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We recommend postponing the conversion of share certificates to electronic records of ownership to solve congestion

At the NLS, there is significant congestion in apartment ownership registrations, as customers have started to transfer their share certificates to electronic systems in abundance, and the NLS’s additional resources have not yet relieved the situation. Read the blog by Director Janne Murtoniemi about our solutions for dealing with the congestion.

Janne Murtoniemi

We encourage apartment owners to postpone  the conversion of share certificates by several months at least. If your case is urgent, you can contact our customer service. We apologise for the long delays and extra inconvenience! We are making improvements to fix the situation.

The cause of the congestion is our mistaken expectations about the number of people and within how short a time our customers have brought the share certificates from home to be converted to electronic records of ownership. The delay was about two months before we started adding employees to work on this because the data about the number of customer visits and cases was incomplete until the autumn.

Share certificates are negotiable instruments

Even during congestion it's crucial to note that share certificates are negotiable instruments. To minimise the risk of errors, the processing of share certificates must be handled carefully.

Last autumn, we added employees to assist with the registrations of apartment ownership, 40 of those full time and 80 as their duties permit. At the start of February, 30 additional employees will start. Each recruit has undergone the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service's security clearance.

As time goes on, technological improvements will ease the load on registrations and speed them up, but for now, documents are processed and registered manually.

We are continuously improving our production system and work processes to ensure that our manual processing is as rapid and efficient as possible. 

Later this year we're going to introduce online application to remove a part of the manual work. A physical share certificate is converted into digital format only once. When the ownership of an apartment changes later, we can increase the degree of automation. With electronic records of ownership, the entire change of ownership will be processed electronically from 2025 onwards.

We estimate that the peak congestion period is behind us. Tens of thousands of customers arrived as soon as their housing companies late last year informed them that it had transferred to the Residential and Commercial Property Information System, and that the registration of their own apartment was possible for the first time.

Since the number of customers has increased rapidly, we are processing cases in an order based on the rights and obligations of various customer groups. For the customer this means that a share certificate they bring in January will be processed between the summer holidays and Christmas, unless there's been a change of ownership.

Do this until our congestion solutions take effect

In general, apartment owners have 10 years to convert their share certificates, meaning that most people are in no hurry. The 10 years are counted from the date when the housing company transferred to the new Residential and Commercial Property Information System.

If you have bought or inherited an apartment recently, apply for the registration of ownership of your new apartment within two months of the change of ownership. More tips on how you can register the ownership of your apartment can be found on our website.

If the registration can't wait, you can speed up the registration of ownership in this exceptional situation by contacting our customer service. At their fastest, urgent cases are processed within a couple of days.

Before asking us to treat your application as urgent, please read our tips on how to use a power of attorney to participate in the housing company's general meeting and on how to contract with the building manager if you intend to start a renovation.

Janne Murtoniemi
Director responsible for apartment ownership

In the National Land Survey of Finland blog, different authors discuss various matters topical to the National Land Survey of Finland.

Residential and Commercial Property Information System
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