Instructions for right-of-occupancy housing applicants

Anyone aged 18 or older can apply for a right-of-occupancy apartment.

To qualify for a right-of occupancy apartment, the applicant must be in need of a right-of-occupancy apartment. The applicant is not considered to be in need of a right-of-occupancy apartment if he/she:

  • owns a home in the application area that is reasonably similar to the right-of-occupancy apartment applied for in terms of its location, size, amenity standard, housing costs and other properties; or
  • has enough assets to finance at least 50% of the current market price of an apartment similar to the one applied for or to renovate the home he/she owns in the application area to correspond to the apartment applied for.

There are no asset limits for applicants aged 55 or over, or for persons who want to switch from one right-of-occupancy apartment to another.

In order to apply for a right-of-occupancy apartment, you need to apply for a queue number from the municipality. After receiving the queue number, you can apply for the apartments that you are interested in from the owners of the right-of-occupancy buildings.

1. Applying for a right-of-occupancy queue number

If you are interested in a right-of-occupancy home, you have to first submit an application for a right-of-occupancy queue number to the City of Espoo or Helsinki. The queue number is valid until further notice.

 There are three ways to apply for a queue number:

2. Applying for a right-of occupancy apartment

After receiving the queue number, you have to register as an applicant with the owners of right-of occupancy buildings whose apartments you are interested in. Each owner has its own applicant register.

The owner of the building offers each available apartment to the applicant with the lowest queue number. The applicant in question has to submit to the owner of the building a pre-filled tax return and any other necessary information on his/her assets. If the conditions are met, the municipality approves the applicant as the recipient of the right-of-occupancy apartment.

If an applicant refuses three apartments offered to him/her based on the application, the applicant loses his/her queue number.

3. Changing right-of-occupancy apartments

To switch from one right-of-occupancy apartment to another, you must have an unused queue number.

Persons wanting to exchange right-of occupancy apartments with one another within the application area do not need a new queue number. For practical arrangements, they must contact the owners of their right-of-occupancy apartments.

Giving up a right-of-occupancy apartment

If you want to give up your right-of-occupancy apartment, you must notify the owner of the apartment. The period of notice is three months. Upon giving up the apartment, you will receive a refund of the right-of-occupancy fee revised with the building cost index. You cannot buy a right-of-occupancy apartment for yourself.

Further information on right-of-occupancy apartments: Ministry of the Environment.

Housing Services, City of Espoo
tel. 040 657 6641 (Mon–Tue 9:00–11:00 and Wed–Thu 13:00–15:00)