What would you do if a real estate agent asked you the following questions and demand: How old are you? What kind of family and relatives do you have? Send me a picture of your family! What is your religious background? What year did you come to Finland?
That real estate agent, who was a candidate in Espoo for the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party in the municipal elections of June, asked in writing these questions of a prospective client.
Husein Hamiid is a Finnish citizen and has lived in Finland for over twenty years. He was interested in renting a restaurant and hotel from the real-estate agent when, to his surprise, he was hit with the above questions.
The real estate agent sends another message:
“Husein, I cannot present you to the seller/landlord if I don’t have any information about you. I am not a racist and all the information about the client stays with me. The owner is not renting the place and I may possibly help you if I can tell the owner about your family. I don’t seek your social security number but I cannot also give you the owner’s [contact] information because he has authorized me to sell this real estate. Thus you cannot get directly in touch the owner. Have a good day.”
Certainly, the actions of the real estate agent are outright discriminatory and reveal the many challenges that non-white Finns have in Finland when they are treated as second-class citizens.
Hamid has vowed to go to the police to charge the real estate agent for his requests.
We will update the story when we get more information on the police’s reaction.
Read the story in Finnish here.