FAQ for Applicants

Do you have questions about how to apply for housing? This page contains the most frequently asked questions about housing applications. If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please contact AYY's housing services.

Applying for Housing


How does AYY select its tenants?

All AYY's apartments are distributed through a queuing process. The queuing position of an application is determined by the scoring and the time the application was sent. AYY mainly offers housing to the student union members with the right of residence.


Can doctoral students at Aalto University apply for AYY’s housing? Does AYY rent its apartments to students outside the Student Union?

Unfortunately, doctoral students at Aalto University do not have the right of residence for AYY’s apartments even if they are members of AYY. Doctoral students and students outside Aalto University can apply for those apartments for which there are not enough applicants among AYY’s degree and exchange students. Information on these apartments and their application process will be published separately on AYY’s housing website and Facebook.

Doctoral students who have paid AYY’s membership fee can also live in AYY’s apartments as subtenants. The right of residence or membership is not a condition for subtenancy.


I would like to apply for AYY’s apartments but, according to Domo, my right of residence has expired. What can I do?

If you think your right of residence has expired sooner than it should have, please get in touch with AYY’s Housing Services. The right of residence can be reimbursed, for example, for academic terms of non-attendance if the resident was not living in AYY's apartment at the time. The housing advisors are able to check Aalto University student's terms of attendance from the university’s Oodi system.

The right of residence can also be reimbursed for the duration of exchange studies, JOO studies taking place outside the surrounding municipalities, internships abroad or outside the surrounding municipalities, completing conscription or voluntary military service, and a maternity, paternity or parental leave if certain conditions are met.

It is possible to apply for a maximum of one-year extension for the right of residence from the Housing Committee if the applicant has written proof of a health or other very serious reason that has slowed down studies. More information on the Housing Committee can be found here.

How many housing applications can I have at the same time? If I want to apply for both studios and single rooms in shared apartments, do I have to divide them into separate applications?

You can apply for as many apartments and housing groups as you want at the same time. However, it is not possible to have multiple application types in the same application, i.e. application for one person, family application and friend application.

If you notice that you have not yet applied for all the apartments you would like to apply for, you can always submit a new application. The progress of a housing application in the queue does not depend on the number of applications. The application is placed in the queue based on its submission date and scoring. Submitting a new application does not affect your existing applications.

Please note that you cannot place your applications in the order of preference. Apartments are offered based on actual need, so only apply for apartments you are actually prepared to accept.


My housing application has expired, can I do something about it?

A housing application is valid for three (3) months and can be renewed at Domo at any time before its expiry. You can find the expiry date in the application. Domo will remind applicants of the application expiry by email, but it is their own responsibility to make sure the application does not expire by mistake.

If an applicant does not renew a housing application and the application expires, it will be removed from the apartment queues. Expired applications will not be restored back in the queue.

Please note! Restoring an application into the queue after an accepted apartment offer does not replace its renewal. So, please remember to renew your application after restoring it into the queue.


Can I add apartments to my application or remove them? Does my queuing position change if I edit my application? 

Apartments cannot be added to an existing application, you must create a new application for this purpose. Hence, it is possible to apply for the same apartment type multiple times, in which case the position in a queue for a certain apartment depends on the submission date of the application it is part of.

The queuing position does not change unless you make changes that affect the scoring. Changing the moving date, renewing an application or removing apartments from an application, for example, do not affect the position in the queue. By contrast, changes regarding the urgency of your need for housing, for example, may change the scoring and also the queuing position.


If I reject housing offer, what will happens to my application?


If you reject a housing offer, you will lose the urgency scores and all your applications will be removed from the queue, including the applications you have submitted with a friend or family. After this, you can restore three housing groups back to the queues into their original position in the queue, except for the housing type for which you received the offer. A housing group means location + housing type. Exceptions are studios in Otaniemi (Miestentie) and Teekkari Village, which are different housing groups. More information on housing types can be found here.


I am a single parent and want to apply for a family apartment. How can this be done at Domo?

At Domo, you can select “I am applying alone” as your application type at item 1. At item 2, please select “Children.” This way, you can apply for studios and larger apartments without an adult co-applicant. Please remember to add your child’s details. An unborn child should be reported by attaching a maternity certificate at “Additional scores.”


What counts as an urgent need for housing? Can I get urgency scores for a family or friend apartment? How about a studio?

An urgent need for housing is determined in AYY’s currently valid scoring guidelines. Urgency scores only apply to single rooms in shared apartments. Written evidence of an urgent need for housing must always be attached with the application for the scores to be granted.

Urgency scores can be granted if you currently live somewhere other than Espoo, Helsinki, Vantaa or Kauniainen. On the Population Register Centre website, you can check your own address details and take a screenshot of them to prove your place of residence.

