Going forward in our lives as immigrants after getting the residence permit includes many common procedures; some of them are very simple and easy, but the other are not as easy as I expected.
The first and second steps were getting the identity number (from Maistraatti), and applying to the social insurance institution (from Kela) which lasted approximately four weeks in both cases. These procedures did not cost me more than going to the offices and fill in the forms.
The third one which is the most difficult procedure was renting a flat. I made several requests from many rental apartment companies online or by going to their offices.
Unfortunately, only two companies replied to me and dealt with me. One of them demanded me going to the websites of the flats and then applying directly there. I saw several good flats, but I wasn’t lucky to be accepted.
The other company was putting people in a queue, and they propose the available flats to their clients when it is their turn.
They informed me through e-mail that the price limit I had determined was very low and that there was no flats that could meet these criteria. Then I sent them some examples of flats from their own webpage which fit my requests, so they reviewed it and eventually my request were accepted.
I was very lucky since I can speak English so that I could perform this mission by myself without any mediator which some new immigrants need to use. Actually, there are sometimes mediators who work between lessees and lessors especially for new immigrants who cannot speak English or Finnish.
These new immigrants find themselves in front of an impossible task, so they look for help from these mediators who in turn take advantage of them and sometime they charge as much as 1 000 euros.
Finally, I insisted to find a flat in a normal and legal way even if it was more difficult and took more time. I am not the one to encourage the illegal way and in doing so I may help to prevent it.
I would be glad to get some advice from your experience in renting apartments and in getting suggestions for new immigrants about the best ways to avoid being exploited in this field.
One of the immigrants,