The city monitors the condition of built environments

The monitoring of built environments refers to the monitoring of the condition and appearance of buildings and the cleanliness of yard areas. Monitoring activities also cover unauthorised construction, the demolition of buildings, the building of fences, the installation of advertisements, backfilling, excavation, the felling of trees and water-related issues caused to neighbours.

The purpose of monitoring is to ensure that buildings and yards are tidy and that all items are stored in such a way that they do not pose a threat to the environment or its appearance. According to the Land Use and Building Act, buildings and their surroundings must be kept in a condition that meets standards of health and safety and does not cause environmental harm. According to the City of Espoo building ordinance, buildings and their surroundings must be kept in good condition at all times.

The condition of plots and buildings is monitored on the basis of the inspectors’ own observations and any feedback received from residents. The Building Control Department monitors the condition of buildings and yards from the perspective of the public interest. The department only processes requests for action concerning the yard areas of building sites. The monitoring of land areas and parks owned by the city is the responsibility of the Public Works Department.

Properties must be fixed within the deadline

The majority of Espoo residents take good care of their buildings and plots of land. However, if a building or a plot is in poor condition or untidy, the city may give the owner a verbal or written reminder to fix the situation. A written reminder includes a deadline by which the property needs to be fixed and after which the city will perform a follow-up visit. The city will charge a fee for a written reminder in line with the building control price list. If the owner fails to meet the deadline, the issue may be submitted to the City of Espoo Building Control Committee that may reinforce the obligation by issuing a conditional fine.

How to submit a request for action

Requests for action must be submitted in writing and must include the contact details of the person submitting the request. All requests must be sent to the Building Control Department by email or post. Requests are only processed in Finnish.

A request for action becomes public when it is received by the Building Control Department, and also the submitter’s information may be disclosed on request (Act on the Openness of Government Activities, sections 7 and 9).

Requests for action and other inquiries concerning the monitoring of built environments:

You can also submit feedback through the City of Espoo feedback service

For inquiries about the city’s areas and parks, please contact the customer service of the Public Works Department, tel. 09 816 25000.