Permission needed for foreign residents to buy property in Finland from 2020

Foreign residents will need to obtain permission to buy real estate in Finland, starting 1 January 2020, as part of new legislation passed in March this year. The applications will need to be submitted to the Ministry of Defence electronically.

“The legislation has been put in place to protect national security,” Matias Warsta, Director of Real Estate and Environment at the Ministry of Defense, told Yle News.

“The security environment in the Baltic region has deteriorated over the last decade. We wanted to create a system that lets us monitor and control real estate purchases in Finland to help us secure the national interest of protecting the country,” Warsta said. 

The new legislation on ensuring national security in land use and real estate ownership applies to properties located throughout Finland, with the exception of the Ă…land Islands. It applies only to property deals closed after 1 January 2020.

The permit has to be obtained by both private individuals who are not nationals of European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) states and companies or other entities domiciled outside EU and EEA.

People with dual citizenship don’t have to obtain the permit if one of the nationalities is in an EU or EEA country.

“In the case of joint ownership where even one of the partners is a foreign national, permission has to be acquired,” Warsta noted.