Regulations for the Administration of Student Housing

Aalto University Student Union

ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION FOR THE HALLS OF RESIDENCE

Entry into force on 1 Jan 2016.

Chapter I: General provisions

Section 1 Purpose

The purpose of the administrative regulation for the halls of residence is to give residents decision-making power and the opportunity to influence issues concerning their own housing, as well as to increase the comfort of living and contribute to the care and maintenance of apartments owned by Aalto University Student Union (hereinafter referred to as the student union).

Section 2 Scope of application

This regulation applies to student housing properties owned and managed by the student union and its subsidiaries and associated companies. These properties comply with the restricted residents’ autonomy as provided by the Act on Joint Management of Rental Buildings (YHVL 649/1990) and this regulation. In this regulation, Teekkari Village refers to residential properties owned by the student union, which are located in the campus area in Otaniemi, Espoo.

Section 3 Bodies

The housing cooperative body, housing committee and tenant councils operate for residential properties. The common issues of all residential properties are handled by the housing cooperative body. The student union’s housing office attends to the practical matters of residential properties, which is led by the manager of the student union’s financial office.

Chapter II: Building meetings

Section 4  Assembly

Each residential property has its own building meeting. Convening a building meeting is the responsibility of the castle warden or the tenant council of the property. If there is no castle warden or tenant council or if they are unable to attend, the meeting is convened by a person appointed by the student union board. An actual building meeting is held annually during November-December.

An additional building meeting must be convened if the castle warden, tenant council or at least ten (10) residents of the building so require. The meeting must be held within two (2) weeks from the evidentiary presentation of the request in question. An invitation to a building meeting has to be delivered to each tenant in a residential property and placed on the notice board of a residential property, as well as delivered to the housing office no later than seven (7) days prior to the meeting. The invitation must state the matters to be addressed, as well as the meeting time and place.

A secretary, who takes the minutes of the meeting, is appointed in a building meeting. The minutes of building meetings must be submitted to the housing office for informative purposes, which further delivers them to the person in charge of the student union’s housing affairs. The minutes must be delivered to the housing office within seven (7) days.

Section 5  Voting right

All residents of a residential property who are over 18 years of age and other users who have rental facilities in the residential property are entitled to vote in the building meetings. Premises rented on a one-time basis are not taken into account.

Section 6  Duties

Actual building meeting:

  1. elects the castle warden from among the residents of a residential property
  2. makes proposals for improving the living comfort
  3. elects the tenant council.

A building meeting may also address other matters concerning the residents’ wishes.

Chapter III: Castle wardens

Section 7 Election and term of office

A castle warden is appointed from among the residents for each residential property in an actual building meeting. A castle warden’s term of office is a calendar year. If a castle warden moves out from a residential property or is otherwise permanently prevented, a new castle warden is elected for the remaining term in a building meeting.

Section 8 Voting right and eligibility

In castle warden elections, entitled to vote and eligible are all residents who are entitled to vote in the building meetings of the building in question.

Section 9 Duties

The castle warden’s duties are:

  1. to convene a building meeting and act as the chairperson
  2. to act as the chairperson of the tenant council or as a trustee if there is no tenant council
  3. to supervise residents’ rights
  4. to supervise the condition of the building and the compliance with housing regulations, and to inform the housing office or the person in charge of the student union’s housing affairs about any inconvenience
  5. to aim at promoting residents’ comfort of living
  6. to act as a member of the housing cooperative body
  7. more detailed instructions on the castle warden’s duties are provided in the instructions for castle wardens.

Chapter IV: Tenant councils

Section 10 Composition and elections

A building meeting appoints a tenant council to the property, which includes from three (3) to eight (8) members. The tenant council is appointed to residential properties where at least 30 student union members reside. A castle warden may be appointed as a resident representative to other properties instead of the tenant council. If the tenant council does not have at least three (3) candidates, a castle warden acts as a trustee in the property. A member of the tenant council who has moved out of the residential property is considered resigned.

Section 11 Duties

When applicable, the duties of the tenant council are listed in Section 10 of the Act on Joint Management of Rental Buildings as the duties of the resident committees.

In addition, a tenant council should promote the residents’ comfort of living and the development of facilities and services in residential properties by advising new residents who move into the building and by organising common events for residents, among other things.

