Project manager Janne Tyynismaa sweeping snow at a rural house, Source: Talo maalta

Finnish dating-app-like service matches rural homes with occupants

Finnish dating-app-like service matches rural homes with occupants

Pay no rent and help revive the countryside

For Finnish urban residents lacking a country house yet dreaming of a rural getaway this summer, or any other season, there’s now a solution. An app called Talo Maalta (roughly translated as “A house in the country”) was launched last month with the aim of matching owners of vacant houses and candidate occupants. Local media sources have described it as working very much like popular dating apps, such as Tinder.

The online service is part of a venture by the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK), whose research has shown that up to a million city dwellers would like to move to the countryside in some form but do not always have the means to. And for a country whose entire population is 5.5 million, that’s quite the chunk.

How it works

People interested in moving to the countryside can post a profile, in which they describe as precisely as possible what sort of place they are looking for and what they want to use it for. Homeowners, on the other hand, post profiles of their properties.

By clicking on a green heart, users can select properties of interest, and owners can show interest in people wanting to make a move who they would like to have talks with," explains Janne Tyynismaa, project manager, quoted by Yle news agency.

Contact between both sides can only be made if there is a match. What’s unique about Talo maalta is that in addition to traditional real estate transactions and lease contracts, it offers the possibility to enter into right-of-use agreements.

The latter do not involve rent payments. Instead, housing is made available in exchange for the maintenance of the property. In summer that could be raking leaves, mowing lawns, or weeding, while in winter that would involve snow removal.



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