Renting in Helsinki without a job

How to? Read other's experiences. Find useful advice on shipping, immigration, residence permits, visas and more.
EMN81
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:41 am

Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by EMN81 » Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:11 am

My husband and I are planning to move to Finland for 15 months (June 2022 - August 2023) with the primary purpose of our son learning Finnish.

I am a Finnish citizen (naturalized in 2012, but have lived in the U.S. for years after that and have suffered language attrition). Originally from the U.S., I have dual U.S./Finnish citizenship, as does our son. My husband is a U.S. citizen and will get a residence permit.

We are both planning to change jobs next year, so thought that it would be the perfect time to take a break and move to Finland for a short time. We will have $20,000 savings plus my husband will sell $50,000 in stock. This is how we plan to fund our apartment rental and necessities. Our son will be 5 and will go to the public preschool. We are not wealthy by any means, and this will be our only shot at doing this.

I have read on here that it is next to impossible to get a rental apartment in Helsinki without having a job. Is this true, and do you think there would be any way to just pay the 15 months worth of rent up front so there’s no question of us not fulfilling the lease? I hope to find a job, but I’m not too hopeful based on the difficulties I faced when I used to live in Oulu.

We thought we had our plans laid out pretty well, but much of what I’ve read on here has been discouraging. Thank you for your advice!



Renting in Helsinki without a job

Sponsor:

Finland Forum Ad-O-Matic
 

FinlandGirl
Posts: 587
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by FinlandGirl » Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:38 am

EMN81 wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:11 am
My husband and I are planning to move to Finland for 15 months (June 2022 - August 2023) with the primary purpose of our son learning Finnish.

I am a Finnish citizen (naturalized in 2012, but have lived in the U.S. for years after that and have suffered language attrition). Originally from the U.S., I have dual U.S./Finnish citizenship, as does our son.
...
Our son will be 5 and will go to the public preschool.
Do you have a Finnish environment in the US where your son can keep the language after going back?
Without regular practice, he will have forgotten the language when he is 10.
EMN81 wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:11 am
I have read on here that it is next to impossible to get a rental apartment in Helsinki without having a job. Is this true, and do you think there would be any way to just pay the 15 months worth of rent up front so there’s no question of us not fulfilling the lease?
There are two problems:
Worries about not getting the rent, and landlords wanting long-term tenants.

Overall your situation is not hopeless, and you should also look at offers from companies like Sato or Lumo.

User avatar
rinso
Posts: 3923
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:22 pm

Re: Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by rinso » Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:47 pm

Why Helsinki?
If you move away from the big cities housing will be much cheaper. And because of the lack of tenants, landlords are more cooperative.

inkku
Posts: 830
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:26 pm

Re: Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by inkku » Mon Feb 15, 2021 1:27 pm

rinso wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:47 pm
Why Helsinki?
If you move away from the big cities housing will be much cheaper. And because of the lack of tenants, landlords are more cooperative.
Indeed, this is a very pertinent comment. Medium-sized towns, in particular, the former industrial places have plenty of empty housing stock. Or consider smaller satellite towns where there are train or straight bus connections to the bigger towns. For instance, people commute from Tampere, Hameenlinna to Helsinki. Pay attention to the issue of socialising, in some smaller places might be a bit of a struggle to have any social life.

"Impossible" is the typical language here when people want to discourage others .... Finnish is impossible to learn, it is impossible to find a job, it is impossible to rent... None is true. And if you try, you will get it. Sometimes perhaps have to be a bit flexible and/or work hard but nothing is impossible really. So good luck, and hope you will have a nice and useful experience.

betelgeuse
Posts: 3756
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 am

Re: Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by betelgeuse » Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:19 pm

EMN81 wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:11 am
I have read on here that it is next to impossible to get a rental apartment in Helsinki without having a job. Is this true, and do you think there would be any way to just pay the 15 months worth of rent up front so there’s no question of us not fulfilling the lease?
It’s not. Fixed-term leases are harder to find so you might want to go for a non-fixed-term and terminate when leaving.

californiakontio
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:54 am

Re: Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by californiakontio » Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:51 am

Definitely not impossible, we did a similar process when we first moved to Helsinki and we scored a great rental apartment in an affluent area of the city. I would put your best foot forward and in your initial outreach with interest for an apartment, write in Finnish and explain that you are a Finnish citizen returning.

yrtti
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:32 pm

Re: Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by yrtti » Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:13 pm

Seems a bit of a seriously pointless endeavor if you ask me. So he will be here 15 months only? That's not even 2 full school years. During that time you expect to cram his head full of Finnish. Then what? Move back to the US again like you did after getting citizenship? What's the point then if you don't intend for him to use or learn the language?

If the kid even cares about his heritage when he gets older he can take it upon himself to learn the language. It's not like he needs it in the US. Even in Finland he'll get by without it. If you and your partner barely speak the language also then again, what's the point? He's missing out on nothing. Instead though you'd be happy to blow $70k in savings and uproot your life for this purpose? Sounds like a really stupid idea to me.

