Finding Housing as an Expat in Estonia

1. What are the best areas for expats to live in Estonia?

As an expat looking for housing in Estonia, there are several great areas to consider:

1. Tallinn: The capital city of Estonia, Tallinn offers a mix of modern amenities and historical charm. Areas such as the Old Town, Kadriorg, and Kalamaja are popular among expats due to their vibrant atmosphere, proximity to cafes, restaurants, and cultural sites.

2. Tartu: Known for its prestigious university and intellectual atmosphere, Tartu is a great choice for expats looking for a more relaxed and academic environment. The Supilinn district, with its wooden houses and green spaces, is particularly sought after.

3. Pärnu: If you prefer a coastal lifestyle, Pärnu is a charming seaside town known for its sandy beaches and spas. The city center and beachside neighborhoods like Rannarajoon are popular among expats.

4. Haapsalu: Another coastal gem, Haapsalu is a picturesque town with a rich history and stunning architecture. The promenade area and Tchaikovsky bench are popular spots for both locals and expats.

When choosing a place to live in Estonia as an expat, consider factors such as proximity to work, schools, public transport, and amenities, as well as the overall atmosphere and community vibe of the area. Each city and neighborhood has its own unique character, so explore your options to find the best fit for your lifestyle and preferences.

2. What are the typical rental prices for apartments in Estonia?

1. In Estonia, the rental prices for apartments can vary depending on the location and the size of the property. In general, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from €500 to €800. For a three-bedroom apartment in the same area, the monthly rent can go up to €900 to €1500. However, these prices are just averages, and rental costs can be higher in popular cities like Tallinn compared to smaller towns or rural areas.

2. It’s essential to keep in mind that rental prices may fluctuate based on factors such as the condition of the apartment, its proximity to amenities and public transport, as well as whether it is furnished or unfurnished. Additionally, utilities like heating, water, electricity, and internet may not always be included in the rent and should be budgeted for separately. When searching for housing in Estonia, expats should thoroughly research the rental market in their desired location to get a better understanding of current prices and availability.

3. What are the legal requirements for renting a property in Estonia as an expat?

As an expat looking to rent a property in Estonia, there are several legal requirements that you need to be aware of:

1. Identification: You will need to provide a valid form of identification, such as your passport, when renting a property in Estonia as an expat.

2. Residence permit: In some cases, you may be required to have a valid residence permit in Estonia in order to rent a property. This is typically the case for long-term rentals.

3. Rental agreement: You will need to sign a rental agreement with the landlord, which outlines the terms and conditions of the rental, including the duration of the lease, rent amount, and other important details.

4. Deposit: Landlords in Estonia often require a security deposit, typically equivalent to one or two months’ rent, which will be returned to you at the end of the tenancy if the property is returned in good condition.

5. Registration: Once you have rented a property in Estonia, you are required to register your place of residence with the local authorities. This is important for legal purposes and to ensure that you are properly registered as a resident in the country.

By ensuring that you meet these legal requirements when renting a property in Estonia as an expat, you can navigate the process smoothly and enjoy your new home in the country.

4. How can expats find rental properties in Estonia?

Expats looking to find rental properties in Estonia have a few avenues to explore:

1. Online Platforms: Utilize popular websites such as City24,, and, which list a wide range of rental properties across Estonia. These platforms offer filters based on location, budget, and property type, making it easier for expats to find suitable accommodation.

2. Real Estate Agents: Engaging the services of a local real estate agent can be advantageous, especially if you’re new to the country and unfamiliar with the rental market. Agents can provide expert advice, assist with property viewings, and negotiate rental terms on your behalf.

3. Social Media and Networking: Join expat groups on platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, where members often share rental listings, recommendations, and tips for finding housing in Estonia. Networking within these communities can lead to valuable insights and potential leads for rental properties.

4. Local Newspapers and Noticeboards: Don’t overlook traditional methods of finding accommodation, such as checking local newspapers, community noticeboards, or bulletin boards in popular expat areas. Some landlords still advertise their properties through these channels, offering a different avenue for expats to explore rental options in Estonia.

5. Are there any specific neighborhoods in Tallinn that are popular among expats?

Yes, there are specific neighborhoods in Tallinn that are popular among expats. Some of the most sought-after areas include:

1. Kadriorg: Known for its green spaces, historical architecture, and proximity to the city centre, Kadriorg is a favorite among expats looking for a combination of tranquility and convenience.

