Rental Practice in Tallinn

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Most of the advertising takes place on real-estate websites such as www.city24.ee or www.kv.ee. But offers of good apartments can also be found through personal contacts.

Apartments are rented out either by real-estate agents or sometimes also by landlords themselves. In case the apartment is rented out by a real-estate agent, the agent will usually add a broker’s fee equal to 1 month’s rent. Around 90% of apartments on the market are rented out by brokers.

COSTS

Rent is paid monthly to the landlord (whether to the landlord’s bank account or in cash - this will be agreed between two parties). The standard is that rent is paid upfront for the beginning month. 
Utilities (electricity, water, heating, TV/internet, recycling, general house maintenance etc.) will be added to the rental price. The utilities will be paid by the tenant on a monthly basis, calculated by the amounts that you use or on the size of the apartment. Due to heating in the winter period, the utilities can make up a quite notable proportion of home-related expenses. Utility costs depend on the specific building, on the size of the apartment as well as on the heating system used in the building. 
Deposit payment. Landlords usually collect a deposit sum equal to 1 month’s rent (by law it may be equal to 1-3 month’s rent) at signing the lease contract. The deposit will be returned after the end of the rental period in case the tenant has paid all the bills, not damaged the dwelling or left rent unpaid. In case of damage or unpaid bills, the landlords deduct the amount off from the deposit payment. So usually when signing a rental agreement, it is necessary to pay a sum equal to 3 months’ rent: rent, broker’s fee and deposit. Out of these the deposit will be returned at the end of the rental period.

RESIDENTAL LEASE CONTRACT

MoveMyTalent will be helping you with going over the contract, translating it and also with seeing that everything is in your favor, but here is some general information about common practice of rental agreements:
Length of the contract. In general, landlords prefer to take a tenant for a longer period, at least half a year or a year. Often the contracts are also made for an unspecified term – that means parties agree upon a certain period verbally but will terminate or extend the contract when is necessary. By law if an agreement is made for a fixed term, it cannot be terminated prematurely (unless for an exceptional case), but in practice often parties agree upon a premature termination notice of 1-3 months.
Conditions for terminating the contract depend on the agreement, but usually a necessary termination notice period of 1-3 months applies for both parties.
Liability. The tenant is usually liable for the interior and furnishing of the apartment and in case of damage the cost will be deducted from the deposit payment. Normal wearing down that comes from living in the apartment, is understandable. It is in general the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the overall systems: heating, water, electricity and other things necessary for living in the dwelling.

UTILITIES

As mentioned before, the cost of utilities will be paid by the tenant each month, based on how much is used and how big the apartment or house is. The utility bill will include services directly used by the tenant (eg. water, gas etc.) as all services used for the entire house and then divided between square metres of the apartments (general electricity, accounting, hallway cleaning). The invoice will be sent to you either via e-mail or by mail. When viewing the apartment, it is always worth asking the landlord to show invoices of utilities from previous summer and winter to get an estimate of the costs. For a 2-room apartment, the utilities paid every month can be around 60-80€/summer and around 140-180€/winter. But depending on the insulation and quality of the building, this amount can vary. 

Water, electricity, heating and recycling providers are chosen by the landlord. 

It is usually the tenant’s option to choose the telecom (TV, internet, landline) and security services. Prices for 20 Mbit/s solution internet are around 15-20€/month; TV is around 10-15€/month.

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