Construction companies limit Airbnb activities already in the construction phase, strict line Oulu at the forefront - the person who bought the share: "It was a really positive surprise"
The phenomenon is accentuated specifically in Oulu, where building control has drawn a strict line on short-term renting of apartments and compliance with planning regulations.
As a result of the debate on restricting Airbnb activities, construction companies have started to draw up company regulations prohibiting short-term rental activities in apartment buildings for sale.
Activities have been limited or are being limited also in Helsinki, Tampere, Rovaniemi(you switch to another service), and Turku.
The restriction has been set in motion due to the disadvantages of peer accommodation, such as late partying, and calls from neighbors who are tired of it.
Skanska has one Airbnb-free apartment building under construction in Oulu and two at YIT. The background is the city's active regulation.
Mikko Herva, regional director of Skanska homes for Northern, Eastern, and Western Finland, says that their customers have requested that the construction company, already at the founding stage of the housing limited liability company, enter a mention in the articles of association that prevent short-term renting of apartments.
In Oulu's Plaanatorni, it means a rental period of two months or less.
Such an entry is easy to make in the articles of association at the point when no one but Skanska is deciding on the matter.
- That's exactly why the apartment buyers have sent us this request, because it may be more difficult to change the articles of association, later on, says Herva.
There will be no Airbnb apartments in Oulu's Planatorni. Photo: Timo Nykyri / Yle
New houses are bought for disposal
For Skanska, Planatorni is the first site where this prohibition of short-term rental activities is being tried. So far, the feedback has been good.
- We are strongly oriented towards buying for our own use. The articles of association are in line with the business idea, says Herva.
YIT Asuntomyinti Oulu's sales negotiator Kristiina Vähäkuopus says that there were two reasons for the corporate regulations prohibiting the Airbnb operation of Asematorni 3 and Telegram, the apartment buildings under construction in Oulu.
According to Vähäkuopus, the first reason was the instructions given by the city and the city's attitude towards such housing companies where Airbnb operations have been carried out.
- The city has a very strict line, says Vähäkuopus.
Another reason is that the property located on its own plot is primarily sought after by buyers of their own home, for whom the freedom of Airbnb can be a positive thing.
- Several customers have said that they will buy a final investment place for themselves, says Vähäkuopus.
The person who bought the share is satisfied with the ban in the articles of association
Oulu's building control requires that the construction must be according to the plan. According to the interpretation of the Oulu building control, accommodation activities cannot be carried out in a residential apartment building.
- For us, these new types of articles of association are a good thing, says Pekka Seppälä, director of construction supervision.
He thinks it is important that the game is clear from the beginning.
- Those who put their money in an apartment know what they are getting, says Seppälä.
He wants to emphasize that Oulu is not alone in this matter.
- There are similar guidelines in Helsinki, Tampere, Rovaniemi, and Turku is coming, says Seppälä.
Kalle Seppänen, who bought a share in YIT's Asematorni molmos together with his wife, is satisfied.
- It was a really positive surprise that the Airbnb ban was written into the articles of association, says Seppänen.
In Seppästen's previous housing company in Oulu, some of their neighbors suffered from the Airbnb apartments that were in the building.
- It didn't bother us when it happened at the other end of the house, says Seppänen.
However, stories about the mild effects of short-term rental operations have made the Seppäsets reject the idea of settling in the same property with Airbnb apartments.
- Initially, it seemed like a smart operation, where you rent your own apartment and on the other hand, you rent it yourself elsewhere. It came as a surprise that it is so professional these days, says Seppänen.
He thinks it would be good if accommodation and living were kept separate from each other.
Action against the building permit is still unclear
YIT's Kristiina Vähäkuopus says that the industry has thought about building houses intended only for short-term rental activities, in which case the lives of other residents would not be disturbed by temporary residents.
This has been suggested to construction companies by, among others, the director of Oulu's building control.
According to Mia Koro-Kanerva, CEO of the Land Management Association, banning short-term rentals in advance by means of the articles of association has not become widespread in Finland, but this has happened elsewhere than in Oulu.
However, according to Mia Koro-Kanerva, Oulu currently has the strictest Airbnb line in the country.
He says that at the beginning of the summer in Oulu, a meeting was organized on the subject between the building control, Kiinteistöliiito, Isännöintiliito, and Finnish landlords.
According to Koro-Kanerva, Oulu's building control has a very strict interpretation of what constitutes a use contrary to the purpose of the building permit. However, use comparable to housing and accommodation use is two different things.
- Short-term renting is not prohibited, but accommodation activities in the apartment intended for residential use are prohibited.
In Helsinki, the cases that came up in connection with the discussion are about frequent full-service accommodation activities similar to hotel operations.
- There are cleaners and there are breakfasts, breaks, and that repetition, says Koro-Kanerva.
He estimates that, despite the Supreme Court's decisions, the line between what constitutes an activity that violates the building permit or the Housing Corporation Act is unclear.
If all short-term rentals are prohibited in the articles of association of the house under construction, Koro-Kanervank thinks it can be done.
- After all, we have buildings where the articles of association prohibit all rental activities, says Koro-Kanerva.
What thoughts does the topic evoke? You can participate in the discussion with a Yle ID until 23:00 on July 23.