The goal is to make good quality secure housing available to the members and manage it in a professional manner based on a long-term strategy with emphasis on sustainability. In a co-operative arrangement the buyer pays for a share that typically amounts to 10-30% of the house price. Advertised monthly fees include most of the housing cost but can alter if cost structure changes. Membership is an obligation. Monthly rent changes according to the inflation index and does not include electricity or insurance. The tenant is responsible for internal maintenance.
How does it work and how to apply?
- First you become a member. The annual fee is 5.500 ISK. You will receive a membership number based to the time you join. The lower the number the better.
- All available apartments are advertised from first Monday every month for a week in the newspaper Fréttablaðið and on www.buseti.is. Any member can apply for advertised apartments but only “low income” members can apply for apartments financed by the state with a low income mortgage (tekjumarksíbúð).
- An interested buyer has to make a bid within an advertised price range and the seller has the choice to refuse, make a counteroffer or accept. If more than one member applies for a certain apartment, the general rule is that highest bidder with the lowest membership number is offered the apartment.
- If an apartment isn’t sold the first time it is advertised everyone can apply for it (first come-first serve). Still, you always have to make an offer for the apartment.
- Generally you will have a week to make a payment and finish the contract.
- When you receive an apartment the general rule is that everything should be in order, newly painted walls, ceilings and windows, floors clean and polished and all interior (doors, kitchen tabletops, cabinets, stove etc.) in order and working properly and in proper condition considering age.
- You have 30 days’ notice to notify (complain) about items that you think should be fixed.
- When the apartment is returned the condition has to be the same as when received it according to rules, taking into account reasonable wear and tear. Things that are broken have to be repaired.
A tenant of a co-operative apartment is somewhat looked at, and has a legal status, similar to a private owner. The tenant has a contract that the organization cannot end and receives a tax subsidy like a private house owner. Therefore the tenant can live there as long as he or she likes, as long as monthly cost is taken care of and house and organization rules are not broken.