Applying for a right-of-occupancy apartment

The applicants for right-of-occupancy housing produced through State-subsidised schemes must fulfil certain criteria. The residents of houses produced with other financing schemes are selected by house-owners.

Who is eligible for a right-of-occupancy apartment?

  • Occupancy rights in a State-subsidised right-of-occupancy apartment can be granted to an applicant who is at least 18 years old. However, the age limit may be higher in apartment houses designed for special groups.
  • The applicant must not already own an apartment in a reasonable condition in the same area, have the funds to purchase one or to renovate the existing apartment to be in such a condition.
  • The provisions do not apply to applicants who are over 55 years old. The provisions do not apply to applicants moving to another right-of-occupancy apartment or to applicants exchanging apartments.

If there are no applicants who fulfil the criteria, other applicants may be selected for the apartment in question.

The residents of houses produced with other financing schemes are selected by the house-owners. House-owners are entitled to comply fully or partly with the application procedure of apartments produced through State-subsidised schemes.

Right-of-occupancy apartments can also be produced for special groups, in which case the applicants must meet the special group criteria.

If a rental building is transformed into a right-of-occupancy building, 18-year-old tenants living in the apartment are entitled to the right of occupancy of the apartment, even if they do not meet the application criteria. Other right of occupancy holders will be selected as usual.

How to apply for a right-of-occupancy apartment?

  • The applicants must obtain a queue number from the municipality in order to receive a State-subsidised right-of-occupancy apartment. In addition to this, applicants must register with the house-owner whose house they want to have the occupancy right to and provide details of the desired apartment. One person may submit several applications for different house-owners and the applications can be modified or cancelled, if needed.
  • The queue number given by the municipality refers to the applicant’s position in relation to other applicants interested in the same apartment. The applicant with the smallest number is the closest to getting the apartment.
  • Municipalities approve occupancy right requests in the order of the queue numbers. The approval can also be provisional, which means the applicant must meet the approval criteria within a given period.

Residents of houses owned by right-of-occupancy associations are selected in a similar way to other occupancy right holders. When applying for an apartment in a house owned by a right-of-occupancy association, applicants do not need to be members of the association, but they will become members upon making the right-of-occupancy agreement. However, if applicants wish to be able to have a say in the planning of the area and the building, they are advised to become members earlier.

Information on application periods is available in the media and from right-of-occupancy house-owners and municipalities.

More information

Senior Ministerial Adviser Anu Karjalainen, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 (0)40 590 8089,
Published 2019-07-15 at 10:23, updated 2019-07-15 at 10:23