There are several options for finding accommodation in a private room or flat. Keep in mind that finding accommodation may take time. Therefore, do not leave finding a place to live on the last minute and try to find a place as soon as possible. The prices for private accommodation range from 250-450 EUR or more for an average private flat. Utilities might additionally be around 80-200 EUR per month. To have someone to share accommodation costs with, you might want to consider finding a flatmate. Here, we have put together a list of web sites and tips that might prove useful when looking for private accommodation.
Most of Tallinn University's buildings are located in the centre of the city (kesklinn). Institute of Health Sciences and Sports and Department of Craft situate in Kristiine district. On real estate web pages, choose "County" – Harjumaa, "City" – Tallinn, "kesklinn" for city centre, "vanalinn" for Old Town, see also Map of Tallinn. Prices vary depending on location, so you might want to check districts that are further away from the University, if you are interested in finding a cheaper flat.
Organisations specializing in offering accommodation to students:
Real estate web sites:
Using a real estate agent/specialist might be useful as many landlords might not speak English. Bigger companies usually have agents who have sufficient language skills. Real estate agents are also familiar with local laws and it can be useful to consult one in order to understand the lease agreement in detail before signing it. However, brokers usually require a service fee which is usually equivalent to the amount of one month's rent + VAT (20%).
The Estonian Association of Real Estate Companies has a list of trusted estate agencies where you can find more agencies and brokers. When renting with the help of a rental agency, be aware that for the first month you'll have to pay a) the first month's rent in advance, b) the security deposit* and c) the broker's fee, which in total can amount to three to four times the price of your actual rent.
If you wish to avoid a broker's fee, you can try looking for an apartment that can be rented without the mediation of a broker. You can filter your search in KV.ee by clicking "Only private users" in and "Only offers from regular users" in City24.ee. You can also see offers and find people to share flats with in Facebook - Erasmus in Tallinn University, Accommodation for international students in Tallinn, Erasmus in Tallinn/accommodation and Tallinn Renting Flat & Accommodation. When renting without the mediation of a broker, you will most likely have to pay a) the first month's rent in advance and b) the security deposit* when signing the contract. Keep in mind that when renting directly from the owner, the risk of being scammed is higher.
*The security deposit is usually equivalent to 1-3 months of rent.
Some hostels offer long-term stay. You usually need to send them an e-mail inquiring long-term prices. Hostels might have discounts for longer stays. We advise that you check reviews of hostels (i.e Tripadvisor) to help you determine the best place for you:
Some hostels offer discounts for members of ESN. You can find more information on discounts from ESN's web page.
Some of our students are also staying at the dormitory of the Estonian Academy of Arts and Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre - Muusa Majutus.
Things to keep in mind
- Before signing a contract you must see the apartment.
- Do not give or send out money or personal details before signing a contract.
- Perform a Google search of the landlord, owner or e-mail addresses to avoid falling for a scam.
- Some utilities (electricity, heating, etc.) might be included in the rental price, but in most cases they need to be paid in addition to the price of rent. Utilities usually make up a considerable part of the housing expenses. Ask the landlord, how much the utilities are approximately. You have a right to see previous summer and winter season heating bills. Utility costs may vary considerably, so make sure you have an approximate idea of how much they are going to be. Costs are usually considerably higher in the wintertime thanks to heating costs. In a two-room apartment, utilities can be approximately around 80 EUR/month in the summer and 180 EUR/month in the winter.
- Check for additional costs. For example, how much is the security deposit? At what terms does the landlord have the right to refuse returning your security deposit? How much time in advance do you need to let the landlord know that you're moving out?
- Costs related to the property (such as property maintenance) are usually paid by the landlord unless agreed upon differently. Check this with the landlord and reach an agreement before signing a contract.
- As a tenant you have a right to register your place of residence in your new apartment. However, it is advised to confirm this in advance with the landlord. The apartment must be registered as a dwelling in order for you to be able to register yourself as living there.
- Sign a written agreement. Keep in mind, a contract is binding. Therefore, make sure you understand everything before signing. Request a contract in English.
- When signing the contract, check the condition of the apartment, including systems, equipment, etc. Document any defects.
- Pay via bank transfer or ask for a receipt from your landlord after each cash payment.
- Your landlord may ask to visit the apartment but he/she can never visit without your permission.
- Deposit needs to be paid back in two months after the end of the contract. Generally it is paid back after last monthly payment if there has been no damage caused to the property.
NB! Unfortunately, none of us are safe from scammers. Please study the contracts and the background of the landlord or agency carefully before sending any deposits. If necessary, ask for advice: firstname.lastname@example.org.