You can also receive urgency scores if you currently have a fixed-term tenancy agreement or if your lessor has terminated your agreement. Urgency scores are also granted based on homelessness; for this, you need a certificate of homelessness from the Local Register Office.

Please note, that urgency scores are valid only until the first offer. When you have been offered a single-room apartment, you cannot have the scores back, so please remember to apply only for apartments you are willing to take!


What is an internal transfer and how to apply for it?

An internal transfer is an opportunity AYY offers its tenants to apply for a transfer to another apartment in the same apartment group (for example from a shared apartment in Teekkari Village to another shared apartment in Teekkari Village). Applications for internal transfers always receive five (5) scores, and the other items in the scoring guidelines are not taken into account. Applications for internal transfers are made in Domo in exactly the same way as other applications, and the system scores them automatically.

Applications for internal transfers are usually among the first ones in the queue, yet the queuing time depends on suitable apartments becoming available. In internal transfer, all persons mentioned in the tenancy agreement must move out. For example, if you live with a friend, you can only apply for an internal transfer together.


New Students

Can I apply for AYY's housing before I have paid the Student Union’s membership fee? By which date should I pay the membership fee?

New students can apply for AYY’s apartments prior to paying the membership fee, please see the instructions for eligibility and searching for apartments. An apartment can also be accepted before paying the membership fee, but you must pay the membership fee by the time you start living in AYY's apartment at the latest.


I need an apartment for the autumn. When do I find out whether or not I will get AYY's apartment?

Offers for tenancy agreements beginning on 1 Aug are usually made during June and July. Apartments becoming available on 1 Sept are offered during July and August.

In the autumn, there is so much traffic in AYY’s apartments that it is unfortunately impossible to give applicants an estimate of the number of apartments becoming available or the likelihood of an apartment offer in advance.


I am an international student who will study at Aalto University. For which apartments should I apply?

We recommend that you apply for single rooms in shared apartments, as you can get urgency scores for your application when applying for these apartments. In addition, it is advisable to apply for a friend or family apartment together with a co-applicant. The queuing time for studios varies from one to two years and urgency scores are not available for them, so it is unlikely that you will get a studio by the time you begin your studies.


My friend and I were both accepted to study at Aalto University, and we submitted our apartment applications at Domo at the same time. My friend has already received an offer for a single room in a shared apartment, whereas my application is still in the queue. How is this possible?

New students are informed of their admission at different times, so the queuing position of a new student’s application to a shared apartment cannot be affected by the submission date of the application. Because of this, the applications of first-year students in all queues for single rooms in shared apartments are determined by drawing lots.

The order of applications with the same score are decided by drawing lots, which means that new applications in the queue may be placed ahead of the previously submitted applications even if they have the same score. Because of drawing lots and the scoring, the position of a shared apartment application in the queue may change several times.


I have a MSc (Tech) degree from the Helsinki University of Technology, but I am now starting new studies at Aalto University. Can I apply for AYY's apartment?

The right of residence is considered to have begun from when the student was first accepted to study at Aalto University.

For example, if a student began to study at TKK in 2000 and graduated in 2006 before the Aalto University and AYY existed, their right of residence in AYY has not started yet. Thus, the student's right of residence will begin if one starts as a new student at some Aalto University School.


Apartment Queues

What is an apartment queue?

Apartment queue refers to the queue for a specific apartment. As the apartment search can be narrowed down to specific apartments at Domo, each apartment has its own queue.


What is an apartment group?

An apartment group consists of all apartments of the same type in a certain property or area. For example, the studios in Jätkäsaari or shared apartments with single rooms in the Teekkari Village are their own apartment groups. The apartments have been grouped into these apartment groups in Domo, and by clicking on an apartment group, you can see all of the individual queues for different apartments in the apartment group in question.

The apartment groups play an important role in your housing search. When you receive an offer for an apartment in a certain apartment group, e.g. a single room in a shared apartment in Teekkari Village, all of your applications in the apartment group in question are removed from the queues, whether you accept the offer or not. So, in the above example, the system would drop all applications you have made for shared apartments with single rooms in the Teekkari Village from the apartment queues even if they had been made at different times and thus grouped under different application numbers.

The apartment group also determines an internal transfer. When you apply for a transfer from one apartment to another within the same apartment group, you automatically gain five scores for your application.


I am at number 12 in the queue. When will I receive an apartment offer?

All apartment queues move at different speeds so, unfortunately, it is impossible to give a definite answer to this question.

The vacancy of apartments is entirely dependent on when people happen to terminate their tenancies. Not everyone in the queue will accept the apartment they are offered, and no offers can be made to some people higher up in the queue, so it is extremely difficult to estimate when an apartment offer will be made.


My application was at number 40 in the queue, but I still received an apartment offer. How is this possible?

The queuing position reported in Domo tells you how many applications there are ahead of your application in total even if an offer cannot be made to all of these applicants when an apartment becomes available. In other words, there may be applications ahead of you in which, for example, the first possible moving date is only later in the future or whose applicants are in the middle of a waiting period.


