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FSD2939 Limited Liability Housing Companies Act's Functionality and Impact 2013: Property Managers

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Authors

  • Ministry of Justice

Keywords

alternative dispute resolution (adr), building maintenance, companies, conflict resolution, home ownership, housing, maintenance, real property law

Abstract

The survey investigated how the new Limited Liability Housing Companies Act 2010 (Asunto-osakeyhtiölaki) functioned in Finland, what its impact had been and how it had been implemented. Separate surveys were conducted for shareholders of limited liability housing companies, members of governing boards, property managers and estate agents. This dataset contains the responses of property managers.

Relating to management, the respondents were asked about the number of members in and frequency of meeting of the boards of their client companies, average time spent on a meeting, change in the time spent on meetings after 2010, division of labour within the boards, documents drawn up to guide the work of the boards, composition of the boards, and remuneration received by board members. Increase in demand for property management services was charted as well as documents in which the duties of the property manager had been set out by client companies, increase in the workload of the property manager, improvement in the management of client companies, increase in training provided for property managers, and the need for allowing a property management company to assume the tasks of a property manager.

Concerning auditing, topics included person/people responsible for financial/performance audit in client companies, differences in opinions about the duties of a performance auditor, and benefit of the performance audit to client companies.

Views were charted on information and communication by client companies, for instance, by asking whether invitations to meetings were sent out early enough, whether board members and chair answered shareholders' questions in the meetings, and whether shareholders were notified early enough about important decisions and plans made by the board. Further questions charting communication probed improvement/decline in communication by the board and property manager to shareholders after 2010, the property management company's means of communicating to shareholders, issues the property management company should notify the shareholders about (e.g. the company's financial situation, renovating and maintenance instructions), and whether an Act should be in place that lays down provisions on communication during the fiscal year.

Concerning building maintenance, views were charted on the boards' knowledge of the law and regulations relating to responsibilities of housing companies and shareholders in maintenance issues, and disputes between companies and shareholders about the division of maintenance costs. Relating to the maintenance needs report (which is required by law in cases when planned maintenance significantly affects the use of an apartment, company charges, or other costs incurred by the use of an apartment), questions charted, among others, discussion about the report in the meetings of client companies, shareholders' opportunities to go over the report before the meetings, things that should be included in the report (e.g. cost estimate, maintenance schedule), and the frequency of updating the report. Plans of building lifts in the buildings owned by client companies were surveyed as well as confusion caused by the division of costs of the lifts, and increase/decrease in the number of lifts built after 2010. Further questions studied reimbursements awarded to shareholders for making the renovations planned by the companies by themselves, and the equal distribution of maintenance costs.

Relating to renovations done by shareholders, questions examined rules set out for renovation notices by client companies, whether the respondents processed renovation notices, increase in the number of notices after 2010, and shareholders' neglect to file notices. Further questions about renovations investigated disputes resulting from the neglect to file a notice, processing fees for renovation notices, processing time of renovation notices, expert help hired by companies to assess renovation notices, supervision of and conditions set for the renovation by companies, and the effects of notices and supervision on the number of accidents related to renovations.

Perceptions of disputes and dispute resolution were surveyed. Increase or decrease in disputes between companies and shareholders after 2010 was studied as well as primary actors in resolving disputes. Finally, the respondents were asked, among other things, what the average waiting time for a property manager's certificate (isännöitsijäntodistus) was, whether the waiting time had increased or decreased, whether the cost of the certificate had been increased, and whether the property management company gave shareholders the certificate if they needed it for renting out their property.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's gender, age, education, work experience in property management as well as the number of housing companies as clients, and the decade when buildings of the client companies had mainly been constructed.

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