Allowances and expense claim forms

Every tenant committee has an allowance set aside for their activities per calendar year. The allowances are re-allocated for each calendar year, and any money left over from the previous year cannot be transferred to the next year. The allowance does not need to be used in full during the calendar year – using it is not a requirement for getting an allowance for the following year. At the moment, the funds that the tenant committee did not use in the previous year can be applied for twice a year as an additional budget for improvements on shared facilities or for rewarding tenant committees. This request must be made on a separate application, which will be sent with instructions to the current tenant committee every spring and autumn.

At least 25% of the allowance must be used for recreation and another 25% is to be spent on purchases. The tenant committee can allocate the remaining 50% freely to either recreation or purchases, or both, as decided at the tenant committee meetings.

The tenant committee decides on the use of allowance funds at the tenant committee meetings. Any decisions must be clearly entered into the minutes. The decision must specify what is being purchased as well as the maximum budget for the purchase. It is also good to make a note of the person who is responsible for purchasing the item, if this is known at the time. The person responsible for the purchase buys the items and provides Hoas with an expense claim form and the original receipt to have the item refunded.

The purchase allowance can be used to buy items for the use of all tenants, for example a sewing machine, board games, a game console, a printer or gym equipment. The tenant committee has the right to control the use of such items, while Hoas owns them. Thus, the tenant committee is not authorised to sell the items and/or equipment without permission and instructions from Hoas.

The allowance for recreation is provided so that the tenant committee can organise various events for the tenants, such as voluntary work days, game evenings, barbecue parties, movie nights, pre-Christmas parties and excursions. These events can be held at the shared facilities in the property or the tenants can also for example plan to go to the nearby movie theatre together for a movie night. More ideas for events can be found and shared in the Hoas asukastoiminta/Hoas Tenant Activity Facebook group.

 

Expense claim forms

A statement of accounts is always filed by carefully filling in an expense claim form, which needs to be sent to Hoas along with original receipts.

The recipient of the refund and their account details must be entered on the form. Refunds can be processed both to Finnish banks and to banks in other EEC countries. Refunds will not be sent to bank accounts in countries outside the EEC. The form must include the number of the minutes where the decision on the purchase can be found. The item cannot be accepted if a decision regarding it cannot be found in the minutes of a tenant committee meeting. This is why it is very important that the number of the minutes is correctly entered. Hoas staff will manually verify that there is a decision on each account item in the tenant committee minutes before the expense claim form can be approved. If you declare several purchases on a single expense claim form, the numbers for the various minutes must be entered clearly and you must provide a detailed table that shows which purchase or event each amount was spent on. In addition to this, the accounted purchases must be listed in a table according to their type. The purchase prices listed in the form must not exceed the budgets specified in the tenant committee meeting minutes. The expense claim form must be signed by two persons – the recipient of the expense claim form and a member of the tenant committee.

The original receipts for the purchases must be provided as an attachment to the form. It is recommended that you photocopy the receipts for the tenant committee's own archive, in case they are needed later for example for warranty reasons. If the purchase was made online, you must provide a receipt for an online bank payment in addition to any invoice received. If you need to add purchases that were made in a restaurant, you must provide an itemised receipt of all the items bought.

When stating the cost of events or excursions, a list of participants must be provided to Hoas in addition to the expense claim form, receipts and the minutes containing the decision. The list of participants is required to verify that the event took place and to estimate whether the cost of entrance fees or alcohol consumption is in line with the number of participants.

Tenant committee can also buy second-hand items from a private person. In this case the decision has to be written in to the minutes of the tenant committee meeting and the copy of the buying notice and the receipt of the purchase have to be sent to Hoas. The receipt can be written by hand with a clear handwriting. The information about the product, price, date and contact information of seller and purchaser with signatures needs to be found on the receipt. For preventing the misconduct it is not appropriate to purchase items from tenant committee members.

The form can be either sent in the mail or brought to Hoas customer service when it is open. Since original receipts are required, the form cannot be filed via email. The envelopes and stamps required to send the form can be paid from the tenant committee allowance, as long as this decision has been documented in the tenant committee meeting minutes.

The mailing address for the statement of accounts is: Hoas Asukastoiminta, PL 799, 00101 Helsinki

 

Promissory note

If an individual item or service costs at least 200 euro, the tenant committee can ask Hoas for a promissory note. With a promissory note, the tenant committee member does not need to pay for the purchase, instead the company can invoice Hoas directly and the funds will be drawn from the tenant committee allowance. You cannot ask for a promissory note to purchase food or beverages.

Before a promissory note can be granted, the tenant committee must provide to Hoas the signed minutes from the meeting, detailing the purchase decision along with a price, the name of the person making the purchase as well as contact details for the seller that is to provide the item or service. In addition to this, when asking for a promissory note, you must confirm that a promissory note from Hoas is acceptable to the seller. The person named as the buyer must request the promissory note by email from asukastoiminta[at]hoas.fi. The message must provide details on the item/service to be purchased, the price as well as contact details for the designated buyer. These details need to match the decision recorded in the minutes of the tenant committee meeting. The designated buyer takes the promissory note from Hoas to the company providing the service/item required.