How to Rent a Flat in Budapest (For Expats)

Finding the right apartment when moving to Budapest is probably the most crucial thing in connection with your stay. Once you found your dream apartment in a convenient location with a trustworthy landlord on reasonable price the hardest thing is still ahead, signing the rental contract.

Here are some tips on what to consider before signing the contract.

First and foremost make sure you know and understand all the details before signing your name. Ask for an English or a dual-language contract if you don’t understand Hungarian. The following point should be covered in all contracts:

– the rental fee and the method of payment
– the way how utilities and common costs are calculated
– the minimum term of the lease and how the contract can be extended after that
– the conditions under which the owner can terminate the contract
– how long the notice period is in case you want to end the contract
– how the security deposit (called “kaució”, usually 2-3 month rental fee) will be refounded to you at the end of the rental period.

Fixed term and ordinary rental contracts

One key difference between fixed term and ordinary (or indefinite) rental contracts is the circumstances under which the parties are entitled to terminate the rental contract. In case of an ordinary rental contract each party is able to give notice to the other party about the termination of the contract within the first 15 days of the month, that is going to terminate the contract at the end of the following month. If the notice was given later then the 15th day of the month, the contract is going to be terminated at the end of the second following month. Unlike in a fixed term contract when parties are entitled to terminate the contract only when there was a breach of the contract. In that case, the same rules apply for the termination.

Taking photos of the current condition of the apartment when moving in can be beneficial if you face any debate with the landlord later on.

If you are planning to apply for a residential permit, then it is crucial to check whether the person you are renting from is indeed the owner of the apartment. Further difficulties can arise if the apartment has not yet been registered with the state database of properties.

Lastly if the landlord is unwilling to sign a contract with you, then it’s safe to assume that he wants to avoid taxation, since rental income is taxable in Hungary.

Questions regarding rental contracts in Hungary? Contact us!
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