Many people are looking for an apartment in Budapest or leasing one as a landlord. Whether you are landlord or tenant, there are many things you need to know before you start so as to avoid future problems. Read our summary below to get the big picture.
Written form – the first and most important requirement is a rental agreement in writing, signed by both parties. Although the temptation is often great to agree on the terms via email and leave it there, the bad news is that in this case the contract is invalid. To avoid any further disputes regarding the content and important terms of the rental agreement however, we suggest to put it in a private document with full probative force – signed by two witnesses or countersigned by lawyer that is.
Public utilities – in many cases parties agree that the public utility meters shall be transferred to the tenant, but we recommend otherwise. It seems like a good solution because in case of non-payment by tenant, the debt will be recorded on his/her name. However, the meters cannot be transferred to anyone else’s name until the debt is settled so ultimately the landlord will be the one paying it. And any case, if the tenant is not willing to leave the apartment when the rental period is over, the landlord has the power to turn off the public utilities to urge him/her. Therefore we suggest the landlord to keep the public utility meters and to ask for the money covering the bill on a monthly basis.
Moving out statement – the holy grail of the rental agreements is the statement the tenant makes in front of a public notary stating that he or she shall leave the apartment in case the rental agreement is not in effect anymore. This document is instantly enforceable by the authorities so the landlord can avoid a lawsuit that could otherwise easily last years due to the Hungarian legislation protecting the right to housing with strong legal guaranties.
Deposit – the landlord is entitled to ask a deposit up to three months’ worth of rental fee to secure any obligations of the tenant arising from the rental agreement. Therefore we suggest to apply it even if the tenant seems trustworthy – it is better to be safe than sorry.
Maintenance costs – it is worth it to settle the matter of maintenance costs in the rental agreement regarding the floors, doors, windows and furniture of the flat. In case the rental agreement does not mention them, the parties shall be aware that the costs of maintenance and refurbishment shall be borne by the tenant whereas the landlord is responsible for the costs of restoration and replacement.
Our colleagues are ready to give you personalised information in case you would like to know more about the important questions such as natural wear and tear, change of keys and locks, sub-tenancy and more.
Should you plan to rent or lease an apartment in Budapest or anywhere in Hungary or you simply have further questions regarding rental agreements, please do not hesitate to contact us!