Section 12 Term of office and meetings

The term of office of the tenant council is a calendar year. A tenant council may organise itself prior to the beginning of its term of office.

In its first meeting, a tenant council appoints the vice chairperson and secretary from among the council. The tenant council is convened by the chairperson of the tenant council or, if one is unable to attend, the vice chairperson of the council. The tenant council convenes at least twice during the calendar year or if at least two (2) tenant council members so require. A meeting invitation must be delivered to each member of the tenant council and the person in charge of the student union’s housing affairs no later than four (4) working days prior to the meeting in a manner agreed among the tenant council members. In addition, a meeting invitation must be placed on the notice board of the residential property in question no later than four (4) working days prior to the meeting.

The tenant council meeting has a quorum when it is convened according to the rules and when at least half (½) of its members are present, including the chairperson or the vice chairperson.

The secretary of the tenant council takes the minutes of the meeting. The minutes must be published on the notice board of the residential property and issued to inform the person in charge of the student union’s housing affairs and the housing office, where it can be read upon request.

Every resident of the residential property, members of the financial committee, housing committee, board members and employees of the student union and the persons separately defined by the board have the right to attend the tenant council meeting.

Section 13 Finances of the tenant council

The person in charge of the student union’s housing affairs is responsible for developing and supervising residential activities in residential properties. The person in charge supervises the use of funding directed to promote residential activities and the comfortability of common facilities.

Chapter V: Housing cooperative body

Section 14 Composition

The housing cooperative body consists of two (2) student union representatives and resident representatives. Castle wardens are residents’ representatives. The chairperson is one of the student union’s representatives and the vice chairperson one of the resident’s representatives.

Each tenant council can send the other member to the housing cooperative body if the castle warden is unable to attend.

Section 15 Duties

Duties of the housing cooperative body are:

  1. to appoint residents’ representatives to the housing committee, resident representatives should represent the residents of the student union’s residential properties as diversely as possible
  2. to act as a liaison between the student union, castle wardens and residents
  3. to appoint resident representatives to the financial committee
  4. to express an opinion on the budget of the halls of residence operations and the rent determination grounds on an optional basis
  5. to participate in preparations, negotiate and, on an optional basis, express an opinion on long-term repair and financial plans concerning the halls of residence
  6. to make presentations, negotiate, and, on an optional basis, express an opinion on the content of service contracts, maintenance systems and the organisation of maintenance tasks
  7. to participate in preparations, negotiate and, on an optional basis, express an opinion on other matters concerning the entire housing stock of the student union
  8. to decide on the instructions of castle wardens
  9. to express an opinion on the housing regulation and the administrative regulation for the halls of residence on an optional basis
  10. to participate in the drafting of the annual report concerning the halls of residence together with the manager of the financial office and to express an opinion on profit calculation on an optional basis
  11. to decide on matters within its authority, which the student union’s representative council, board, financial committee, a building meeting or fifteen (15) persons entitled to vote in a building meeting consider necessary to be resolved by the cooperative body.
  12. to appoint residents’ candidates for the board of a real estate company or apartment house company in real estate companies or apartment house companies governed by the Act on State-subsidised Housing Loans.
  13. to appoint resident representatives to the facility committee

Section 16 Term of office and meetings

The term of the housing cooperative body is a calendar year.

The housing cooperative body is convened by the chairperson of the housing cooperative body. The housing cooperative body convenes at least twice per year or if at least five (5) members of the housing cooperative body so require. The meeting must be convened within 30 days of the presented notification. The meeting invitation must be issued to every member of the housing cooperative body at least four (4) working days prior to the meeting in a manner agreed by the housing cooperative body.

The housing cooperative body meeting has a quorum when it has been convened according to the rules and when at least half  (½) of its members are present, including the chairperson or vice chairperson.

The housing cooperative body appoints a secretary among themselves to take minutes of the meeting. The minutes of the housing cooperative body must be issued to inform the tenant councils and the housing office.

Chapter VI: Housing committee

Section 17 Composition

The housing committee includes three (3) resident representatives and three (3) representatives appointed by the student union board. The housing cooperative body appoints three resident representatives to the housing committee. A person who has acted in the housing committee already for three (3) terms cannot be appointed as the resident representative to the housing committee. The chairperson is one of the student union representatives and the vice chairperson is one of the resident representatives.

