Managing Director’s review

”One fifth of the growing number of residents in Turku are students, and the Turku Student Village Foundation TYS offers an apartment to approximately one fifth of them. This ’one fifth rule’ is precise enough as a mnemonic. The popularity of renting has grown steadily in the biggest cities, including Turku. Taloustutkimus conducted a survey about landlords in Turku, called Turku Tänään 2018. Almost 550 respondents between the ages 15 to 79 from Turku, Raisio, Naantali, Kaarina and Lieto considered TYS to be the most well-known out of the ten landlords at the Turku region.”

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Building projects

190 apartments at Aitiopaikka were finished by the end of 2018. The planning for the new unit Tyyssija, that began during the fall of 2017, continued, and the plans required for the invitation to tender were finished during the fall of 2018. In December 2018 the invitation to tender for the works was published, and the period for making bids ended in February 2018. The winner of the invitation to tender will be decided by negotiations. A participation and valuation plan was made for the planning of Kylänkulma during the fall of 2018. The planning preparations and the detailed planning of the construction will continue during the spring of 2019. The planning and construction plans will be finished during the year 2019. The renovations aimed at making Iltakajo more comfortable were finished, when the final building (house A) of the unit was renovated during the summer of 2018.

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Sustainable development

In all its operations TYS puts emphasis on solutions with which we can lessen the use of nonrenewable natural resources. The new housing units feature several solutions which reduce the carbon footprint of occupancy. The residents are also actively informed of the possibilities to reduce the environmental impact caused by their occupancy.

In 2018, the waste disposal was managed by Lassila & Tikanoja Plc. All the housing units of TYS have a recycling area, featuring recycling bins for waste that can be burned, organic waste, paper, metal, glass, and cardboard. A separate collection of plastic waste was extended to all units during the spring of 2018. Between August and September, the residents of Nummenranta answered a survey about waste disposal, with the aim of gathering information about the waste disposal units used by the residents, and their recycling habits. Based on the answers, the sizing of the bins and the interval between their emptying times were optimized, in order to raise the degree of recycling. The modifications to the waste disposal units took place in December 2018.

During the spring of 2018 the Student Village area received Föli cycling stations, of which the station at Inspehtorinkatu turned out to be the most popular. During the summer of 2018 a pilot trial of three communal cars was carried out at the area of Nummenranta and the Student Village. Two cars are still at the disposal of the residents.

More than 516 solar panels were installed on the roof of Aitiopaikka. They were deployed during the beginning of 2019. The panels produce more than the property’s yearly needs. The extra electricity can be allocated for the use of the other housing units. In Aitiopaikka they have invested in the heat recovery of each apartment, and there is a geothermal collection field under the premises, whose energy is used to heat up the housing unit at Ikituuri. Of TYS’s housing units, Haliskylä, Yo-houses and Aitiopaikka have apartment specific meters, with which the residents can keep track of their cold and hot water consumption.

The unit in Tyyssija, currently under planning, will use geothermal heat as its heating energy, as well as solar panels that will be installed on its roof. There are also plans for the unit to have a heat collection system for waste water, which collects energy out of the waste water of Tyyssija, and almost 30 other residential buildings of the foundation. There are also plans to use the condensation heat emitted by the cold rooms that will be located in the building.

Finances

Rent from student apartments
and net revenue (million €)

Average rent and maintenance costs (€)

Maintenance costs of properties (%)

Debt repayment and interest costs

Loans in loan types (%)

Net revenue

26,7

million €

For the renovation of properties

5,4

million €

Average rent

12,50

€ / m²/ month

Tenants

6628

Rental applications

2696

New rental contracts

4726

Apartments

6812

Apartment places

Utilization rate

Of the foundation’s tenants lived in one person apartments, aka studios or shared flats

Of the foundation’s tenants lived in family apartments.

