Problems with neighbours or tenants

Every person has the right to free self-realisation but no one can use one’s property against public interest. A person may not use his/her property, including immovable property, in a way that would significantly keep others from using their (immovable) property.

If you have problems with neighbours

  • Talk to your neighbours. Let them know that you have noticed and resent the violation of your rights.
  • If the violation continues and you are quite convinced that the fault lies with your neighbour, send your neighbour a letter and keep a copy of it. Inform him/her that you are aware of the violation and that it must stop. Indicate your intentions – to sue your neighbour, report him/her to the police or do something else. If traces of the violation are left behind (broken items, trash on the balcony, etc.), take pictures of the situation and keep them to use them later as evidence of a recurrent violation.
  • The police may be called in case of disturbances, vandalism, or theft. The Law of Property Act grants every person the right to force (not exceeding the limits of self-defence) all unlawfully entered persons off his/her immovable property and to remove a stolen item from the hands of a thief.
  • Consult a lawyer and file a statement of claim with a court, demanding that the violations be stopped, new violations avoided and damages compensated. Ensure that you have sufficient and varied evidence to prove the violation and the incurred damages in court.
  • Inform officials or the local government about any illegal activities.

If you have problems with tenants

  • When a tenant damages or destroys an item or when the tenant fails to pay the rent, the landlord has the right to cancel the lease extraordinarily. The landlord also has the right of extraordinary cancellation when the tenant ignores the interests of other dwellers and neighbours to a significant extent.
  • In order to cancel a lease, the tenant has to be given a written declaration of extraordinary cancellation complying with the requirements provided in the Law of Obligations Act. The periods and terms of advance notice are different for different infringements. Therefore, to be able to prove that the declaration of cancellation was given to the tenant, the declaration should be written in duplicate and one copy should be signed by the tenant to confirm that he/she received the declaration in due time. If the tenant refuses to sign, the declaration of extraordinary cancellation should be handed over in the presence of witnesses who would later confirm the act of delivering the declaration. The tenant has the right to contest an extraordinary cancellation in court.
  • When the contract has been cancelled and the landlord has demanded that the tenant vacate the property (leave the dwelling) but the tenant has failed to do so, the vacation of the property has to be taken to court. To do that, a statement of claim has to be filed with a court to demand the release of the property from unlawful possession. The statement of claim should be prepared by a lawyer.

The State Portal eesti.ee does not provide legal assistance, European e-Justice portal provides information on justice systems.

Compiled by: Police and Border Guard Board; Ministry of Justice