. If the lease for the area has several tenants, they must submit a joint application. The application must be submitted to the City no later than 31 May 2020, unless a continuance is granted for the application.

Grounds for exemption

The exemption from fees pertains to tenants that use the area and/or building in the area for operations in the following branches of business or for purposes closely related to the following areas of business:

  • restaurants, cafés and other similar food services and related wholesale
  • arts, music and event activities and programme and catering services
  • business incubator and growth services and other activities promoting new business
  • sports and health services (excluding private clinics, etc.)
  • accommodation, hotel and tourism services.

Companies and associations operating in other branches other than the industries mentioned above, that have land lease contracts or other leases pertaining to lesser use of land with the City, may be granted a complete or partial exemption from fees, however, for up to a period of three months, if there are weighty reasons for this due to the coronavirus pandemic. Granting an exemption from fees requires that the tenant is able to prove that the pandemic has had a significant effect on the company’s turnover, or that it has in some other way significantly impacted the operational preconditions of the company negatively.

The tenant must attach an auditor’s statement, or if an auditor is not required by law, an accountant’s statement, on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the company’s turnover and/or operational preconditions to the application submitted to the City.

The application may be submitted accompanied by an auditor’s/accountant’s statement concerning one month. In this event, the application must be supplemented with a statement concerning three months on the applicant’s own initiative within two months of submitting the application. The exemption cannot be granted for months for which no auditor’s/accountant’s statement was submitted.

Exemption period and impediments to the exemption

If the grounds for exemption mentioned above in sections 1–2 are met in full, the tenant is exempted from the rent in full for three months or less.

  • As a rule, the months exempted are April, May and June.
  • The City may also reimburse the rent for three (or fewer) months for invoices allocated to months after April, May and June, if there are technical grounds for doing so.
  • At the City’s discretion, the monthly rent for the plot may also be calculated by dividing the annual rent for 2020 by 12.

The City may refuse to grant exemption from fees in the following situations, for example:

  • The tenant has not taken care of their responsibilities in accordance with the lease contract, e.g. failed to pay rent for months other than April, May and June.
  • It is evident that the coronavirus pandemic has not had an adverse effect on the company’s operational preconditions due to the seasonal nature of the operations, for example.  

Application processing

When an application has been submitted, a collection injunction will be put in place for the invoices for April, May and June for the duration of the application process, unless the lessor informs the tenant otherwise. The collection injunction is valid for the duration of the processing of the application. This means that the tenant does not have to contact the lessor separately to agree on a payment schedule for April, May and June. If a payment schedule for these months has already been agreed, the term of payment will be extended for the duration of the process.

The tenant must adhere to the instructions issued by the Land Use and Monitoring Unit.  The tenant must provide any necessary additional reports in addition to the application and the reports mentioned within for the processing of the exemption application.  The City has the right to reject the application if the tenant does not provide the required reports within a reasonable time.

The City reserves the right to collect the exempted fees for land use with interest, if the information provided by the tenant is later proven to be incorrect.

Photo: Susanna Karhapää, City of  Helsinki Media Bank

08.05.2020 12:38