6426

Tenants

of which

1595

International students

The event committee brings all the tenants together

In 2017 the advisory board of the tenant committees decided to establish their own event committee. The aim was that through the committee larger events where all the tenants can participate could be organized for the tenants of the Turku Student Village Foundation. After a successful first year the committee was re-established in 2018. Volunteers from different tenant committees went aboard. About six people have been actively involved. Additionally, other volunteers have participated in various events.

”Our wish has been to bring all the tenants together, and to create possibilities for doing things together”, says Tero Ahlgren, a member of the event committee.

The committee has considered it important that their activities are open to all tenants. For example, families have been taken into account in the planning of all of the events, and anyone can join the activities and the planning of events. At the same time the tenant bodies of the different housing units have met new faces.

”The idea has been all along that via the event committee we can create ideas for tenant activities for the smaller housing units, that could equally have tenant activities but don’t yet have any, of how common activities can be organized, and how the events can be at their most successful”, says Katri, a member of the committee.

During the year two larger events were organized, a midsummer trip to Vepsä island, and a New Year’s party. In the midsummer event a boat took the participants to Vepsä island, where the program included getting to know the island and barbecuing. The New Year’s event was organized at the Q house, where the program began during the day with a children’s event and continued with an evening party for the adults. In between there was a firework display for everyone.

”Both events had a lot of participants. In midsummer Vepsä had about 80, and at New Year’s there were about a hundred people. All the residents were represented, from those living alone to families and exchange students”, says Katri.

The event committee members were also consulting with the Cooperative WIMO, who organized the Block Party at the Student Village. The hope of the event committee members was that there would also be program for children. They did get some in the beginning of the day. The event was organized for the first time, and it will get another installment during the fall 2019.

The best service for clients
– the customer service pledge of the Turku Student Village Foundation

In the beginning of 2018, the Turku Student Village Foundation was the first student housing community to publish its customer service pledge. With its customer service pledge TYS tells its clients what kind of services they can expect from the foundation. In the pledge they have taken into account the different stages of being a customer – the rental applicants, residents, and those moving away. The pledge is also a message, expressing the commitments of the foundation. The pledge is tightly connected to fulfilling the strategy.

TYS is the first student housing community in Finland to introduce a customer service pledge. The fulfilling of the customer service pledge will be monitored on a monthly basis, and with respect to contacts, the reporting was put into use in February 2018. Regarding the messages received via the resident pages, the fulfillment of the pledge was monitored on a daily basis. The system ignores weekends and holidays, and regarding the replies, the average for the first year was 1.21 days.

Answering emails was monitored in the Freshdesk system, and during the first year they were answered in line with the service pledge up to 94.2 %. During 2019 both systems will be reported with percentages, and the aim is to answer all the messages up to at least 97%.

KTI Kiinteistötieto Ltd has carried out a rental information comparison. The results of the comparison will be ready by the beginning of June. The rental information comparison will be carried out every second year, based on the decision of the TYS board.

In accordance with the pledge, rental deposits have been returned to residents that have moved away within a month, if there were no outstanding fees.

In its customer service pledge TYS promises:

For applicants:

  • we will apply for an apartment for you together
    • when you are applying for an apartment, we will respond to your contact with us latest the next work day
    • the service adviser will help to choose an apartment that suits your situation.
  • the new students in the fall will get an offer for an apartment in maximum three months, unless they have limited their search
    • if there are free apartments, you will have an offer for one immediately
    • you can take care of almost all the tasks involved in renting an apartment electronically
  • our criteria for choosing residents are open and transparent
  • we are a safe and sure choice for those beginning their studies

 

For tenants:

  • we will respond to your inquiry by the end of the next working day at the very latest.
    • we serve you personally:
      in customer service, chat, social media, by phone, text message, email, and via the resident pages.
  • we guarantee you the opportunity to have an apartment during the whole duration of your studies.

 

For movers:

  • you can continue living after a year of graduation.
  • we will refund the deposit within one month of the end of the contract, if there are no outstanding fees.