5 recommendations for renting property to a foreigner

Renting a property to a foreigner is a topic that arises again and again when communicating with landlords. Mainly, people are interested in whether and what the differences are in renting to a local citizen and a resident from another country.
Published date 17.06.2022
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5 recommendations for renting property to a foreigner

The positive side of it is that the renting process is the same for everyone. Still, there are some nuances in renting to a citizen of another country that every landlord should be aware of.

Having an Estonian Personal Identification Code and residence permit

If the landlord uses Rendin to rent their property, then possession of an Estonian Personal Identification Code is obligatory; without it, we cannot enter into a safe rental agreement. We ask the for the identification code, since we will run a background check on all those interested in renting.

Generally, a residence permit is granted with a fixed period of validity. From the point of view of the landlord, it is useful to ask the tenant how long their permit will be valid for. As the deadline approaches, it is recommended to ask again, whether the tenant will be able to extend their permit or not. It is worth it to schedule the termination of the agreement accordingly.

Running a background check on a foreigner

A background check is required to view past payment behaviour. If the Personal Identification Code has been issued recently, it will not be possible to run a background check, since in this case previous history is unknown. In these types of situations, the solution is an additional background check by our experts. For example, the tenant may be asked for an employment contract and a bank statement, to verify the person’s ability to pay.

Lease agreement in Estonian, English, or another language

The lease agreement, in our case only termless, must be written in a language understood by both parties. When using the Rendin service, it will be possible to choose, whether the landlord and the tenant both wish to enter into an agreement in Estonian, English, or Russian. Lease agreements cannot be compiled or formalized in two languages at the same time.

Registration of the tenant’s place of residence

All tenants, including foreigners, people with residence permits, etc., have the right to register the rental space as their place of residence. In order to submit an application, a certificate confirming that the given tenant has the right to use the living space must be presented. A copy of the lease agreement or a written and signed permit from the owner are both suitable for this purpose. The official state portal provides an overview of rights and instructions for submitting an application (the information can be found in Estonian, English, and Russian).

Taking action in case of problems

The best option is to prevent potential problems, since most misunderstandings happen when there is a lack of communication or people do not voice their expectations. For example, cleaning is a very common topic of quarrels. It is definitely worth talking about what the principles of upkeep could be and what the living space should look like when the tenancy ends, and the tenant moves out.

The tenant should be encouraged to be honest and open, which enables more efficient action in case of problems. Communication should be in a form that leaves a trace and can be verified later (written or voice messages in communication applications, e-mails, etc.). Read more on what to do in case of property damage in a rental home.

Recommended additional reading:

  • An article published in collaboration between the International House of Estonia and Rendin in the Work in Estonia blog

  • Rendin Help Centre for every possible question and answer for the landlord as well as the tenant