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Buying real-estate in Estonia

Buying real-estate can be one of the most important transactions in life that requires planning and time. It is also a notarized transaction. One of the worst things that could happen is finding out later that there are faults/defects in the real-estate that you had no idea about or that were even purposely hidden from you.

By law, the seller needs to disclose all known faults in the real-estate being sold and these would have to be listed in the notarized agreement. A hidden fault is something that exists already at the time of purchase and that has not been disclosed to the buyer.

These kind of faults would probably be more common in case of older and used real-estate but also brand new ones. These could include problems with heating systems, water leaks, problems in the structure of the building etc.

The buyer, who is not acting as a professional, does not have the obligation to inspect the real-estate with the help of experts so that is not grounds for no liability on the part of the seller. The buyer does however have to notify of any faults immediately and also it is important that this fault had to exist already before the purchase. In case of these kind of faults, they have to remedied free of charge by the seller. Or the buyer can remedy the faults himself and demand the cost from the seller. In extreme cases the buyer can also terminate the agreement and demand repayment of the purchase price.

These situations are never easy and all effort should be made to avoid these kind of arguments. This means doing as much research and checking as possible. There are unfortunately so many cases of quite substantial building defects that are discovered later on. It is possible to take legal action but this will be time consuming and costly.

It is also wise to review the notarial agreement in detail. The notary has the obligation to explain the agreement to the parties and also point out potential risks but they will not propose to make amendments to the agreement on their own.


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