Law Firm ALTERNA’s attorney-at-law and partner Siret Siilbek writes about the competence of state supervision of construction works in her recent blog post.

The Supreme Court of Estonia made a decision on 13 December 2018 where it elaborated the rights and obligations of a rural municipality when performing state supervision. The Supreme Court explained that rural municipality has to perform state supervision over compliance with the requirements of buildings and construction works. When performing state supervision, the rural municipality shall differentiate between a threat and a suspicion of threat. Threat is when it has been identified that the building is dangerous, a suspicion of threat is when the building is potentially dangerous and the suspicion of threat is not eliminated.

In this dispute, the Supreme Court identified unlawfulness of the inactivity of the rural municipality, because the rural municipality did not eliminate the neighbours’ suspicion of threat during supervision proceedings. Neighbours had submitted an expert’s opinion where it was found that the building being constructed may subside and pull along the neighbours’ building, but the rural municipality did not eliminate this suspicion of threat.

The Supreme Court also emphasized that there are possible situations where during supervision proceedings it is necessary to obligate the owner of building permit to deviate from building design documentation. In case of a threat, it is possible to impose a precept to eliminate the threat, including to obligate using a specific construction solution or avoid using a specific construction solution. In case the building turns out to be dangerous, it is not reasonable to justify solutions that led to dangerousness only because they were provided for in the building design documentation.

See the blog post on Addenda’s home page here:

Questions related to this post can be discussed with Siret by e-mail on or by calling +372 680 6850.