Kesämökki / summer cottage as permanent residence?

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dsi11
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 10:55 am

Kesämökki / summer cottage as permanent residence?

Post by dsi11 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:35 pm

Is it possible to have a kesämökki / summer cottage as a permanent residence?
Can you get your mail delivered all year-round to a cottage?
Or can you list a cottage as your permanent residence but have your mail delivered to a PO Box or something like that in Helsinki?
I remember my ex-gf had a lakeside cottage but the mailbox was just a small plastic thing exposed to the elements (probably terrible in winter snow/rain)

Background: just wondering about options if I choose to leave Finland to live abroad, but not permanently. As far as I understand, I would lose my rights to Finnish social services if I leave Finland permanently but can hold on to them if I stay for 6 months of the year. I think I still have right to pension even if I leave Finland permanently. (I am a Finnish citizen and taxpayer for almost 20 years)
Since cottages are quite cheap and I love nature, I am thinking that I could spend summer months in Finland and the colder months in the sunshine elsewhere :)



Kesämökki / summer cottage as permanent residence?

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LaLuRu
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:32 pm

Re: Kesämökki / summer cottage as permanent residence?

Post by LaLuRu » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:35 pm

Hi,

My husband and I have a summer cottage in Finland, we live in England and use it as a holiday home both in summer and winter. We have no problems living there in the winter months either, we have a snow plough man that comes before we arrive and as I'm sure you already know, the cottages there can be so cosy and warm with the fire crackling.

The few downsides for me are; the postal situation, as we are not able to use the cottage as our permanent or official address, so all our official mail comes to our UK address, anything else via email and we have a small postbox on the property for neighbours to communicate if need be etc. When we purchased the property we were told we could pay for a PO Box address but I haven't investigated this option in great detail.

The other downside is that we don't have a shower! Our cottage is very traditional with two external sauna buildings and an indoor compost toilet only. I find it a real pain having to wash my long hair in the sauna every other day (it doesn't wash properly!) or over the sink. We are looking to get a builder out to install one somewhere in the cottage though.

They are also great to lock up and leave for long periods. We visit maybe 4 or 5 times a year and although I worry about it when I'm at home, every time we return it's in the exact same condition we left it in! As long as you are around in the summertime to maintain the land (we have to pay a gardener which is quite costly - our biggest expense) then it should be quite cheap to run also.

All in all, I think if you are happy with a pigeon hole at the post office, then go for it! They are such beautiful and exciting places to live and much more fun than an apartment in the city, so you'll get to spend your 6 months enjoying the best of what Finland has to offer. We are planning on doing a year out at our cottage very soon! :)
Just a merry ol' family from England enjoying the wonders of Finland.... :P


Upphew
Posts: 10154
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:55 pm
Location: Lappeenranta

Re: Kesämökki / summer cottage as permanent residence?

Post by Upphew » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:07 am

dsi11 wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:35 pm
Is it possible to have a kesämökki / summer cottage as a permanent residence?
Can you get your mail delivered all year-round to a cottage?
Or can you list a cottage as your permanent residence but have your mail delivered to a PO Box or something like that in Helsinki?
I remember my ex-gf had a lakeside cottage but the mailbox was just a small plastic thing exposed to the elements (probably terrible in winter snow/rain)

Background: just wondering about options if I choose to leave Finland to live abroad, but not permanently. As far as I understand, I would lose my rights to Finnish social services if I leave Finland permanently but can hold on to them if I stay for 6 months of the year. I think I still have right to pension even if I leave Finland permanently. (I am a Finnish citizen and taxpayer for almost 20 years)
Since cottages are quite cheap and I love nature, I am thinking that I could spend summer months in Finland and the colder months in the sunshine elsewhere :)
Depends what the zoning says. Might be possible even if it is not zoned to permanent residence, but it might need stuff done then.
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Visa is for visiting, Residence Permit for residing.


FinnGuyHelsinki
Posts: 872
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:52 pm

Re: Kesämökki / summer cottage as permanent residence?

Post by FinnGuyHelsinki » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:21 am

By (legal) definition a free-time dwelling (such as a summer cottage) is not a permanent residence, there's nothing preventing one from living in one around the year, it's just that in the population register one is deemed to be "without permanent residence". This is not legally binding for Kela and cities/towns, but you will have to make your case to them in order to have the town/city where the cottage resides as your home town/city (where one pays taxes etc.), or to receive certain benefits (e.g. asumistuki) from Kela, if otherwise eligible. It is also possible to have one's mailing address to the cottage. The free-time dwelling status of the building can be changed to a permanent residence, for which you will have to talk with the local building inspector (rakennustarkastaja). I don't know the exact details about the differences between the two, but likely there are some stricter requirements for a permanent residence.


Rosamunda
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 12:07 am

Re: Kesämökki / summer cottage as permanent residence?

Post by Rosamunda » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:43 pm

I think that's true. A permanent residence must meet all the plumbing, wastewater regulations etc. So definitely worth talking to the local planning office.

There are also municipal tax rate considerations. Our mökki is in Raasepori and the tax rate is much higher there than in Espoo where we live. So I don't think we will be making a permanent move out there while we are still earning money. Generally speaking, the rural areas have higher municipal tax rates than the urban areas.

Not sure about real estate taxes though.


inkku
Posts: 626
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:26 pm

Re: Kesämökki / summer cottage as permanent residence?

Post by inkku » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:41 pm

in my opinion you are confusing taxation and social security. If you stay in Finland more than six months a year (thé six month rule), you are liable for taxes. Kela has no exact rule when somebody moves permanently in or out, I once asked them to give indicative numbers, they said something like 3-4 months could be, over one tearful sure. but they assess your liaison to Finland, property, family and other factors.


Upphew
Posts: 10154
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:55 pm
Location: Lappeenranta

Re: Kesämökki / summer cottage as permanent residence?

Post by Upphew » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:40 am

Rosamunda wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:43 pm
Not sure about real estate taxes though.
Usually you pay double the tax% for cottage. Raasepori... 4x... 0,41 for your home, 1,8 for your cottage.
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Visa is for visiting, Residence Permit for residing.


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