The Landlord's Limited Right to Terminate a Residential Lease Contract: Estonian Law in Comparative Perspective

Author:Ave Hussar, Irene Kull

The article addresses the core question of striking balance between landlords’ and tenants’ interests in connection with the creation of security in tenancy relations. Secure tenancy relations are analysed in consideration of the need for stability. The piece elaborates on one aspect of secure tenancy, asking on what conditions the landlord has the right to terminate a tenancy contract for... (see full summary)

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
Lease Contract
Estonian Law in Comparative Perspective*
1. Introduction
Residential tenancy law forms a 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ciple, superseded by mandatory provisions oriented toward solidarity among citizens.*1 These mandatory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 e 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, 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:
/Қҙ.Қҙҡҙ/ҙқҟҠҜҙҜҠ.қҙҚҜ.ҡҠҜҚҚҟ (ҜҚ.Ҝ.қҙҚҟ).
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: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.

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