2. Kalamaja: This trendy and bohemian district near the Old Town is popular among young expats and creatives. It offers a variety of cafes, bars, and cultural attractions.

3. Kristiine: Located slightly further from the city centre, Kristiine appeals to expats looking for a quieter residential area with good public transport connections and shopping facilities.

4. Pirita: Situated along the coast, Pirita is ideal for expats who enjoy outdoor activities and a relaxed waterfront lifestyle. It offers beautiful sea views and a range of recreational opportunities.

5. Ülemiste: Close to the airport and the Ülemiste Tech Park, this area is popular among expats working in the IT sector. It provides easy access to amenities and international companies.

Each of these neighborhoods has its own unique charm and attractions, catering to different preferences and lifestyles among the expat community in Tallinn.

6. What are the most reputable real estate agencies in Estonia that cater to expats?

There are several reputable real estate agencies in Estonia that cater to expats. Some of the most well-known agencies include:

1. Ober-Haus Real Estate Advisors: Established in 1994, Ober-Haus is one of the largest real estate agencies in the Baltics with a strong presence in Estonia. They offer a range of services including property sales, rentals, and property management.

2. Domus Kinnisvara: Domus Kinnisvara is another popular real estate agency in Estonia with offices across the country. They have a dedicated team that specializes in working with expats and helping them find suitable housing options.

3. Pindi Kinnisvara: Pindi Kinnisvara has been operating in Estonia for over 25 years and is known for its professionalism and excellent customer service. They have a wide selection of properties available for rent or sale, including options for expats.

These agencies have a good reputation for providing quality services and having a strong understanding of the local housing market in Estonia, making them popular choices for expats looking for housing solutions in the country.

7. How difficult is it to find housing in Estonia as an expat?

Finding housing in Estonia as an expat can vary in difficulty depending on several factors. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Rental Market: In Estonia, the rental market can be quite competitive, especially in popular cities like Tallinn. Availability of housing can fluctuate, with certain times of the year being more challenging to find suitable accommodations.

2. Language Barrier: While many Estonians speak English, some landlords may prefer to communicate in Estonian. This can pose a challenge for expats who are not proficient in the local language.

3. Legal Requirements: It’s important for expats to be aware of the legal requirements and regulations related to renting in Estonia. Understanding tenancy laws and contracts can help navigate the process more smoothly.

4. Real Estate Agents: Utilizing the services of a real estate agent can be beneficial for expats, as they can help navigate the housing market and assist in finding suitable accommodations within budget and preferences.

5. Budget Considerations: Cost of housing in Estonia can vary depending on the location and type of accommodation. Expats should consider their budget constraints and factor in additional costs such as utilities and maintenance.

6. Networking: Expats can leverage their network in Estonia or online expat communities to gather information on housing options, recommendations, and potential leads.

7. Planning Ahead: To ease the process of finding housing in Estonia, it is recommended for expats to start their search well in advance of their planned move date. This allows for more time to explore different options and secure suitable accommodations.

8. What are the common challenges expats face when looking for housing in Estonia?

Common challenges that expats may face when looking for housing in Estonia include:

1. Language barrier: The Estonian language is notoriously difficult for non-native speakers, and many rental listings and real estate agencies may only offer information in Estonian.
2. Limited availability: In popular expat areas such as Tallinn, the housing market can be competitive, with a limited supply of rental properties available.
3. Different rental practices: The rental process in Estonia may differ from what expats are used to in their home country, leading to confusion and potentially misunderstandings.
4. Lack of local knowledge: Expats may struggle to navigate the different neighborhoods and understand the local housing market, making it challenging to find the right place to live.
5. Deposit and lease requirements: Some landlords may require substantial deposits or long-term leases, which could be a barrier for expats who are looking for short-term accommodation.
6. Discrimination: Expats may face discrimination from landlords who prefer to rent to local tenants, making it harder to secure a rental property.
7. Finding furnished accommodation: Furnished rentals can be limited in Estonia, which may pose a challenge for expats who are not able to bring their own furniture.
8. Understanding the legal requirements: Expats need to familiarize themselves with the legal requirements for renting a property in Estonia, including tenant rights and responsibilities, to avoid potential issues in the future.

9. Are there any specific cultural considerations expats should be aware of when renting a property in Estonia?

When renting a property in Estonia as an expat, there are several cultural considerations to be aware of:

1. Language: While many Estonians speak English, particularly in urban areas, it is beneficial to learn some basic Estonian phrases to communicate with landlords and neighbors.

