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Housing Restitution and Privatisation: Both Catalysts and Obstacles to the Formation of Private Rental Housing in the Czech Republic and Estonia


  • Martin Lux
  • Anneli Kährik
  • Petr Sunega


The return of property expropriated during the communist period to previous owners or to their descendants (property restitution) led to the quick emergence of a private rental sector in those post-communist countries that applied a physical form of property restitution soon after 1990. The Czech Republic and Estonia are examples of such countries. Within just a few years, as a result of property restitution, a private rental sector grew out of almost non-existence to become a significant part of the countries’ total housing stock. However, the character of this sector remained different from the private rental sector found in countries with advanced economies -- especially owing to specific rent regulation, tenant protection and, albeit indirectly, public housing privatisation. This article analyses and compares the genesis of private rental tenure in the Czech Republic and Estonia. Its main goal is to demonstrate how state regulations and interventions have influenced tenure choice, the formation of social norms, and thus the permanent perception of private renting. In both transition countries private renting gradually acquired the character of a transitional and residual form of housing. State interventions early on in the transition were probably the most significant factors behind the fact that private renting did not establish itself as a real tenure alternative to owner-occupied housing.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Lux & Anneli Kährik & Petr Sunega, 2012. "Housing Restitution and Privatisation: Both Catalysts and Obstacles to the Formation of Private Rental Housing in the Czech Republic and Estonia," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 137-158, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:12:y:2012:i:2:p:137-158
    DOI: 10.1080/14616718.2012.681574

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