Buyer’s check list

When you buy a flat, you actually purchase shares in a housing company that give you the right of possession to the flat. When you buy a house, you usually purchase a piece of real estate.

Before buying a flat, find out the following information: 

  • the precise square area and number of rooms
  • the selling price, or the price free from housing company debt if it differs from the selling price
  • the portion of housing company debt encumbering the shares and the possibility to pay the debt to the company
  • the date the flat becomes vacant, or estimated completion date of building
  • limitations on use or the transfer of shares, and the possible redemption right of the company or shareholders
  • confirmed modernisations and renovations and their estimated realisation dates
  • living costs, such as maintenance charges, water charges and parking space and sauna fees
  • does the housing company own any flats or business premises, which usually lower the maintenance charge payable by the shareholders
  • is the housing company situated on a leased lot; the expiry date of the lease
  • unpaid maintenance charges and other fees, if any
  • the housing company’s financial position
  • the property management company's certificate, the latest confirmed financial statements, budget and articles of association
  • the zoning situation in the district 

When you are buying a piece of real estate

  • find out if you are purchasing a property, a parcel of land or a building on leased land
  • request a recent certificate of registration of title and extracts from the mortgage register and the land register
  • check the zoning plans in the district and future building plans in the neighbourhood (from the survey department of the city or municipality)
  • inspect the buildings carefully (if needed, use an expert) and find out if a condition inspection has been made
  • check the rights and easements concerning the property; e.g. does the property have a right to waters or is it encumbered with a road leading to a neighbouring property
  • check the borders of the lot
  • find out how water management and sewage disposal have been arranged
  • find out about completed renovations and the living costs