Renting an apartment in Hungary is no rocket science, but at the same time, it has its challenges. The more you are knowledgeable about its peculiarities, the easier the process will be.
Here are the top ten things to know about renting an apartment in Budapest.
- The first thing to know about scouting and renting apartments in Budapest is that the housing law favors tenants, and their rights are almost always protected. Every time there is a dispute between a landlord and a tenant, the housing law has the final say over the lease contract.
- The month of the year can have a massive impact on the market. Starting from July to the last days of September, the market tends to get quite busy. The students both from Hungary and abroad, are looking for a place to stay during their studies.
- Always sign a lease agreement. Otherwise, you risk being in legal trouble or even being evicted without any prior notice or consideration for your rights as a tenant.
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate a lower rent or add a new clause to your lease contract. Some landlords tend to ask for higher rent whenever a foreigner comes asking. Learn the average rental prices in that neighborhood so that you know what’s reasonable and what’s too much.
- Mind the Common Costs. Common Cost is a term used for maintenance and cleaning fees. The general rule is the more luxurious the apartment and building is, the higher the common costs are. The cost can vary from just $10 to sky-high $200. But the high prices come with amenities such as gym, pool, concierge service, and other luxuries. Also, clarify which fees will be included in the common costs. Again, it is about protecting yourself from unpleasant surprises like unknown costs that the landlord somehow forgets to mention before signing the lease.
- Always ask for the property deed before you make any written commitment. The titles deed reveals the true owner of the apartment. That way, you will know whether you are making a contract with the actual owner, a legal representative of the owner, or someone else.
- Don’t give any money before signing the official documents. It is a simple precaution to protect yourself from a possible scam.
- Make sure that the property contract is bilingual. It is a common practice to prepare it both in English and Hungarian. That way, you can go through it on your own.
- Typically, the lease contract agreement contains:
- The deposit amount
- The duration of the lease contract
- The agreed rent amount
- The deadline for the monthly payments
- Once the lease contract is signed and sealed, you need to get an address card. If you come from an EU country, you will need the landlord’s approval statement also to get this card. The card can be obtained in a local municipality office or from a post office.