My position in the apartment queues dropped all of a sudden! Why, and what happened?

Applications are placed in the queues firstly based on their scores and only secondly based on their submission dates, so the queuing order keeps changing constantly. There are practically three explanations for the changing of the queuing position.

1) New applications have been added to the queue that have received a higher score. In the autumn, for example, a large number of new students’ applications are received that are granted an extra score in the queues for single rooms in shared apartments and they often receive urgency scores as well. New students practically drop all other applications by as many as hundreds of places, for example, in the queue for shared apartments in Teekkari Village.

2) The scores for your application have changed during the queuing. The scoring of applications is monitored at the Housing Services, and if it turns out that the grounds for urgency scores are no longer valid, these scores may be deducted from the application.

3) The applications of new students and exchange students for single rooms in shared apartments go through a draw process that may cause new applications to jump ahead of your application even if their scores were the same.


I am at number 357 in the queue for a single room in a shared apartment, and AYY has more than 500 shared apartments with single rooms! Why do I not get an apartment straightaway?

Domo displays all AYY’s apartments, whether they are becoming available or not.

AYY’s apartments are very rarely empty, so there is someone living in every AYY apartment right now. Because of this, the queues only proceed when the previous tenant moves out and their apartment becomes available to be offered to the next person in the queue. In some queues, there may be dozens of apartments becoming available each month. In other queues, the process is slower and there may be months when no apartments become available at all.


Housing Offer and Tenancy Agreement

I did not have time to react to the housing offer and it expired. I have a very good reason for this, so can I get my old position back in the queue?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure they can react to housing offers on time. In connection with submitting an apartment application, the applicant had to confirm that they have read the application info on the AYY website that explains this responsibility.

However, the applicant can inform the Housing Services in advance if they have something coming up that will prevent them from checking their email. This way, if necessary, the Housing Services can change the validity period for the offer.

If you did not have time to react to an offer for a perfectly unpredictable reason and it would have been unreasonable to expect you to react quickly in the situation, you can request the Housing Committee to restore your original application in the queue. More information on the Housing Committee can be found on this page.

I received a housing offer from 1 Aug. However, I will not need the apartment until 1 Sept. Can you change the 1st of Sept as the start date for the tenancy agreement?

Unfortunately, no. AYY offers apartments based on what the applicant has said about their need for an apartment in the Domo system. If you are unable to accept an apartment until a certain date, please make sure that the moving date has been recorded correctly in your housing application. If necessary, the moving date can be modified, and this does not affect the position of the application in the queue.

The made offers cannot be left “resting” for a month, as this would leave the apartment empty for a month. AYY cannot keep the apartments empty as this would result in rental losses, which in turn would increase the rents of all AYY tenants.

If I reject a housing offer, what will happen to my application?

If you reject a housing offer, you will lose the urgency scores and all your applications will be removed from the queue, including the applications you have submitted with a friend or family. After this, you can restore three housing groups back to the queues into their original position in the queue, except for the housing type for which you received the offer. A housing group means location + housing type. Exceptions are studios in Otaniemi (Miestentie) and Teekkari Village, which are different housing groups. More information on housing types can be found here.


Can I receive a housing offer with at least a calendar month’s notice, so that I have time to terminate my current tenancy?

Applicants can update the earliest possible moving date on their application themselves and thus make sure that the offer does not come too soon. For example, in March, you can ask for offers for apartments becoming available on 1 May at the earliest and, when it gets to April, you can update the moving date for 1 June.


I received a housing offer from AYY, how can I see the apartment?

If the email containing the offer has the current tenant’s contact details, you can arrange a visit to the apartment with them. If the email says that the apartment is empty, please contact the Housing Services.

AYY attempts to always keep the apartments occupied to minimise rental loss and to maintain low rents. As a consequence, new tenants may not get to see their apartment before they move in or before the offer expires, especially if the current residents have not given AYY permission to pass on their contact details in connection with offers.

However, AYY addresses any flaws or defects in the apartments, and the residents also have the opportunity to refurbish their apartments. It is extremely rare that AYY is not aware of significant damage in an apartment that would make moving in and quick repairs impossible. You can read more about the refurbishing of AYY’s apartments here.

I was offered a transfer to another AYY apartment with less than a calendar month’s notice. Do I have to pay rent for two apartments for a month?

When AYY makes an offer for a transfer from one AYY apartment to another, the tenant does not have to pay double rent, as long as they confirm the termination notice created automatically by Domo on time.

When AYY's tenant signs a tenancy agreement for other AYY apartment, Domo automatically creates a termination notice for the current AYY apartment so that the tenancy agreements do not overlap. The notice must be confirmed, as there is otherwise no time to offer the current apartment to a new resident, which in turn means rental loss for AYY.

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