The Real Estate Association says trust needs to be boosted when Yle’s report revealed the fees paid to housing associations for services purchased with housing association money.
Yle’s investigation program MOT saw documents showing that Realia Real Estate received a four percent fee for elevator maintenance contracts.
In Finland, about three million people live in properties owned by housing companies, of which individual property owners own shares.
These condominiums usually purchase management services from real estate companies, who then outsource the services to other companies and advise on maintenance schedules.
This means that real estate companies use the housing association’s money and are paid for their services, so they should not take commissions on any contracts to which they relate.
The association says it is the job of its member companies to build trust and show loyalty to their customers, housing associations.
"The Association of Property Management Companies does not accept bribery or corruption in any form," said the union’s CEO Mia Koro-Kanerva in a press release.
Yle’s investigation revealed non-competitive commissions and purchases from related companies, which threatens to force housing companies to pay too much for products and services.
The association condemned these practices and said real estate companies must ensure that they work for their clients and are fully transparent in their contracts.
Koro-Kanerva also said that condominiums should decide which companies get their contracts paid for and that they can reject the property manager’s recommendations if they want another option.
The association said it would review its ethical guidelines and oversight system with other organizations to increase transparency and resolve potential conflicts of interest.
Source: The Nordic Page