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Moving to Estonia? Things to think about before signing your rental agreement

We have written about rental/tenancy agreements before but it is good to refresh some of the important aspects - most of them are still the same. 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. The law now allows for the landlord to demand communal costs related to the maintenance of the house (like reserve fund) as well if it is clearly stated in the agreement. Make sure to ask for some sample invoices.

  3. Contractual penalty in favour of the landlord. This could be null and void but also allowed in some cases. If a contractual penalty is written into the agreement we recommend to take a closer look at it.

  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. Maybe even make a video. As soon as you notice some faults even after the handover, send an email to the landlord.

  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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