The universities in Estonia are so good that every year a lot of young people from all over the world want to study here. The young people who are admitted into our universities must find a place to live in Estonia. It’s not always easy. Unfortunately, there are people with prejudices who simply don’t want to deal with foreigners, no matter how smart and good these foreigners are. However, they should know that we have a rule that landlords cannot choose tenants on the basis of nationality.
Let’s see how Chen, a student from China, rented a flat.
Chen is a student from China. He came to Estonia via a student exchange programme. Chen is now looking for a rental flat for himself and his friend Lennart from Estonia. They find a good offer. Lennart contacts the landlord. The landlord agrees to rent the flat to two young students. The landlord invites Lennart and his friend to come and view the flat.
Lennart arrives in the flat earlier than Chen. He talks to the landlord about the rental conditions. Then, Chen arrives as well. The landlord immediately changes his mind. He says he has already found other tenants. He no longer wants to rent the flat to Lennart and Chen. The young men immediately understand that the landlord is lying. The problem is that the landlord doesn’t like people from Asia. He has a negative prejudice against them.
How can this be solved?
Chen and Lennart remain calm and don’t rush to leave. They have a long chat with the landlord. The landlord realises that Lennart and Chen are decent students. Their nationality has nothing to do with how they live. The landlord still signs a tenancy agreement with them. It turns out that Chen and Lennart are very good and proper tenants. The landlord is now very happy with them.
People must not be treated less favourably than others because they are of one or another nationality. If someone is offering housing for rent, they cannot choose tenants solely based on nationality. This is discrimination. A landlord can refuse to sign a tenancy agreement if the behaviour or lifestyle of the potential tenants seems like it could cause trouble.