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Overview: tenants ask


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Overview: tenants ask

Lia Siht, Head of Legal at Estonian startup Rendin, gives an overview of the most popular topics tenants want to know about. People often have some prior knowledge, but when renting is being deeply considered the same questions arise all the time.

What is recommended to the tenant when concluding a rental agreement?

The entire rental agreement should be carefully read before signing. There may be a number of clauses in the contract that, if not recognised, would have significant financial consequences for the tenant. It is for that reason that it is necessary to determine the type of rental in question – termless or fixed-term.

The fixed-term rental agreement terminates only by the agreement of the parties, or on the date of termination of the agreement. The alternative is a more flexible rental for an indefinite period, which allows both parties to terminate the agreement with three months' notice.

It is important to properly record all activities related to the rental. It seems annoying, but everything related to the rental should be fixed in a reproducible form (generally understood to be in writing): the rental agreement itself, the deed of handover-reception of the property, and the payment details.

  • Prior to moving into a rental home, a rental agreement should be made with the (digital) signatures of both parties, and the deed of handover-acceptance drawn up together with pictures; confirmed or already signed by both parties.

  • Any payments must always be provable.

  • When beginning with a rental, a common mistake is that the deed of handover-acceptance is not drawn up correctly. For example, when moving to a rental house, you and the owner do not write down exactly the items that are present or do not take photos. Later, arguments may arise over which items were there and in what condition.

What does it mean to do a background check on a tenant candidate?

Rendin has built its background on checking payment defaults. If the candidate passes the background check, it means that they have the necessary solvency to rent an apartment at the time of the background check and have no debts to other companies.

Landlords may also make inquiries as to criminal records and look for information about a potential tenant from social media and with a Google search.

What should you do if there is a problem with the rental home? For example, the washing machine breaks, or the door lock breaks.

Number One Tip: Communicate! If something happens, the landlord should be notified urgently. Communication should be in a form that leaves a written record (e-mail, messages, etc.), which can be used as proof later, if necessary. Then you should wait for a solution.

If the solution proposed by the landlord is not satisfactory or there is no proposal from the landlord then, in the case of a rental agreement concluded via Rendin platform, the tenant can ask our specialists for an impartial opinion, which is great value for the tenant. Normally, in the case of disagreement, it is necessary to go to a rental committee or a court. Turning to an official institution is rather rare with the Rendin agreement. From our experience, we can say that most landlords are very sensible people and many of their concerns are resolved through compromise.

In any case, it is worth keeping in mind that ignoring problems or deliberately hiding them is not the answer. This can end painfully, as damages are generally provable and can later be claimed through a rental committee or a court (bailiff). Therefore, honesty and responsibility from the very beginning are very important.

Let's say a pet is allowed in the rental home, but the animal damages a piece of furniture. What can or should be done next?

The tenant is responsible for their pet in exactly the same way as they are for themselves. The principle of reasonable communication also applies here. The landlord should be notified of the problem as soon as possible, what to do next and how to compensate for the damage should then be worked out. If no compromise is reached, the case will proceed to Rendin's insurance.