Finding Housing as an Expat in Hungary

1. What are the popular expat-friendly neighborhoods in Hungary?

1. Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is a popular destination for expats and offers several expat-friendly neighborhoods. District V, also known as the Belváros (Inner City), is the central district and home to many cultural attractions, restaurants, and shops, making it an attractive option for expats. District XIII, located along the Danube River, is another sought-after area with its modern amenities and green spaces. District VI, specifically the area around Andrássy Avenue, is known for its beautiful architecture and vibrant atmosphere, making it a popular choice for expats looking to live in a lively area. Other popular expat-friendly neighborhoods in Budapest include District I (Buda Castle District) and District VII (Jewish Quarter), each offering its own unique charm and appeal for expats looking to relocate to Hungary.

2. What is the average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Budapest?

The average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Budapest can vary depending on the location and specific features of the property. On average, you can expect to pay around 400-600 Euros per month for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center. However, this price range can fluctuate based on factors such as the size of the apartment, its condition, and whether it includes utilities or not. It’s important to research different neighborhoods in Budapest to find the best fit for your budget and preferences. Additionally, working with a real estate agent or using online platforms can help you navigate the rental market in Hungary more effectively.

3. How do I find a reliable real estate agent in Hungary?

Finding a reliable real estate agent in Hungary is crucial when looking for housing as an expat. Here are some tips to help you find the right professional:

1. Research: Start by researching real estate agencies online, reading reviews, and asking for recommendations from other expats or locals.

2. Licensing: Ensure that the real estate agent you choose is licensed and registered with the appropriate authorities in Hungary.

3. Experience: Look for an agent with experience working with expats, as they will be more familiar with the specific needs and challenges you may face.

4. Communication: Choose an agent who is fluent in English or your preferred language to avoid misunderstandings during the process.

5. Transparency: A reliable agent should be transparent about fees, contracts, and any other important details related to the property search and transaction.

6. Network: A good real estate agent in Hungary should have a solid network of contacts, including property owners and other professionals in the industry, to help you find the right housing options.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding a trustworthy real estate agent in Hungary to assist you in your housing search as an expat.

4. Are utilities typically included in rental prices in Hungary?

In Hungary, utilities are not typically included in rental prices. When renting a property as an expat in Hungary, it’s essential to budget for additional expenses such as gas, electricity, water, heating, internet, and other utility bills on top of the monthly rent. These costs can vary depending on the size and location of the property, as well as individual consumption habits. It’s important to factor in these expenses when considering your overall housing budget to avoid any surprises or financial strain. It is common practice for tenants to set up their utility accounts and pay bills directly to the service providers.

5. What are common rental contract terms and conditions in Hungary?

When finding housing as an expat in Hungary, it is important to be aware of common rental contract terms and conditions. Here are five common aspects to consider:

1. Lease Duration: Rental contracts in Hungary typically have a minimum duration of 1 year, with the option to extend upon mutual agreement between the landlord and tenant.

2. Deposit: Landlords often require a security deposit equivalent to 2-3 months’ rent. This deposit is refundable at the end of the tenancy, provided there are no damages to the property.

3. Rent Payment: Rent is usually paid on a monthly basis, and it is common for landlords to request payment in cash. Some may also accept bank transfers.

4. Maintenance and Repairs: Landlords are responsible for major repairs and maintaining the property in good condition. However, minor repairs and maintenance tasks are typically the tenant’s responsibility.

5. Termination: If either the landlord or tenant wishes to terminate the contract before the agreed-upon date, a notice period of usually one to three months is required, depending on the terms of the agreement.

Understanding these common rental contract terms and conditions can help expats navigate the housing market in Hungary more effectively and ensure a smooth rental experience.

6. How can expats navigate the Hungarian rental market if they don’t speak the language?

Navigating the Hungarian rental market as an expat without speaking the language can be challenging, but there are several strategies that can help simplify the process:

1. Engage a Local Real Estate Agent: Working with a local real estate agent who speaks both English and Hungarian can be essential in finding suitable housing options. They can help you navigate the market, communicate with landlords, and ensure that your needs are met.

2. Utilize Online Resources: Websites like or Otthontérkép have English language options and can be helpful in searching for rental properties. Online platforms can provide information on available listings, prices, and contact details for landlords.

3. Seek Assistance from Expatriate Communities: Joining expat forums, social media groups, or contacting expat organizations in Hungary can also be valuable. Expats who have already gone through the housing search process can provide insights, recommendations, and potentially even connections to available properties.

