How is a housing company defined?
A housing company is a housing or joint-stock property company where the residents of the building are the shareholders. Shareholders can control a building or a section of a building (e.g. an apartment, business premises or garage) owned by the housing company. A share in a housing company can be considered to be the shareholders home, investment or both. A residents can also be a tenant. A housing company is a special form of a limited company and it is regulated by the Companies Act.
The highest authority in stakeholder meetings lies with the shareholders. These stakeholders also form the board of the housing company. One of the most important tasks of the board is to choose a suitable housing management agency. The housing management agency is responsible for managing a running routine, foreseeing housing costs and ensuring systematic renovation.
What should a housing company resident know?
Living in a building operated by a housing company is considered to be rather effortless due to the responsibilities of the building being shared by many shareholders. Also, the housing company offers services at the cost of the maintenance charge of the building. A resident of a building must be considerate of their neighbours: they should, for example inform in good time of any upcoming renovation work being done in the apartment. It is always necessary to inform the housing managing agency in writing of upcoming larger renovation work. Smaller renovation work, such as painting and wallpapering does not need to be informed about. Larger renovation work cannot begin before the housing company has given their consent. The handling process can even take up to two months.
Residents also acquire a sense of safety from the community, when for example your neighbour can keep an eye on your apartment when you are away on holiday. This sense of safety also increases the well-being of residents in the building. The responsibility of a shareholder is thus not only to take care of their own apartment, but also to observe and take care of the common spaces in the building. The waste recycling shed is also part of this responsibility and thus it is important to learn to use the waste bins and recycle correctly. It is also important to make sure the shed stays clean.
Maintenance needs to be performed on both old and new buildings. More about maintenance can be read in the Repair work- section.
How can a housing company save energy?
When considering the electricity consumption of a house, there are many possibilities for savings. Especially guidance and informing residents about various topics is an easy and inexpensive ways to cut costs. It is good for residents to be informed about what their energy consumption consists of and how to reduce their own consumption and costs of water and electricity consumption. The housing company can affect energy consumption, for example when considering and choosing efficient windows and heating systems. Water and electricity meters in all apartments control the consumption efficiently and by equalizing the radiator network a change in the costs can be seen.
An energy renovation includes work, such as installing an exhaust air heat pump and proper thermal insulation. The refrigeration room also has potential or savings. The demand and use of this room could be discussed at a shareholders meeting and if it is found to be unnecessary to residents other use for the space could be found to reduce costs.
To furthermore reduce energy consumption, the housing company could train an energy expert to take responsibility of energy relating issues in the building. By having your own energy expert, the individual needs of housing companies are attended to and savings are done more efficiently. The benefit of an energy expert could be, for example a 20% decrease in the water bill.