About Budapest - Article, 27 August

A tenants’s guide to Budapest

A guide for tenants renting an apartment in Budapest

If your’e new to Budapest, and not familiar yet with the rentals market, then it’s important that first you get your self familiar with the the different districts and expected rental prices.

When renting an apartment, you need to take into consideration that in most cases the rental prices does not include the monthly overhead utility charges (electricity, heating, water, internet) and the common costs (which are the building’s maintenance fee).

While the common costs are fixed throughout the year (though they might increase on a once in a year basis), the utility charges are calculated per consumption, so the more tenants living the apartment, the higher the utility consumption will get. Two factors that have a large impact over the monthly costs are the season and the height of the ceiling in the apartment, so when searching for apartments to rent, remember that properties which have high ceilings (in many apartments in Budapest, the ceiling is over 3 meter in height), require more time to heat up, so during the winter season, the utility charges for apartments which use gas for heating and have high ceilings might get quite high.

Other external factors that might affect the rental price of the apartment are more standard and include the condition of the building, the floor the apartment is located on, if there’s an elevator in the building, and if the apartment is bright or dark. (Low floor apartment facing to a yard are usually cheaper, although  the advantage of this type of apartments is that they are quieter than apartments facing to a street).

Make sure to answer these 10 questions before signing the lease for your apartment in Budapest:

  1. Are you looking to rent an apartment on pest or on Buda side?
  2. Do you know the differences between the various districts?
  3. Did you factor the overhead monthly utilities costs? (those included the building’s maintenance fee, electricity, gas, internet, and water charges).
  4. Is the apartment in the right size for you? (usually the smaller the apartment is, the lower overhead utilities it will have).
  5. Do you prefer a more quiet and green part of the city or the bustling downtown area?
  6. Are there shops nearby? (supermarkets, etc.)
  7. Is the apartment located near public transportation? (make sure the metro/tram/bus is suitable for your daily commute requirements)
  8. How safe is the area? (though Budapest is considered quite a safe city, especially in the center, there are still areas which might be a bit less supervised).
  9. Are there after hours activities near by? (such as bars, coffee shops, restaurants, gym, etc.)
  10. Is it pet friendly? (if you’re planning to adopt a pet in the future, not all landlords will allow, or in some cases – will ask for an increased rental deposit).

 

Other than this basic questions, you should also know in advance if the flat is rented out by a management company/rental agency, or is it let directly by the landlord. If the flat is managed by a local property management company, make sure you have also the direct contact details for the owner, just in case any unforeseeable problem with the management of the property occur during your rental period.

Professional property management companies in Budapest manage the daily operations of the flat and are authorized to act on behalf of the owner. So basically they deal with rent collections, utility payments, and fixing problems in the flat that might happen every now and then.

Signing a rental agreement:

When signing a rental agreement, the tenant usually needs to pay two months deposit in addition to the fist month’s rent and average utility bills. This deposit is paid back to the tenant in the end of the tenancy period, unless there are open debts on the tenant’s name, or the property was damaged during the rental period. In some cases, private landlords or property management companies will ask to sign the contract with a notary. The meaning of this is that in case of breach of contract by the tenant, the landlord can evacuate the tenant from the flat without the need of a court procedure.