A resident representative of the housing committee who has moved out of the student union’s residential property is considered resigned and the successor for the remaining term must be appointed to replace the representative in the following meeting of the housing cooperative body.

An employee of the housing office acts as the secretary and the presenter of applications in the housing committee without voting rights.

Section 18 Duties

Duties of the housing committee are:

  1. to prepare amendments to the housing regulation for the student union board
  2. to decide on principles and procedures of tenant selection and reviewing the right of residence within the housing regulation
  3. to supervise the implementation of tenant selection and reviewing the right of residence
  4. to address complaints, appeals and proposals from residents within its decision-making power
  5. to contribute to the settling of housing-related disputes and, if necessary, act as a mediator in cases of disorder and
  6. to decide on matters which the housing cooperative body, a single tenant council or the resident representative, the student union board, representative council or financial committee considers necessary to be decided by the housing committee.

Section 19 Term of office and meetings

The term of the housing committee is a calendar year.

The housing committee is convened by the chairperson of the housing committee or, when prevented, the vice chairperson. The housing committee convenes at least once per month during the lecture periods of Aalto University or if at least two (2) members of the housing committee so require. During the lecture terms of Aalto University, meetings have to be convened within a week and at other times within two (2) weeks from the received request. A meeting invitation must be delivered to each member of the housing committee at least four (4) working days prior to the meeting in a manner agreed between the members of the housing committee.

The housing committee meeting has a quorum when it is convened according to the rules and when at least half (½) of its members are present, including the chairperson or the vice chairperson.

The secretary of the housing committee takes the minutes of the meeting. The minutes are public but the publicity of other documents comply with the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999). The minutes are issued within one month from the meeting to inform the student union board and the housing office, where they can be read upon request.

In the housing committee meetings, only the committee members and the secretary have the right to attend and speak. The housing committee may, however, also grant the right to attend and the right to speak to other persons.

Section 20 Shelving

An issue that is discussed for the first time is shelved for further clarification if at least one quarter (¼) of the present members of the housing committee so require. When discussing the matter again, the matter is shelved if at least three quarters (¾) of the present members of the housing committee so require. If the issue is presented to the housing committee in a substantially different form due to clarifications and presentations, it is regarded as being presented for the first time.

Chapter VIII: Specific provisions

Section 21 Decision making

The opinion supported by the majority of votes cast in the meeting is the decision of the bodies defined in this regulation. The voting manner is decided by the body based on the proposal of the chairperson. Person elections are held as a secret ballot election. When the votes fall even, the chairperson has the casting vote. However, person elections are resolved by a draw.

Section 22 Compliance with the rules of procedure of the board

The bodies defined in this regulation must comply with the rules of procedure of the board when applicable.

Section 23 Right to information

The housing cooperative body, housing committee, tenant council and building meetings have the right to receive information necessary for exercising their rights from the property owner or one’s representative.

Section 24 Appealing the decision

A person dissatisfied with the decision of the housing cooperative body, housing committee or tenant council can submit a written request for rectification within two (2) weeks from the published decision. A person dissatisfied with the decision of the housing cooperative body may appeal to the housing cooperative body, a person dissatisfied with the decision of the housing committee may appeal to the housing committee and a person dissatisfied with the decision of the tenant council may appeal to the tenant council.

The housing cooperative body, housing committee and tenant council have to review the decision and announce their reasoned and final decision to the person in question within one (1) month after the request for rectification. A person dissatisfied with the decision may further appeal to the student union board, which is entitled to procedural and judicial review and bringing the matter back for discussion, with the exception of the housing committee, the decisions of which can be appealed to the administrative court. In housing affairs, one can only appeal decisions concerning oneself.

Section 25 Appeals against other operations

Appeals, comments and requests for rectification should be primarily addressed to the housing cooperative body, housing committee or tenant council, depending on whose sphere of authority the matter concerns. The matter should be handled in the following meeting after its reception or the meeting after that. The body, which discusses the matter, has to submit a reply or at least a notice of the processed appeal to the person in question within the following two (2) weeks. The person in question may further appeal to the student union board, which can issue a notice to the body which addressed the issue.

Section 26 Amendment of the regulation and entry into force

The Representative Council decides on the amendment of this regulation by a majority vote. The housing cooperative body must be consulted when preparing a proposed amendment.