If it's so important that he learns Finnish hire a private tutor. You could find one for cheap enough even for 1:1 lessons. There's also plenty of apps, muumis and dozens of other things for learning Finnish that is much cheaper. Okay, he's a bit young for that but whatever, resources will only be better and in more abundance in the future.

Really if anything this smells like you want to come back because you were naturalized so long ago, and after having lived in America for what is most likely 10 years, you're at risk of losing your status unless you come back for a while. Am I getting warmer?

Anyway, for the reason that you explained I don't think it's very smart. If it coincides with you needing to return to avoid losing citizenship then by all means. But don't expect your kid to remain fluent for long if you take him out of an environment where he needs to use Finnish regularly.

betelgeuse
Posts: 3756
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 am

Re: Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by betelgeuse » Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:48 pm

yrtti wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:13 pm
Really if anything this smells like you want to come back because you were naturalized so long ago, and after having lived in America for what is most likely 10 years, you're at risk of losing your status unless you come back for a while. Am I getting warmer?
There is no such mechanism that would put citizenship status at risk.

EMN81
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:41 am

Re: Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by EMN81 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:30 pm

FinlandGirl wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:38 am
EMN81 wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:11 am
My husband and I are planning to move to Finland for 15 months (June 2022 - August 2023) with the primary purpose of our son learning Finnish.

I am a Finnish citizen (naturalized in 2012, but have lived in the U.S. for years after that and have suffered language attrition). Originally from the U.S., I have dual U.S./Finnish citizenship, as does our son.
...
Our son will be 5 and will go to the public preschool.
Do you have a Finnish environment in the US where your son can keep the language after going back?
Without regular practice, he will have forgotten the language when he is 10.
EMN81 wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:11 am
I have read on here that it is next to impossible to get a rental apartment in Helsinki without having a job. Is this true, and do you think there would be any way to just pay the 15 months worth of rent up front so there’s no question of us not fulfilling the lease?
There are two problems:
Worries about not getting the rent, and landlords wanting long-term tenants.

Overall your situation is not hopeless, and you should also look at offers from companies like Sato or Lumo.

Thank you so much for the advice. Yes, there are a couple of resources here in Minnesota where our son could practice Finnish. There is the MN Suomi-koulu which meets twice per month and has a lot of native speakers, and there’s Salolampi camp where we could send him in the summer (though for the cost, we may as well just travel back to Finland to visit friends rather than send him to camp). I understand he’ll need to keep at it to retain Finnish. I struggled so much to learn Finnish when I was 23 and came to Oulu, and I just wanted our son to get some of the foundations laid at a young age when it’ll be easier for him. I wish my grandparents had taught me Finnish when I was a child!

EMN81
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:41 am

Re: Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by EMN81 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:31 pm

rinso wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:47 pm
Why Helsinki?
If you move away from the big cities housing will be much cheaper. And because of the lack of tenants, landlords are more cooperative.
Yes, I agree. I’d be open to moving to Tampere or Oulu or any other number of smaller cities. But my husband wants to be in Helsinki since he won’t be working and would like to spend his time touring the city and going on small excursions to Estonia and Sweden.

EMN81
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:41 am

Re: Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by EMN81 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:32 pm

inkku wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 1:27 pm
rinso wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:47 pm
Why Helsinki?
If you move away from the big cities housing will be much cheaper. And because of the lack of tenants, landlords are more cooperative.
Indeed, this is a very pertinent comment. Medium-sized towns, in particular, the former industrial places have plenty of empty housing stock. Or consider smaller satellite towns where there are train or straight bus connections to the bigger towns. For instance, people commute from Tampere, Hameenlinna to Helsinki. Pay attention to the issue of socialising, in some smaller places might be a bit of a struggle to have any social life.

"Impossible" is the typical language here when people want to discourage others .... Finnish is impossible to learn, it is impossible to find a job, it is impossible to rent... None is true. And if you try, you will get it. Sometimes perhaps have to be a bit flexible and/or work hard but nothing is impossible really. So good luck, and hope you will have a nice and useful experience.
Thank you very much for the advice! We’ll try hard and enjoy our time in Finland! I am somewhat hoping my husband falls in love with it and wants to stay!

EMN81
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:41 am

Re: Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by EMN81 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:43 pm

yrtti wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:13 pm
Seems a bit of a seriously pointless endeavor if you ask me. So he will be here 15 months only? That's not even 2 full school years. During that time you expect to cram his head full of Finnish. Then what? Move back to the US again like you did after getting citizenship? What's the point then if you don't intend for him to use or learn the language?

If the kid even cares about his heritage when he gets older he can take it upon himself to learn the language. It's not like he needs it in the US. Even in Finland he'll get by without it. If you and your partner barely speak the language also then again, what's the point? He's missing out on nothing. Instead though you'd be happy to blow $70k in savings and uproot your life for this purpose? Sounds like a really stupid idea to me.

