Residents’ democracy - active neighbour relations

In residential activities, you have the opportunity to influence the comfort and community of your living. Do you already know who is the castle warden of your building or would you be interested in joining the residents' committee? Residential activities include recreation, cleaning bees and clubroom makeovers and each building has its own budget. Get involved and bring up your own ideas!
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What is residents’ democracy?

In government-subsidised buildings, tenants are given decision-making power under the Act on Joint Management, as well as influence over their comfort of living. It is in the interest of both the owner and the residents that residents are comfortable and the building is maintained on a regular basis. If you are interested in residential activities, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the Act on Joint Management. Below is a list of important issues regarding residential activities. However, the most important thing is that you can do fun things together and influence your housing conditions.


Residents’ meetings

The Act on Joint Management specifies that each building must have at least one residents’ meeting per year. The meeting discusses matters defined by the Act on Joint Management. All residents aged 18 and over are entitled to speak and vote at the meetings. The meeting invitation is submitted on paper to each resident 7 days prior to the meeting as well as displayed on the notice board of the building. The residents' meeting is convened by the castle warden or, if the building does not have a castle warden, AYY convenes the meeting. The meeting elects the residents' committee as well as the chair of the residents' committee for the next year and goes through issues related to the comfort of living.


Residents’ committee

All residents aged 18 and over can stand for election. Residents can decide how many residents are elected to the residents’ committee. During its term of office, the residents' committee decides how many meetings they hold and when.

Minutes of the residents’ committee meetings must be available to all residents. The minutes must be sent to AYY without delay and can be stored in their own folder in the clubroom, for example.


Castle warden

After the residents have elected the residents' committee at the residents’ meeting, they vote for the chair of the committee. If there are no volunteers for the residents' committee, a trustee may be elected for the building. The chair of the residents' committee or the trustee is referred to as the castle warden. The term of office of the castle warden is one year.

If they wish, the duties of the castle warden include monthly building rounds determined by AYY to check the condition of the building. AYY pays a separate fee for the building rounds.


Residents’ candidate for the committee on real estate finances

At the residents’ meeting, residents may nominate one candidate for AYY’s body, which addresses matters relating to the management and maintenance of a rental building, as well as budget preparation and implementation. The candidate is recorded in the minutes and AYY is in contact with each candidate. Of these candidates, AYY elects one representative of residents. The term of office is one year.

AYY contacts the candidates and asks them to fill in an application form for a position of trust. AYY elects the representative of residents when the call for applications closes and informs the candidates of the results at the beginning of the year.


Housing Cooperative

The Housing Cooperative (ASY) consists of up to ten resident representatives, who are mainly chairs of the residents' committees, i.e., castle wardens. Housing cooperative meetings address economic and real estate issues related to the entire rental stock.

The housing cooperative is always formed at the beginning of the year by inviting all castle wardens to the first meeting of the housing cooperative to elect the representatives and the chair. The housing cooperative meets at least twice a year.


Budget for residential activities

There is a budget for each building. The residents’ committee can decide to spend the money on purchases and recreational activities. Residents can purchase furniture or games for a clubroom or a bike pump or a grill for shared use, for example. They can arrange board game nights, working bees, Christmas parties or plant vegetables in planter boxes together. The budget is decided on a calendar year basis and residents are informed of the budget.

Receipts are stored and sent with expense slips to AYY's financial administration. If the building only has a trustee, larger purchases should be discussed first with the tenant activity coordinator. A good guideline is that the budget is spent on both recreation and purchases.


How can I join residential activities?

First, find out if your building has a residents’ committee and a castle warden. If the last residents’ meeting of the year is approaching, attend the meeting and join the residents’ committee. If your building has a Telegram group, you can also contact residents interested in or already involved in residential activities.

Tenant Activity Coordinator Anniina Hakatie is the contact person between the residents and AYY. You can contact her with any questions related to residents’ democracy.

Contact: [email protected]


Useful links:

Act on Joint Management of Rental Buildings 

ARA’s residents’ democracy guide (in Finnish) 


Castle Wardens

On this page, you will find contact details for the 2023 castle wardens.

Housing Cooperative

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