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Expat Exchange - How to Rent a Home in Hungary
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How to Rent a Home in Hungary

By Betsy Burlingame

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: Renting a home in Hungary for the first time can be daunting. You probably have so many questions: Do I need a lawyer? Do rentals come with appliances? How do I find good rentals? How do I choose the right neighborhood? The list goes on and on. Here are answers to some of the top questions plus insight from our members living in Hungary.

Navigating the process of renting a home in Hungary for the first time can feel overwhelming. Numerous questions might arise: Should I consult a lawyer? Are appliances typically included in rentals? How can I discover quality rental properties? Which neighborhoods will best suit my needs? These are just the tip of the iceberg. Dive in for answers to these pressing questions and gain insights from our members who've made Hungary their home.

"Relocating to a new country can be an exciting yet challenging experience, and one of the first tasks you'll face is finding a place to live. If you're planning to move to Hungary, this guide will provide you with all the necessary information about renting an apartment in this beautiful Central European country. From finding a rental property to understanding the legalities involved, this guide will help you navigate the Hungarian rental market with ease.

How Do You Find a Rental Property in Hungary?

There are several ways to find rental properties in Hungary. Online property portals such as ingatlan.com and alberlet.hu are popular and provide listings in both Hungarian and English. Local newspapers and real estate agencies are also good sources. If you're already in Hungary, word-of-mouth can be very effective, so don't hesitate to ask around.

Does Hungary Have an MLS Type System?

Hungary does not have a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system like in the United States. However, most real estate agencies have their own databases and websites where they list available properties. It's also common for agencies to share listings with each other.

Do Brokers Have Licenses and How Do I Know if They Are Licensed?

Yes, real estate brokers in Hungary are required to have a license. You can verify a broker's license by checking with the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It's always a good idea to work with a licensed broker to ensure a smooth and legal transaction.

Should I Buy or Rent?

Whether to buy or rent depends on your personal circumstances, such as how long you plan to stay in Hungary and your financial situation. Renting is often a more flexible option for expats, especially if you're not sure how long you'll be staying. Buying can be a good investment if you plan to stay for a long time or want to rent out the property later.

Is It Difficult to Find Rentals in Hungary?

Finding a rental in Hungary is not typically difficult, especially in larger cities like Budapest. However, the process can be more challenging if you're looking for a specific type of property or if you're searching in a popular area with high demand.

What Documents Are Required When Renting an Apartment?

When renting an apartment in Hungary, you'll typically need to provide your passport, proof of income (such as pay slips or a job contract), and a Hungarian address card. If you're a student, you may also need to provide a letter from your university. Always check with your landlord or agency for specific requirements.

Do I Need a Lawyer When Renting an Apartment in Hungary?

While it's not mandatory to have a lawyer when renting an apartment in Hungary, it can be beneficial, especially if you're not familiar with Hungarian law. A lawyer can review your lease agreement and ensure that your rights are protected. Legal fees can vary, but you can expect to pay around 1% of the annual rent.

How Long Is the Typical Lease For?

The typical lease in Hungary is for one year, but it's possible to find shorter or longer leases depending on your needs. It's important to read your lease agreement carefully and make sure you understand the terms before signing.

Do I Have to Pay a Deposit?

Yes, it's standard practice in Hungary to pay a deposit when renting an apartment. The deposit is usually equivalent to one to three months' rent and is refundable at the end of your lease, provided there are no damages or unpaid bills.

What Other Upfront Costs Are There When Renting?

In addition to the deposit, you may also need to pay the first month's rent upfront. Some landlords or agencies may also charge a fee for drawing up the lease agreement. Be sure to ask about all potential costs before signing a lease.

Are Utilities Included?

Utilities are typically not included in the rent in Hungary. You'll usually need to set up and pay for utilities such as electricity, gas, water, and internet yourself. The cost of utilities can vary, but they are generally not overly expensive.

Are Furnished or Unfurnished Rentals More Popular?

Both furnished and unfurnished rentals are common in Hungary. Furnished apartments usually include basic furniture and appliances such as a bed, sofa, refrigerator, and stove. Unfurnished apartments may not include any furniture or appliances. The choice between furnished and unfurnished depends on your personal needs and budget," said one expat living in Hungary.

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SJB-Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model. Our clients benefit from their country’s most favorable tax environment by utilizing the efficient investment vehicles we offer. Our commitment to quality service is reflected in our stellar reviews, with over 300 testimonials boasting 95% five-star ratings.

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Expats Talk about What Type of Housing They Live In

"I live in an old apartment with a typical, Budapest courtyard that I love. It is a typical young-person's and there are many foreign students, but it's not a typical expat neighborhood. Expat neigbhorhoods are 5th and 6th district (around the embassies and businesses downtown) or residential Buda side districts like 1, 2, 2A and 12," said one expat living in Budapest.

"Hungary can be challenging like any country for expats but is especially so if you came here and wonder why Hungarian people can't be more, well, American. There is not, for example a single expat in Hungary whose country did not stand on the wrong side of history. If you come here to visit, please enjoy the food, art, nature and architecture and be a good guest. If you are coming here to live, accept that Hungary, like your own country is flawed but beautiful in its very own unique way. If you can’t do that, maybe Hungary isn't for you," wrote a member in Hungary.

Expats Talk about How they Found their Home

"I already knew the neighborhood from spending a summer here working as an intern. Found my apartment by asking friends & looking for apartments with roommates," commented an expat living in Budapest.

"We looked online and found it on a Ingatlan (Realtor) Hungarian/English site. Wasn't very hard to look through the pictures. You can also use sites like xpatloop.com to help locate the Realtors. Housing in Budapest is expensive right now for anything above 900 sq ft. and hard to find," said an expat in Budapest.

"One of the best ways to find a place to live in Hungary is to use online resources such as websites and apps. Websites such as alberlet.hu, ingatlan.com, and ingatlanok.hu are popular resources for finding rental properties in Hungary. Additionally, there are a number of apps available for both iOS and Android devices that can help you find a place to live in Hungary. These apps include Alberlet, Ingatlanok, and Ingatlan.hu. Additionally, you can also use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to search for rental properties in Hungary. Finally, you can also contact local real estate agents who can help you find a place to live in Hungary," remarked one expat who made the move to Hungary.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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