4. Use Translation Apps: When communicating with landlords or reading rental contracts in Hungarian, translation apps can be useful in understanding the content. While not always perfect, these apps can help in deciphering important information.

5. Consider Short-term Accommodation: If the search for long-term rental accommodation proves difficult, consider temporary housing options such as serviced apartments or Airbnb rentals. This can provide you with a place to stay while you continue your search for a more permanent residence.

6. Learn Basic Hungarian Phrases: While not essential, learning some basic Hungarian phrases related to housing, such as greetings, questions about the property, and rental terms, can be advantageous in building rapport with landlords and demonstrating your interest in their property.

By utilizing these strategies and resources, expats can effectively navigate the Hungarian rental market even without speaking the language fluently.

7. Are there any specific regulations or laws expats should be aware of when renting in Hungary?

When renting in Hungary as an expat, there are several regulations and laws to be aware of to ensure a smooth process and avoid any legal issues. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Rental Contracts: It is essential to have a written rental contract in place, detailing the terms of the agreement, including the rental duration, amount, payment terms, and responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant.

2. Deposit: Landlords in Hungary typically require a security deposit, which is usually equivalent to one or two months’ rent. Ensure that the deposit amount and conditions for its return are clearly stated in the rental contract.

3. Rental Prices: In Hungary, rental prices are often negotiable, but they must be agreed upon in the rental contract. It is important to research the local rental market to ensure you are paying a fair price for the property.

4. Tenant Rights: Expats renting in Hungary are protected by tenant rights, which stipulate that landlords must provide habitable living conditions and adhere to the terms of the rental contract. Familiarize yourself with your rights as a tenant to avoid any potential disputes.

5. Utilities and Maintenance: Clarify in the rental contract whether utilities such as water, electricity, and heating are included in the rent or if they are separate. Understand your responsibilities regarding maintenance and repairs of the property.

6. Notice Period: Both landlords and tenants in Hungary are required to give notice before terminating a rental agreement. The notice period is typically three months, but this can vary depending on the terms of the rental contract.

7. Foreigners Registration: As an expat renting in Hungary, you may be required to register your rental address with the local authorities. Ensure that you comply with any registration requirements to avoid any legal complications.

It is advisable to seek assistance from a real estate agent or legal advisor familiar with Hungarian rental laws to navigate the renting process smoothly and protect your rights as an expat tenant.

8. Are there online platforms that cater to expats looking for housing in Hungary?

Yes, there are several online platforms that cater to expats looking for housing in Hungary. Some popular websites where expats can search for accommodation include:

1. Otthon Centrum: This website offers a wide range of properties for rent or sale across Hungary. Expats can search for apartments, houses, and even commercial properties in various cities.

2. This is one of the largest real estate websites in Hungary, where expats can find a variety of rental and sale listings in different regions of the country.

3. Budapest Housing: Specifically focused on the capital city, Budapest Housing provides expats with a range of rental options including apartments, studios, and shared accommodation.

4. Facebook groups: There are also numerous Facebook groups dedicated to expats living in Hungary, where people often post about available housing options or share tips on finding accommodation.

Using these online platforms can help expats navigate the Hungarian rental market and find housing that meets their needs and preferences. It’s important to carefully review listings, consider factors such as location, amenities, and budget, and engage with landlords or agents to secure a suitable living arrangement.

9. What are the best strategies for negotiating rental prices in Hungary?

Negotiating rental prices in Hungary can be a common practice, especially in larger cities like Budapest. Here are some effective strategies to help you secure a better deal:

1. Research the market: Start by researching current rental prices in the area you are interested in. This will give you a clear idea of what the market rate is and how much room you have for negotiation.

2. Timing is key: Try to negotiate towards the end of the month or when the demand for rental properties is low. Landlords may be more willing to negotiate during these times to fill vacancies quickly.

3. Highlight your strengths as a tenant: If you have a stable job, good credit history, or are looking for a long-term lease, make sure to mention these points during the negotiation. Landlords are more likely to consider lowering the rent for reliable tenants.

4. Point out any flaws in the property: If you notice any maintenance issues or areas that need improvement in the property, use them as leverage during the negotiation. The landlord may be more willing to reduce the rent if they are aware of the shortcomings.

5. Offer to sign a longer lease: Landlords prefer tenants who are willing to commit to a longer lease as it provides them with stability. In exchange for a longer lease, you can negotiate a lower monthly rent.

6. Be polite and respectful: Approach the negotiation process with a positive attitude and be respectful towards the landlord. Building a good rapport can go a long way in reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.

