Accommodation in Estonia
The Estonian real estate market offers many possibilities for both rental and purchase with a broad price range. In the case of renting a house or flat, the costs for water, electricity etc are usually added to the stated price. There are a great number of real estate agencies, which usually charge a fee in the amount of one month’s rent. Some major sources for finding real estate for rental or sales are:
- Real Estate Web (Kinnisvaraportaal) Language choice from homepage. Default: Estonian
- City24 Real Estate Language selection from homepage. Default: Estonian
- Visitestonia.com. Accommodation offers selection between hotels and hostels for a shorter stay to guest apartments for longer renting periods.
- You can also find real estate through newspaper advertisements.
Rental agreements can have a specified or an unspecified term. You should return the rented property together with any further belongings to the owner at the time agreed. The owner should make reparations to the property in case of defects that have not been caused by the renter. The renter should remove minor defects that can be removed by light cleaning of maintenance which are in any case necessary for the ordinary usage and preservation of the rented property. For any improvements or alterations at the property you need the owners written consent. If the value of the property increases because of the alterations, the renter can ask for compensation. It would be advisable to agree on the compensation for alterations or improvements in advance.
In case you have a rental agreement with an unspecified term and the owner wants to raise the rent, he has to inform you 30 days beforehand in written form. The owner can ask for a deposit in the amount of up to 3 month rent. The renter can demand repayment of the deposit in case the owner has not informed the renter of any claims against him within of two months after the expiry of the lease contract.
Lease contracts with an unspecified term may be cancelled by giving at least three months’ notice. Upon lease of furnished rooms a lease contract may be cancelled by giving at least one months’ notice. The owner can cancel the lease contract if the renter is due the rent of three or more months. The cancellation of a lease contract can be contested in a lease committee or in court, the application for that must be submitted within 30 days after receiving the notice of cancellation.
Law of Obligations Act (as of 2016) Võlaõigusseadus
In case you want to buy a house or a flat, before deciding find out:
- Is the apartment association active?
- Who are the neighbours?
- What are the plans for construction in the neighbourhood?
- What is the condition of the roof?
- Have the technical systems (pipes and electrical system) been replaced?
- How high are the heating costs?
Estonian Law of Obligations Act says that if any hidden faults appear after the purchasing of real estate, the purchaser must report that the terms of the contract were not met. This must be told to the previous owner within reasonable time after the faults were discovered or should have been discovered.
If the purchaser does not report discovered faults in time, then he or she cannot claim that the terms of the contract have been breached. If delay in reporting a fault has a reasonable excuse, then the purchaser may still lower the price for the purchase or demand that the seller covers the damage that occurred, but not the costs for profit that has not been received. The term “reasonable time” has not been stated clearly in the law, but generally it is considered that reasonable time is approximately two month after the faults were discovered or should have been discovered.
§ 222 from the Law of Obligations Act says, that if a thing does not conform to the contract, the purchaser may demand the repair of the thing or substitution of the thing from the seller if this is possible and does not cause the seller unreasonable costs or unreasonable inconvenience. Considered should be the value of the thing, the significance of the lack of conformity and the opportunity for the purchaser to acquire a thing, which conforms to the contract from elsewhere without inconvenience.
If the purchaser legitimately requires the repair of a thing and the seller fails to repair the thing within a reasonable period of time, the purchaser may repair the thing or have the thing repaired, and claim compensation for any reasonable costs incurred thereupon from the seller.
The seller is deemed to be in fundamental breach of a sales contract also, if the repair or substitution of a thing is not possible or fails. The contract has also been breached if the seller refuses to repair or substitute a thing without good reason or fails to repair or substitute a thing within a reasonable period of time after the seller is notified of the lack of conformity.
In the event that the seller has made a fundamental breach of contract, the purchaser does not have to determine an additional term to the seller and can withdraw from the contract.
Law of Obligations Act (as of 2106) Võlaõigusseadus
Several Estonian universities also offer possibilities for accommodation at student dormitories. Their advantage is cheapness and generally also closeness to the university buildings. Most of the student dormitories have been recently renovated. Information about the dormitories can be found on the web-pages of the universities:
- University of Tartu. Tartu Student Village
- Tallinn University. Accommodation
- Tallinn University of Technology. Accommodation
- Estonian University of Life Sciences. Student accommodation