2. Punctuality: Estonians are known for their punctuality, so it is important to be on time for property viewings and meetings with landlords or real estate agents.

3. Respect for privacy: Estonians value their privacy, so it is essential to respect the privacy of your neighbors and adhere to any noise regulations in residential areas.

4. Long-term rentals: In Estonia, there is a higher preference for long-term rentals rather than short-term arrangements. Landlords may prioritize tenants who are looking for a stable, extended rental period.

5. Security deposit: It is common practice in Estonia to pay a security deposit equivalent to one or two months’ rent. Make sure to understand the terms and conditions of the security deposit before signing a rental agreement.

6. Maintenance responsibilities: Be aware of your responsibilities as a tenant regarding maintenance and upkeep of the property. Communication with the landlord regarding any issues or repairs is key.

7. Payment methods: In Estonia, bank transfers are the preferred method of payment for rent and utilities. Make sure to set up a local bank account for ease of transactions.

8. Legal considerations: Familiarize yourself with the rental laws and regulations in Estonia to ensure you understand your rights and obligations as a tenant.

9. Decor and personalization: While it is common to personalize living spaces in many cultures, in Estonia, it is generally expected to seek permission from the landlord before making significant changes to the property.

By being mindful of these cultural considerations, expats can navigate the rental process in Estonia more smoothly and establish positive relationships with landlords and neighbors.

10. What factors should expats consider before signing a rental agreement in Estonia?

Before signing a rental agreement in Estonia, expats should consider several important factors to ensure a smooth transition and pleasant living experience:

1. Location: Determine the proximity to your workplace, public transportation, amenities, and preferred neighborhoods. Consider the safety and convenience of the area.

2. Budget: Have a clear understanding of the monthly rent, additional costs like utilities, internet, and parking fees. Ensure that the total expenditure fits your budget comfortably.

3. Rental terms: Carefully review the terms of the agreement, including the duration of the lease, notice period, deposit amount, and any clauses related to renovations or maintenance responsibilities.

4. Accommodation condition: Inspect the property thoroughly for any damages or maintenance issues before signing the agreement. Discuss with the landlord how such matters will be addressed.

5. Furnished vs. unfurnished: Decide whether you prefer a furnished or unfurnished rental and ensure that the property meets your expectations in terms of furnishings and appliances.

6. Legal aspects: Familiarize yourself with the tenancy laws in Estonia to understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

7. Landlord communication: Assess the responsiveness and communication style of the landlord or property management company to gauge how effectively issues will be resolved during your tenancy.

8. Language barriers: If you do not speak Estonian, consider how language barriers may affect your ability to communicate with the landlord or resolve issues related to the rental property.

9. Community and amenities: Evaluate nearby amenities such as grocery stores, healthcare facilities, schools, and recreational areas to ensure that the location suits your lifestyle and daily needs.

10. Future plans: Consider your future plans in Estonia and how long you intend to stay in the rental property. Evaluate the flexibility of the lease agreement in case your circumstances change.

11. Are there any websites or platforms specifically tailored for expats looking for accommodation in Estonia?

Yes, there are several websites and platforms that are specifically tailored for expats looking for accommodation in Estonia. Some of the most popular ones include:

1. This is one of the largest real estate portals in Estonia, offering a wide range of rental and sale listings for properties across the country, including in major cities like Tallinn and Tartu.

2. Another popular real estate portal in Estonia, also offers a variety of rental and sale listings for properties, including apartments, houses, and commercial spaces.

3. While primarily known for hotel bookings, also offers a selection of short-term rental options in Estonia, which can be useful for expats looking for temporary accommodation.

4. Facebook Groups: There are several Facebook groups specifically created for expats living in Estonia, where members often post rental listings and housing-related information. Some examples include “Tallinn Apartments For Rent” and “Tartu Housing Market.

5. Airbnb: For short-term or vacation rentals, Airbnb offers a variety of options in Estonia, ranging from private rooms to entire apartments or houses.

Using these websites and platforms can help expats in Estonia find suitable accommodation based on their preferences, budget, and location preferences. It’s important to thoroughly research listings, communicate with landlords or property managers, and consider factors like transportation, amenities, and neighborhood safety before making a decision.

