Recently, a request was made for a parking space in my housing association.

Recently, a request was made for a parking space in my housing association.

Recently, a request was made for a parking space in my housing association. There are 26 apartmants in the association, but only 24 places. The housing superintendent decided on his own, that he would hold a lottery to decide who would have to give up their second car space (four residents have two car spaces at this moment.) Three of the four interested parties came to the meeting. I objected from the outset, and stated that the first person to give up their space should be the last who got a second space, because they had not contributed as much to the housing association over the years, or in other words, seniority, not luck of the draw should control. Another interested party at the meeting agreed with me. The third party expressed no opinion. I refused to participate in the lottery, because I felt, and still feel, that it was unfair, and not neessarily legal. I think that the only reason that the suprintendent decided on a lottery (without the approval of a full-house assembly or even the house committee) was because he was too lazy to see who had had their second spaces for the longest period of time. This subject should have been addressed years if not decades ago, by either this, or the previous superintendent, but had been neglected up until now. I have spoken to a lawyer, who expressed the opinion that only a full-house assembly could make a decision on this matter, but he was not 100% sure. My question is this: Can the superintendent (isännöitsijä) make such a decision on his own, without the approval of the full-house assembly or even the house committee, and against the wishes of two out of three interested parties, and what can I do to address this problem?

Answer

To start with, I apologize for the answering being overdue.

As you alraedy have talked to your lawyer friend, I suppose you are not asking for legal advice but rather for an opinion, what the Finnish common sense would say about your problem. You may understand that this answer is the opinion of one person, though I can add that for years I have been member of my house comittee, so I have some understanding in these matters.

Your argument about seniority is valid, but not very strong. There are alternative arguments that are at least as strong. One is that the amount of shares, that is the size of your flat plus its position, should prevail. The next possible argument that comes to mind is purely the size of the flat, which corresponds with the maintenance charge that you pay monthly. Now, all these arguments are strictly contradictionary with the strong Finnish tradition of egalitarism. According to that principle, lottery would be the ideal solution, probably your superintendent had this in mind.

As you see, there is not one principle that you can rely on. I think your best bet would be to take the issue up in the next house assembly, and ask for a voting. You might still lose your case, but at least you'd have a "legal" end to it.

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