What kind of rights does a registered residence provide?

Everyone has a legal obligation to register their residence in the population register, i.e. to have a registration colloquially (sissekirjutus in Estonian). Whether and what is the legal significance of registered residence and what rights arise from the registration of residence is discussed below.

Registration of residence does not affect the right of ownership

It is widely believed that the registration of residence confers any rights on an apartment or house registered as a residence. However, this is not the case and registration as a place of residence alone does not entitle a person to use the dwelling and does not affect the ownership of the dwelling.

In order to use the dwelling, a lease agreement must be entered into with the owner, and in order to acquire the real estate, it is necessary to turn to a notary. However, the owner of the property has extensive rights over the property, among other things, the owner has the opportunity to decide who is registered to live in the apartment or house belonging to him.

When does registered residence matter?

Registration of a place of residence in the population register has significance for the electoral district, in the distribution of taxes between the state and local government, and gives the resident of a local government the right to receive social services from the city or rural municipality of registered residence. For example, various benefits are paid on the basis of registered residence, such as fringe allowance or funeral allowance and allowance for a single pensioner.

In addition to the fact that the registered residence entitles to benefits and services, various state agencies use the registered residence in the population register as a postal address for sending notices and documents to a person.

Although some of the documents sent in this way, such as the voter card, are of an informative nature only and do not have legal consequences, for some documents the fact of receipt and transmission is important and also has legal consequences.

Examples of such documents are documents sent by a court or bailiff. In addition, the correctness of the registered place of residence is also important for the state in order to enable the planning of social services and infrastructure.

In short, registration of residence does not confer any rights in private law relationships, such as a relationship between a landlord and a tenant, but confers different rights in a relationship with the state and local authority. For the above reason, it is reasonable to update the residence data in the population register in case of changes in residence.

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