12. What are the typical lease terms for rental properties in Estonia?

In Estonia, the typical lease terms for rental properties vary slightly depending on the landlord and the specific rental agreement. However, there are some common practices that expats should be aware of when looking for housing in Estonia:

1. Lease Duration: Rental agreements in Estonia usually have a minimum duration of 6 months to 1 year, although shorter-term agreements can sometimes be negotiated for higher monthly rent.
2. Deposit: Landlords in Estonia typically require a security deposit equivalent to one or two months’ rent, which will be returned at the end of the tenancy period, minus any deductions for damages.
3. Rent Payment: Rent is usually paid monthly in advance, with the due date specified in the rental agreement.
4. Utilities: In some cases, utilities such as water, electricity, heating, and internet may be included in the rent, while in others they are paid separately by the tenant.
5. Maintenance and Repairs: Landlords are responsible for maintaining the property in good condition and are usually required to cover the costs of necessary repairs unless the damage is caused by the tenant.
6. Notice Period: The notice period for terminating a rental agreement in Estonia is typically one month, although this can vary depending on the terms of the lease.

It’s essential for expats to carefully review and understand the lease terms before signing any rental agreement in Estonia to avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts with the landlord.

13. Are furnished apartments readily available for expats in Estonia?

Yes, furnished apartments are readily available for expats in Estonia. Many landlords and rental agencies offer fully furnished apartments, especially in popular expat locations like Tallinn, Tartu, and Pärnu. These furnished apartments typically come equipped with basic furniture, appliances, and necessary household items, making them a convenient option for expats looking for a hassle-free accommodation solution. Some key points to consider when looking for furnished apartments as an expat in Estonia include:

1. Availability: Furnished apartments are quite common in major cities and tourist areas, but availability may vary depending on the location and demand.
2. Rental Costs: Furnished apartments often come at a higher rental cost compared to unfurnished options due to the added convenience of ready-to-use amenities.
3. Lease Terms: Make sure to review the lease terms carefully, including the duration of the lease, security deposit requirements, and any additional charges for utilities or maintenance.
4. Inventory Check: Before signing the lease, conduct a thorough inventory check of the furnished items to ensure everything is in working condition and documented to avoid disputes at the end of the tenancy.
5. Transportation: Consider the proximity of the furnished apartment to key amenities, public transportation, and your workplace or school to ensure convenience in daily commuting.

Overall, expats in Estonia have a good selection of furnished apartments to choose from, offering a comfortable and convenient housing option for their stay in the country.

14. What are the average utility costs for expats living in Estonia?

1. The average utility costs for expats living in Estonia can vary depending on the size of the accommodation, location within the country, and individual consumption habits. On average, expats can expect to pay around 100-200 euros per month for utilities, which may include electricity, heating, water, and garbage disposal. It’s important for expats to keep in mind that Estonian winters can be cold, so heating costs during the colder months can be a significant portion of the utility bill.

2. Additionally, internet and television services are often considered part of utility costs in Estonia, and expats can expect to pay around 20-30 euros per month for these services. It’s advisable for expats to inquire about the specific utility costs associated with their chosen accommodation before signing a lease agreement to accurately budget for these expenses.

3. Overall, while utility costs for expats living in Estonia may be slightly lower than in some Western European countries, it’s essential to factor them into the overall cost of living to plan finances effectively. Expats can also consider energy-efficient housing options and mindful consumption practices to help lower their utility bills while living in Estonia.

15. How does the process of buying property in Estonia differ for expats compared to locals?

1. The process of buying property in Estonia is generally the same for expats as it is for locals. However, there are some differences and considerations that expats should be aware of:

2. Residency requirements: Expats may face different residency requirements when purchasing property in Estonia compared to locals. While Estonian residents can freely purchase property in the country, non-residents may face restrictions or additional paperwork.

3. Legal considerations: Expats may need to navigate different legal processes when buying property in Estonia, especially if they are not fluent in the local language. It is advisable for expats to seek legal assistance to ensure they understand the legal implications of the property purchase.

4. Financial considerations: Expats may have different financial considerations when buying property in Estonia, such as understanding the tax implications of property ownership and financing options available to non-residents.

5. Cultural differences: Expats should also be aware of any cultural differences or norms that may impact the property buying process in Estonia. Understanding the local customs and practices can help expats navigate the process more effectively.

6. Overall, while the process of buying property in Estonia may not vary significantly for expats compared to locals, it is important for expats to be aware of any specific requirements, legal considerations, financial implications, and cultural factors that may impact their property purchase. Seeking advice from local experts and professionals can help expats navigate the process successfully.

16. Are there specific residency requirements for expats looking to purchase property in Estonia?

1. In Estonia, there are no specific residency requirements for expats looking to purchase property. As an expat, you are able to buy real estate in Estonia regardless of your residency status. This means that even non-residents can own property in the country.

2. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind when purchasing property in Estonia as an expat. For example, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the local property laws and regulations to ensure a smooth purchasing process. Additionally, having a good understanding of the local market trends and prices can help you make an informed decision when buying property in Estonia.

3. It’s also worth noting that seeking legal advice from a real estate professional or lawyer can be beneficial to navigate the process smoothly and avoid any potential pitfalls. Overall, while there are no specific residency requirements for expats looking to purchase property in Estonia, thorough research and assistance from professionals can help ensure a successful property acquisition experience.

17. What amenities are typically included in rental properties in Estonia?

In Estonia, rental properties typically come with a range of amenities that can vary depending on the type of accommodation and location. Some common amenities that are often included in rental properties in Estonia are:

1. Kitchen appliances such as a stove, refrigerator, and sometimes a dishwasher.
2. Central heating in most properties to combat the cold winters.
3. Access to a communal laundry room or the inclusion of a washing machine within the apartment.
4. Basic furniture such as closets, shelves, and sometimes a bed.
5. High-speed internet connection, especially in urban areas.
6. Parking space, although this may be limited in city centers.
7. Balconies or terraces in some apartments for outdoor space.
8. Access to a sauna in some buildings, which is a popular amenity in Estonia.

It’s important to note that the specific amenities included in a rental property can vary, so it is advisable for expats to clarify with the landlord or rental agency what amenities are available before signing a lease agreement.

18. Are short-term rentals easy to find for expats in Estonia?

Short-term rentals for expats in Estonia can be relatively easy to find, depending on the city and time of year. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Online Platforms: Utilizing websites such as, Airbnb, and local rental websites can provide a wide range of short-term rental options for expats in Estonia.

2. Real Estate Agencies: Working with a real estate agency specializing in short-term rentals can save time and provide access to quality rental properties tailored to expats’ needs.

3. Demand and Availability: In popular expat cities like Tallinn, the demand for short-term rentals may be higher, especially during peak tourist seasons. It’s essential to start your search early to secure accommodation.

4. Flexibility: Being flexible with your requirements, such as location, size, and amenities, can increase your chances of finding suitable short-term rentals in Estonia.

Overall, expats in Estonia can find short-term rentals with the right approach and research. It’s advisable to explore various options, engage with local rental platforms, and consider enlisting the help of real estate professionals to facilitate the search process.

19. How important is it to work with a local real estate agent when searching for housing in Estonia as an expat?

Working with a local real estate agent can be extremely important when searching for housing in Estonia as an expat. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Local Knowledge: A local real estate agent will have a deep understanding of the Estonian housing market, including specific neighborhoods, rental laws, and pricing trends.

2. Language Barrier: As an expat, it can be challenging to navigate the rental process in Estonia due to language barriers. A local agent can help bridge this gap and facilitate communication with landlords and property managers.

3. Legal Assistance: A real estate agent can guide you through the legal aspects of renting in Estonia, ensuring that all contracts and agreements are in compliance with local regulations.

4. Property Viewing: A local agent can arrange property viewings based on your preferences and budget, saving you time and effort in the search process.

Overall, partnering with a local real estate agent can streamline your housing search in Estonia and provide valuable insights and support throughout the rental process.

20. What are some tips for negotiating rental prices as an expat in Estonia?

When negotiating rental prices as an expat in Estonia, it is essential to keep a few tips in mind to secure a fair deal:

1. Do Your Research: Before starting negotiations, research the average rental prices in the area you are interested in to have a clear understanding of the market rates.

2. Long-Term Contracts: Landlords in Estonia may be more open to reducing the rent if you are willing to sign a longer rental contract. This shows commitment and stability, which can be appealing to them.

3. Be Prepared to Bargain: Negotiating is a common practice in Estonia, so don’t be afraid to make a lower offer than the initial asking price. Be polite but firm in your negotiations.

4. Highlight Your Strengths: If you have a stable income, good credit history, or can provide references, make sure to showcase these qualities to the landlord. It can make you a more attractive tenant and potentially help in negotiating a lower price.

5. Consider Additional Benefits: If the landlord is hesitant to lower the rent, try negotiating for other benefits such as including utilities, parking, or maintenance in the rental price.

6. Timing Matters: Try to negotiate towards the end of the month when landlords may be more inclined to lower prices to secure a tenant quickly.

By following these tips and being proactive in your communication with the landlord, you can increase your chances of negotiating a favorable rental price as an expat in Estonia.