JURIDICA INTERNATIONAL 24/2016
Ave Hussar Irene Kull
Mag. iur., Doctoral student Professor of Civil Law
University of Tartu University of Tartu
The Landlord’s Limited Right
to Terminate a Residential
Estonian Law in Comparative Perspective*
Residential tenancy law forms a ﬁ eld of private law wherein the parties’ autonomy has been seen as, in prin-
ciple, superseded by mandatory provisions oriented toward solidarity among citizens.*1 These mandatory
provisions are intended to compensate for the asymmetric power and monopoly possessed by landlords vis-
à-vis sitting tenants*2 and to guarantee security in housing.*3 However, excessively high tenure security can
have an adverse eﬀ ect on the rental market, as it potentially reduces investments and/or encourages alter-
native uses of the existing stock by households.*4 On the other hand, while reduction in the level of security
for the tenant facilitates investments in the rental-housing sector and supports short-term demand, it has a
negative impact on long-term demand, as, for example, has arguably been experienced in Finland.*5 There-
fore, rental regulations should strike a balance between landlords’ and tenants’ interests, create security of
* The authors are very grateful to the good colleagues Prof. Pascal Pichonnaz, Marta Santos Silva, Per Norberg and Julija
Kolomijceva for valuable comments, suggestions and references.
Қ See, e.g., C. Schmid, J.R. Dinse. Towards a common core of residential tenancy law in Europe? The impact of the European
Court of Human Rights on tenancy law. – L. Nogler, U. Reifner (eds). Life Time Contracts: Social Long-term Contracts in
Labour, Tenancy and Consumer Credit Law. The Hague: Eleven International қҙҚҝ, p. ҟҙҟ.
қ ‘Asymmetry in relations between landlords and tenants’ stems from ‘inelastic supply of rented housing due to geographical
constraints, planning restrictions, ﬁ nancial system etc., and [the] landlord’s monopoly in relations with sitting tenants as
it is’, according to C. Whitehead et al. See The Private Rented Sector in the New Century: A Comparative Approach (med
dansk sammenfatning). Cambridge қҙҚқ, p. ҢҜ.
Ҝ There are several aspects that make security in housing much more important than the property-rights perspective alone.
Among others, Hulse and Milligan refer to human well-being, families’ functioning, childhood development, economic and
social participation, and physical and mental health. For more information, see K. Hulse, V. Milligan. Secure occupancy:
A new framework for analysing security in rental housing. – Housing Studies қҢ (қҙҚҝ)/Ҟ, p. ҟҜҢ. – DOI: http://dx.doi.org
ҝ See, e.g., D. Andrews et al. Housing markets and structural policies in OECD countries. OECD Economics Department
Working Papers, No. ҡҜҟ. OECD Publishing қҙҚҚ, p. ҟҞ. – DOI: http://dx.doi.org/Қҙ.ҚҠҡҠ/ҞkgkҡtқkҢvfҜ-en (ҜҚ.Ҝ.қҙҚҟ).
Ҟ R. de Boer, R. Bitetti. A revival of the private rental sector of the housing market? Lessons from Germany, Finland, the Czech
Republic and the Netherlands. OECD Economic Department Working Papers, No ҚҚҠҙ, қҙҚҝ, p. Ҟҝ. – DOI: http://dx.doi.