The Estonian startup Rendin, the digital home rental platform, reveals that the number of rental agreements with rental insurance doubled in March 2022. Noting that the main reason for the revival of the rental market is due to local residents and that the impact of refugees from the war in Ukraine on the rental market is still low.
Previously, an average of four contracts were signed on the Rendin platform per day, which offers the safest way to conclude a rental agreement along with rental insurance. Currently, this number has doubled to eight per day, and is quickly heading towards ten, reports Äripäev. Recently, a new record was set with 52 people applying for one rental home in Tallinn.
“The rental market as a whole has clearly become more active, driven primarily by local tenants. People who have considered moving to a new rental home have now taken an action,” says Alain Aun, co-founder and CEO of Rendin. “Obviously, a driving force is the fear of missing out on rental opportunities. This is a valid concern, the number of rental home ads has significantly decreased within the last month, by about 500 apartments in Tallinn alone.”
The significant decrease in rental ads began when the first war refugees arrived in Estonia from Ukraine. Several landlords removed their rental homes from the real estate rental market in order to provide housing for refugees for free or on favorable terms. The rental homes still available on real estate portals are for tenants who can pay the market price: "This means, that refugees who want to rent a dwelling should have the financial capacity to cover the rent and utilities. As landlords cannot be completely confident in people's capabilities, the opportunities for Ukrainians are clearly limited,” explains Aun. Adding that the state should take concrete steps to help refugees from Ukraine and provide landlords a guarantee of protection for potential payment difficulties.
In the last two weeks, approximately 1,100 people passed the tenant background check on the Rendin platform (compared to around 500 in the past). According to Aun, most potential renters are locals and foreigners, not war refugees. "Ukrainians are hampered by the lack of personal identification codes, a lack of clarity about accommodation options offered by the state or local governments, and the hesitation of landlords. The share of Ukrainians will definitely increase in the near future, once they’ve got their documents, made other necessary arrangements, and found work,” he says.
Rendin also operates in the Polish market, where the effects of the war are felt even more strongly. The number of rental home ads in Warsaw has fallen by more than half during the war, and by 70% in Krakow. "The people of Ukraine have closer ties with Poland than with other countries, much like we have with Finland. Many of them had local ID numbers, as well as jobs and friends waiting,” comments Rendin’s CEO.
"Property owners may have minor reservations about war refugees; landlords who are more sensitive are consciously looking for ways to better protect themselves and their tenants, as ordinary rental agreements do not help them in the case of potential problems – for example, when debts arise or intentional/unintentional damage to the property occurs,” describes Aun. "At the same time, landlords are also thinking of their potential tenants and how to afford to rent to them with lower initial costs, such as no deposit and/or contract fees."