is the seventh largest country in Europe, covering 338,145 square
kilometres and is the second most northerly country in the world. It has
long land frontiers with Sweden, Norway and Russia. The climate is
marked by cold winters and warm summers but temperatures in winter are
moderated by the influence of the
Baltic Sea and west winds from the
Atlantic warmed by the Gulf Stream. The mean annual temperature in the
Helsinki, is 5.3 degrees Celsius. The highest daytime temperature in
southern Finland during the summer occasionally rises close to 30
Celsius. During the winter months, particularly in January and February,
temperatures of minus 20 Celsius are not uncommon.
In the far north, beyond the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set for
about 73 days, producing the white nights of summer. In the same region,
during the dark winter period, the sun remains below the horizon for 51
days, creating the polar night known in Finnish as kaamos.
Of the population, 93.4% speak
Finnish as their native language, whereas
Swedish is the native language of 5.9% of the population. Both
and Swedish are official languages of
Finland. English is widely spoken
but also German is quite commonly spoken, particularly among the elderly
Finland and the EU including links to Finnish government sites and
is advisable to use a
solicitor to check through the sale agreement when
buying property. The
solicitor will run checks with the local council
read survey reports and sign for completion of contracts.
solicitor will correspond with the Estate Agent in negotiation of
the purchase price before the buyer and seller sign the final document
solicitor/lawyer will notarise them on your behalf and
issue the official owner document.
Transfer tax must be paid, at the latest, when applying for registration
of the deed and title to the acquired real estate. The transfer tax rate
is 4%. If the registration has not been applied for, or such an
application is unnecessary, the tax must be paid within six months of
concluding the transfer contract.
Capital gains tax on the sale of property situated in Finland are
taxed at 29%. The capital gain is calculated by subtracting the
acquisition cost from the disposal proceeds. Individuals and the estates
of deceased persons are allowed a minimum deduction of 20%. If the
property has been owned for more than ten years, the minimum deduction
is 50%. When selling real property that includes buildings and/or
structures, the sales price has to be broken down to reflect which
portion is attributable to the land and which portion is attributable to
the buildings/structures and the technical equipment permanently affixed
thereon. In principle, losses related to real estate are tax deductible.
If the property has not been used for business purposes, the loss
attributable to it may be offset against any capital gains realised on
the real estate during the current and following 3 financial years.
There is a separate municipal tax on property. The tax is payable by
those who own the taxable property at the beginning of the calendar
year, even if they are non-resident investors. The tax rate is based on
the taxable value of each individual estate. The general rate may vary
between 0.3% and 1.0%. For permanent residences, the tax rate may vary
between 0.15% - 0.50%. Municipalities decide annually, within agreed
limits, what percentage will be used in their particular municipality.
Property is tax deductible, provided that the property has been used for
rental or business purposes. All property of the taxpayer is subject to
net wealth tax. However, a resident, Limited Liability Company is not
liable to this net wealth tax. For resident individuals the capital tax
is levied at a rate of 0.9% of the taxable net wealth exceeding FIM
1,100,000. As an exception to this general rule, non-resident
individuals are taxed on any net wealth exceeding FIM 800,000.
Most restrictions on Foreign Ownership have been abolished.
providers in Finland grant mortgage loans up to 75% of the value of the
property, usually with fixed rate option periods for repayment. Payment
terms are pretty flexible, the average being around 20 years.
Finland law and practice is neutral between landlord and
Tenancies are generally unregulated. Landlord and tenant may freely
negotiate rents, but the courts may reduce the existing rent if it
significantly exceeds the current average market rate charged on
comparable apartments in the area.
Tenant Security: The landlord must give a termination notice of at least
six months if the tenancy has continuously existed for more than a year,
and a three month notice is mandatory for leases existing for less than
parties cannot agree to allow the landlord unilaterally to increase the
rent during the contract’s validity, unless the parties have agreed the
grounds on which the rent may be increased. However, rent can be linked
to an index such as consumer price index or cost of living index, or a
combination of an index and an additional clause stipulating a minimum
adjustment (to ensure an annual increase of rent). But for fixed-term
agreements of less than three years, index clauses are null and void.
Landlords may not require more than three months’ rent as a deposit. The
sum must be returned with interest at contract termination, if the
tenant has fulfilled his obligations.
Landlord-tenant relations are guided by the Act on Residential Leases of
1995, introduced by the post-1991 Conservative government, which
installed an unregulated regime for all apartments across the country.
Rents and rent increases in both types of tenancy are guided by the Act
on Indexing Restrictions.