7. Seek professional help: If you’re finding it challenging to negotiate on your own, consider hiring a real estate agent who can help you with the process. They have experience in negotiating rental prices and can potentially secure a better deal for you.

By employing these strategies and being proactive in your approach, you can increase your chances of successfully negotiating a lower rental price in Hungary.

10. How can expats ensure the safety and security of their chosen neighborhood in Hungary?

Ensuring safety and security in the chosen neighborhood in Hungary is crucial for expats. Here are some tips to achieve this:

1. Research and local knowledge: Before choosing a neighborhood, it’s essential to research the safety reputation of different areas in Hungary. Local forums, expat groups, and official safety reports can provide insights into the crime rates and overall security of a neighborhood.

2. Visit the neighborhood: Take the time to visit the neighborhood during different times of the day to get a feel for the atmosphere and observe the level of activity and security measures in place.

3. Consult with locals and expats: Seeking advice from locals and other expats who are familiar with the area can provide valuable information on the safety of the neighborhood and any potential concerns.

4. Consider proximity to amenities: Choose a neighborhood that is close to essential amenities such as supermarkets, public transportation, hospitals, and police stations, as these factors can impact both safety and convenience.

5. Secure housing: Ensure that the housing you choose has adequate security measures in place, such as sturdy locks, security cameras, and well-lit entryways. Additionally, consider investing in a home security system for added peace of mind.

6. Stay informed: Stay informed about any safety alerts or updates in your neighborhood by signing up for local news alerts or following official social media channels.

7. Build a network: Establishing connections with neighbors and forming a community network can provide an additional layer of security and support in case of emergencies.

8. Trust your instincts: Ultimately, trust your instincts when evaluating the safety of a neighborhood. If something feels off or unsafe, it’s better to explore other options for housing.

By following these tips and being proactive in assessing the safety and security of a neighborhood in Hungary, expats can feel more confident and secure in their new living environment.

11. Are there any cultural norms or etiquette to be mindful of when renting as an expat in Hungary?

When renting as an expat in Hungary, it is important to be aware of some cultural norms and etiquette to ensure a smooth experience:

1. Respect for Property: Hungarians value their homes and properties, so it is important to treat the rental property with respect and care. This includes maintaining cleanliness and keeping noise levels in check to be considerate of neighbors.

2. Punctuality: In Hungary, punctuality is highly regarded, so it is important to be on time for appointments and meetings with landlords or rental agents.

3. Formality: Hungarians can be quite formal in their interactions, so it is recommended to be polite and use formal language when communicating with landlords or real estate agents.

4. Contracts: Make sure to thoroughly read and understand the rental contract before signing it. If there are any clauses or terms that are unclear, do not hesitate to ask for clarification.

5. Payment: Rent is typically paid monthly in Hungary, and it is essential to make sure that you understand the payment schedule and method preferred by the landlord.

6. Property Maintenance: In some cases, landlords may expect tenants to take care of minor repairs or maintenance tasks. Clarify this aspect with the landlord before signing the lease agreement.

7. Neighborhood Etiquette: It is advisable to be mindful of the neighborhood norms and be respectful towards neighbors. This includes being considerate of noise levels, especially during late hours.

By being aware of these cultural norms and etiquette, expats can navigate the rental market in Hungary more effectively and establish positive relationships with landlords and neighbors.

12. What are the key factors to consider when choosing between renting an apartment or a house in Hungary?

When deciding between renting an apartment or a house in Hungary as an expat, there are several key factors to consider:

1. Affordability: Apartments in Hungary are generally more affordable than houses, considering both rent and maintenance costs.

2. Location: Apartments are often located in central areas, providing easy access to amenities and public transportation, while houses may offer more space but could be located further from the city center.

3. Lifestyle preferences: Consider your living preferences – do you prefer the convenience of apartment living with amenities like a gym or swimming pool, or do you value the privacy and outdoor space that a house can provide?

4. Maintenance: Houses typically require more maintenance compared to apartments, so consider your ability and willingness to take care of a property.

5. Security: Apartments often come with added security measures such as controlled access, which may be important for some expats.

6. Length of stay: If you are planning to stay in Hungary for a short period, an apartment may be a more convenient and flexible option compared to a house.

7. Cultural experience: Living in a house may offer a more authentic Hungarian experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture and community.

Ultimately, the choice between renting an apartment or a house in Hungary will depend on your individual preferences, budget, and lifestyle needs as an expat.