If it's so important that he learns Finnish hire a private tutor. You could find one for cheap enough even for 1:1 lessons. There's also plenty of apps, muumis and dozens of other things for learning Finnish that is much cheaper. Okay, he's a bit young for that but whatever, resources will only be better and in more abundance in the future.

Really if anything this smells like you want to come back because you were naturalized so long ago, and after having lived in America for what is most likely 10 years, you're at risk of losing your status unless you come back for a while. Am I getting warmer?

Anyway, for the reason that you explained I don't think it's very smart. If it coincides with you needing to return to avoid losing citizenship then by all means. But don't expect your kid to remain fluent for long if you take him out of an environment where he needs to use Finnish regularly.
I won’t lose my citizenship if I don’t come back. I suppose my son will lose his at age 22 if he has no ties to Finland, but that’s a long ways off and leaves lots of time for him to choose for himself.

I just had such a hard time learning Finnish when I came at age 23, and I want our son to have the benefit of learning at a young age when it’s easier for him. I wish my grandparents had taught me Finnish when I was little, but instead they only spoke it behind our backs as a secret language (I grew up in their household). If we end up coming back to Minnesota, then there is a children’s Finnish school that meets twice per month and has a lot of native speakers, so we will get involved with that. I’d planned to hire a tutor for our son, but then covid hit and our son has lung disease so we don’t want to take chances with his health.

Part of the reason I want to come back is to show my husband how nice Finland is, with the hopes that we could stay there. Finland is such a nice place to live without a car, unlike the U.S. (or Minnesota, in particular). I would’ve stayed if I could’ve found a job. I have a masters in wildlife ecology from the university of Oulu, which...well, this field is too competitive for me. Even in the U.S. it was hard to find a job.

Anyways, thanks for your input.

FinlandGirl
Posts: 587
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by FinlandGirl » Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:54 am

EMN81 wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:43 pm
I suppose my son will lose his at age 22 if he has no ties to Finland, but that’s a long ways off and leaves lots of time for him to choose for himself.
"sufficient connection" can be a passport application or a notice that he wants to keep his Finnish citizenship:
https://migri.fi/en/retaining-finnish-c ... -age-of-22
EMN81 wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:43 pm
Finland is such a nice place to live without a car
It is possible if you live in a city.
Finns prefer living in a cheap house in the countryside and commute to work by car.
EMN81 wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:31 pm
I’d be open to moving to Tampere or Oulu or any other number of smaller cities. But my husband wants to be in Helsinki since he won’t be working and would like to spend his time touring the city and going on small excursions to Estonia and Sweden.
In normal times I would ask what you and your husband want to do most of the time for a year.
After summer you would have seen everything interesting in Helsinki and surrounding areas as well as Sweden, Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania and St. Petersburg.
How would you spend time in rainy autumn?

In times of COVID-19 it is not predictable what will be possible in a few months.
Right now in Helsinki all bars are open, but many museums and swimming pools are not.
Many people from Helsinki will use the winter vacation for spending next week in Lapland.
Borders to Estonia and Sweden are partially closed, a Finnish resident can still do a vacation or day trip for sightseeing or buying cheap alcohol in Tallinn but most Estonians are not allowed to enter Finland.
When news of the UK variant of COVID-19 came in mid-December, it took the government only a day to ban all passenger flights from the UK for 2 weeks.
There are some vague estimates that all adults in Finland might have been offered vaccination by the end of this year, and hopes that things might become more normal next year.

yrtti
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:32 pm

Re: Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by yrtti » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:38 pm

betelgeuse wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:48 pm
yrtti wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:13 pm
Really if anything this smells like you want to come back because you were naturalized so long ago, and after having lived in America for what is most likely 10 years, you're at risk of losing your status unless you come back for a while. Am I getting warmer?
There is no such mechanism that would put citizenship status at risk.
I was certain that I had read if you do not live within Finland after a period of 10 years or more (continuous) they ask whether or not you wish to keep your citizenship and if you do, there must be a good reason for it as you seem to want nothing to do with the country at that point having not lived there. Maybe I was wrong.

FinlandGirl
Posts: 587
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Renting in Helsinki without a job

Post by FinlandGirl » Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:50 am

yrtti wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:38 pm
betelgeuse wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:48 pm
yrtti wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:13 pm
Really if anything this smells like you want to come back because you were naturalized so long ago, and after having lived in America for what is most likely 10 years, you're at risk of losing your status unless you come back for a while. Am I getting warmer?
There is no such mechanism that would put citizenship status at risk.
I was certain that I had read if you do not live within Finland after a period of 10 years or more (continuous) they ask whether or not you wish to keep your citizenship and if you do, there must be a good reason for it as you seem to want nothing to do with the country at that point having not lived there. Maybe I was wrong.
You were wrong.

Not everything you read on the internet is true, there is a lesson to be learned from that.


Post Reply