What additional costs should be covered by the tenant?


The tenant has obligation to pay the additional costs in addition to the rent. Additional costs include charges for water, heating and electricity. Basically these are the costs directly related to the use of the property. All additional costs that are not directly related to the use of the property are not additional costs and should not be claimed by the landlord.

When renting an apartment, there will often be disputes between the landlord and the tenant about who should pay for the various expenses. Unfortunately, because the market demand for good rental apartments is greater than availability, this gives the landlord the option of choosing a tenant. As a result, potential tenants often agree to pay the additional costs of the apartment that they should actually not pay for, so that the landlord selects them as the tenants. However, the landlord is required by law to cover some of the additional costs themselves, this includes the brokerage fee, which should be paid by the one who orders the service, meaning the landlord.

Regarding additional costs, we advise You, as a tenant not to shut Your eyes to it and not ignore it, but actually refuse to pay for additional costs that are not actually related to the use of the property. For example, if we look at a repair fund and a loan payment related to the rented property, they are not related to the use of the property and should not be reflected in Your invoice. These costs are aimed at preserving and increasing the value of the owner’s property. Even if such an agreement is specified in the contract, it is still insignificant and You, as the tenant have the right to demand the costs that You have paid for, back from the landlord according to VÕS § 273 nullity of the agreement and VÕS § 1028 lg 1, unjust enrichment provisions. Any such agreement which is deviating to the detriment of the tenant is insignificant and in case of an insignificant agreement, payments should be returned according to unjust enrichment provisions. Tenant has rights to demand back groundlessly paid costs like repair fonds and loan payments made by him. According to TsÜS § 146 lg 1, the limitation period for a claim arising from transaction is three years. About repair fund, loan payments and their return You can read about in here.

In the rental market, You should be patient and cautious. At first glance the lower rental payment can look good, but also can actually be more expensive with variety of additional payments than a higher-priced rental that has lower additional payments.

Ultimately, it is up to everyone, to stand up for their rights or to take part in an active rental market flow and pay for various additional costs. Most important is still the fact that tenant and landlord are both satisfied with their agreement and the entire tenancy process is mutually pleasing and supportive.


General law of the Civil Code (27.03.2002). Riigi Teataja. Used 01.10.2019 https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/12806823?leiaKehti...

Law of Obligations act (26.09.2001). Riigi Teataja. Used 01.10.2019 https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/961235?leiaKehtiv