13. How do expats go about setting up utilities and internet services in their new Hungarian home?

Setting up utilities and internet services in Hungary as an expat is typically straightforward and can be done efficiently with the following steps:

1. Research and Choose Providers: Start by researching the available utility and internet service providers in your area. Look for companies that offer the services you need at competitive prices.

2. Contact Providers: Reach out to the selected providers to inquire about their services, packages, and prices. You can usually do this through their websites, over the phone, or by visiting their offices.

3. Provide Documentation: When setting up utilities such as electricity, water, gas, and heating, you will need to provide documentation such as your ID or passport, rental agreement, and sometimes a bank account number for direct debit.

4. Schedule Installation: For utilities like gas and electricity, you may need to schedule an installation appointment. Make sure to set a convenient time for the installation to avoid any disruptions.

5. Internet Installation: Contact the internet service provider to schedule the installation of your internet connection. They will typically send a technician to set up the service at your new home.

6. Payment Setup: Set up payment methods for your utilities and internet services. Direct debit is a common payment option in Hungary, so you may need to provide your bank account details for automatic payments.

7. Confirm Activation: Once all services are set up and installed, confirm with the providers that everything is activated and working correctly. Test your internet connection to ensure a stable and reliable service.

By following these steps, expats can efficiently set up utilities and internet services in their new Hungarian home, ensuring a smooth transition and comfortable living environment.

14. What are the options for short-term accommodation in Hungary while searching for a more permanent residence?

When looking for short-term accommodation in Hungary while searching for a more permanent residence, there are several options expats can consider:

1. Hotels and Hostels: Staying in hotels or hostels is a convenient option for short-term stays. Budapest, in particular, has a wide range of accommodation options to choose from.

2. Serviced Apartments: Opting for a serviced apartment provides more space and flexibility compared to a traditional hotel room. These apartments come fully furnished and equipped, making them ideal for those needing a temporary home.

3. Airbnb: Utilizing platforms like Airbnb gives expats the opportunity to rent a room, apartment, or entire house from local hosts, providing a more authentic experience of living in Hungary.

4. Short-Term Rentals: Several websites specialize in short-term rentals, offering a variety of properties ranging from studios to larger homes, giving expats more options to choose from.

5. Corporate Housing: Some companies offer corporate housing for employees on temporary assignments, providing fully furnished accommodation for a set period.

6. Subletting: Subletting a room or apartment can be a cost-effective option for short-term stays. Expats can find listings on various websites or through local networks.

7. Host Families: Staying with a host family can be a culturally enriching experience for expats looking for temporary accommodation in Hungary, giving them a chance to immerse themselves in the local culture and language.

By exploring these options, expats can find suitable short-term accommodation in Hungary while they search for a more permanent residence that meets their needs and preferences.

15. Are there any specific challenges that expats may face when renting a property in Hungary?

Yes, there are several challenges that expats may face when renting a property in Hungary:

1. Language barrier: The Hungarian language can be challenging for expats to navigate, especially when dealing with rental agreements and communicating with landlords or real estate agents.

2. Different rental market practices: The rental market in Hungary may operate differently from what expats are used to in their home countries. Understanding local customs, laws, and regulations regarding renting can be a challenge.

3. Discrimination: Some expats may face discrimination from landlords or real estate agents based on their nationality or background, leading to difficulties in finding suitable accommodation.

4. Lack of local knowledge: Expats may not be familiar with the different neighborhoods in Hungary, making it harder to choose a location that meets their needs in terms of safety, amenities, and proximity to work.

5. Financial requirements: Landlords in Hungary may require several months’ rent as a deposit, in addition to agency fees and other expenses, which can be a financial burden for expats who are just settling into the country.

6. Limited availability of English-speaking agents: Finding real estate agents or landlords who speak English fluently may be a challenge, making the process of finding and renting a property more difficult for expats.

Overall, expats may need to do thorough research, seek assistance from local expat communities or real estate agencies specialized in working with foreigners, and be prepared for potential challenges when renting a property in Hungary.

16. How can expats build a strong rental application to increase their chances of securing a property in Hungary?

Building a strong rental application is crucial for expats to enhance their chances of securing a property in Hungary. Here are several key steps to consider:

1. Provide Proof of Stable Income: Landlords in Hungary often require proof of income to ensure tenants can afford the rent. Expats should provide documentation such as pay stubs, employment contracts, or bank statements to demonstrate financial stability.

2. Offer Rental Guarantees: Some landlords may be hesitant to rent to expats due to unfamiliarity or concerns about potential language barriers. Offering a rental guarantee, such as paying several months of rent in advance or having a Hungarian guarantor, can help alleviate these concerns.

