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Renting Property

Estonia - Renting Property

Foreigners in Estonia generally rent through the "free market" as opposed to the rent-controlled. Rent-controlled units are typically not available to foreigners because they are usually occupied long-term by Estonian citizens, and some account of income is taken in the initial negotiations for leases, which generally excludes foreigners. Although free-market rentals are more expensive, the difference is not, at the moment, very substantial.

It is advisable to find a reputable real estate agency that is familiar with the rental market area that is of interest. Although agencies ask for either a fixed sum or a portion of a month's rent for their mediating services, their assistance, when dealing with landlords and lease contracts is invaluable.

Before signing a lease or rental agreement it is important that every detail of the lease should be clearly specified in writing. Rent is generally paid monthly, and often via automated bank withdrawals. It is common in Estonia for landlords to request advance payments for up to six months rent, sometimes in addition to a security deposit. Some leases are inclusive of some or all utilities.

Foreigners should be aware the property value in Estonia is expected by some to soar over the next ten to fifteen years. Whilst renting may be a financially prudent solution for short- to medium-term residency in Estonia, it may be wise to at least consider the possibility of buying property at this time.

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