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Who rules the game? (1)

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Getting ready to the next debate, our reporter Ljudmila Veresinina started to investigate on the bizzarre Estonian real estate world. Do you have anything to say about that? Want to give us an advice or tell us somethign we ''should'' know? us!

Getting your own apartment in Estonia is becoming more and more complicated due to the toughening conditions of home loans, and that's why an always increasing number people are compelled to rent an apartment.

Consequence? Growth of demand for apartments = growth of the rent prices!

According to a joint review of real estate realized by Ober-Haus, Sorainen Law Offices and Deloitte, in the past year the cost for rent of habitation in Tallinn has grown on 20 %.

It is possible to rent an apartment both signing a contract or without doing it. By means of the contract the owner can protect himself from neglectful tenants. The deed of conveyance made to the contract describes the condition of the apartment.

Conclusion of the contract is also useful for the tenants: it is a legal a document which one can use when going to law in case of insoluble questions with the owner of the apartment.

I'm looking for a flat: what should I do?

If you wish to rent an apartment in Estonia there are a few ways to do it, and one of the most common is surfing through specific Internet portals full of ads placed both by the owners and brokers.

Actually more by brokers as, after a research in well known websites as, and it became clear that the majority of the ads are coming from real estate agencies and brokers.

Ok, I found it: now what?

If you rent an apartment through a broker, then you will have to do it legally, so to say signing a contract, bringing in monthly payment, the deposit for the apartment at the rate of its monthly payment and also paying for the services of the broker (which mostly means another monthly payment of the apartment).

Cost of any apartment depends on the area, the floor, availability of a balcony, the sizes of the kitchen and the toilet, availability of a bath, the location of the apartment in the quarter (the external part of quarter is always more expensive).

1month+1month+1month. Any other choice?

Of course not every tenant is willing and able to pay such a big amount at once: what can one do in such a case?

Looking for an apartment not through a broker is more complicated, takes efforts and time but it's still possible.

Most often apartments are given in rent independently either through acquaintance, or by owners who also wish to save money by not paying an agency.

And here raises the question – is it necessary to conclude a contract? Why? Isn't it just a waste of money?


The contract is a guarantee of tranquillity for both the tenant and the owner of the apartment!

Unfortunately, in Estonia when renting an apartment the conclusion of a contract is not always obligatory. The reason is that the owners of apartments can be divided into several categories: people who give their apartments for rent having protected themselves with a contract (can be both letting apartments through brokers or without their participation), people who do not know that it is possible to conclude a contract independently (most often these are people at a pension age) and people who give their apartments for rent through acquaintance.

It is up to the tenant to decide! If at his own risk he rents an apartment without a contract, then he is not protected from the raise of the monthly payment at any moment, from being untenanted without any explanations, from being forced to make repair works in case of any damage in the apartment…

For the sake of personal peace it is necessary not to neglect the conclusion of the rental contract!

Ljudmila Veresinina - Tallinn

(1 – to be continued)