10 commandments about your rental agreement/contract in Estonia

We have written about rental/tenancy agreements before but we still see a lot of things in agreements which are horribly confusing or even illegal and can create a lot of headache (plus financial loss). We decided to list 10 things (not in order of importance) to check and be mindful of:

  1. Do not pay cash. If you must, always sign a paper to have proof of your rental payment. Even if there is no attempt to cheat, the mind can play tricks and one or the other party may not remember the payments.

  2. Check what you pay as communals. For example, it is not the obligation of the tenant to pay for reserve fund or land tax.

  3. There cannot be a contractual penalty in favour of the landlord. This is null and void according to law.

  4. When will you get your deposit back? Every rental agreement ends and there should be a procedure for paying the deposit back.

  5. Do you know your landlord? An easy search can find out a lot.

  6. Termination. Understand who can do what and when.

  7. Pets. Best have it clearly stated that pets (or roommates) are OK.

  8. Take pictures at the handover. Could be useful evidence.

  9. Home improvement. Make sure you have permission to drill holes or paint the ceiling.

  10. Disputes. Finally it is useful to know, what to do or where to turn to in case of disputes (i.e refusal to pay back the deposit).

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