3. References and Rental History: Providing references from previous landlords or property managers can help establish credibility and showcase a positive rental history. Expats should also be prepared to explain any gaps in their rental history or provide additional context if needed.

4. Communication Skills: Good communication skills are essential, especially if the landlord is a Hungarian speaker. Expats should be proactive in reaching out, be clear in their communication, and demonstrate their willingness to comply with local customs and regulations.

5. Legal Compliance: Understanding and adhering to Hungarian rental laws and regulations is crucial. Expats should ensure they have a valid residence permit, familiarize themselves with the terms of the lease agreement, and be prepared to meet any specific requirements set by the landlord.

By following these steps and presenting a comprehensive rental application, expats can significantly increase their chances of securing a property in Hungary. It’s essential to be organized, transparent, and responsive throughout the application process to make a positive impression on landlords and property managers.

17. What are the typical upfront costs associated with renting a property in Hungary?

When renting a property in Hungary as an expat, there are several typical upfront costs that you should be aware of:

1. Security Deposit: Landlords in Hungary typically require a security deposit ranging from one to three months’ rent. This is meant to cover damages or unpaid bills at the end of the tenancy.

2. First Month’s Rent: You will be expected to pay the first month’s rent upfront when signing the lease agreement.

3. Agency Fee: If you’re using a real estate agency to find a rental property, you may need to pay a one-time agency fee, which is usually equivalent to one month’s rent.

4. Utilities Deposit: Some landlords may require a deposit for utilities such as electricity, gas, water, and internet services.

5. Cleaning Fee: It’s common for landlords to charge a cleaning fee for preparing the property before you move in.

6. Legal Fees: Depending on the complexity of the lease agreement, you may need to pay for legal fees associated with the rental contract.

7. Furniture and Appliances: If you are renting a furnished apartment, there may be additional costs for the furniture and appliances provided.

It’s essential to carefully review your lease agreement and understand all the upfront costs associated with renting a property in Hungary to avoid any surprises.

18. How do expats go about verifying the legitimacy of a rental property or landlord in Hungary?

1. Expats in Hungary can verify the legitimacy of a rental property and landlord through various methods:

2. Research the landlord or rental agency online to check for reviews and feedback from previous tenants. This will give an insight into the landlord’s reputation and how they have dealt with tenants in the past.

3. Request to see the landlord’s ID or proof of ownership of the property to ensure they are the legitimate owner.

4. Ask for a written rental agreement that includes all the necessary details of the tenancy, such as rent amount, payment terms, and responsibilities of both parties. A legitimate landlord will provide a clear and formal rental agreement.

5. Visit the property in person before signing any agreements to ensure that it matches the description provided and is in a livable condition. This also allows you to meet the landlord face-to-face and establish a rapport.

6. Avoid making any payments or providing personal information before confirming the legitimacy of the property and the landlord. Be cautious of any requests for advance payments or deposits before you have verified the authenticity of the rental opportunity.

7. If in doubt, seek the assistance of a real estate agent or legal advisor who can help verify the legitimacy of the rental property and ensure a smooth and secure renting process.

19. Are there any resources or support services available to expats in Hungary for finding housing?

Yes, there are resources and support services available to expats in Hungary for finding housing. Some of these include:

1. Real Estate Agencies: There are various real estate agencies in Hungary that specialize in helping expats find suitable housing options according to their preferences and budget.
2. Online Platforms: Websites like Otthontérkép,, and the expat-focused site InterNations offer listings of rental properties in different Hungarian cities, making it easier for expats to find accommodation.
3. Expat Communities: Joining expat communities and forums can also be helpful as fellow expats often share tips, recommendations, and even listings for available housing options.
4. Relocation Companies: Some relocation companies in Hungary offer housing services as part of their packages, assisting expats with finding temporary or permanent accommodation.
5. Government Assistance: The Hungarian government provides support services for expats, including information on housing regulations and rights, which can be beneficial when navigating the local rental market.

By utilizing these resources and support services, expats in Hungary can increase their chances of finding suitable housing that meets their needs and preferences.

20. How can expats overcome language and cultural barriers when communicating with landlords or property managers in Hungary?

Expats in Hungary can overcome language and cultural barriers when communicating with landlords or property managers by taking the following steps:

1. Learn Basic Hungarian Phrases: Even a basic understanding of Hungarian phrases can go a long way in establishing rapport with landlords or property managers. Simple greetings and polite phrases can help break the ice and show respect for the local culture.

2. Hire a Translator: If language barrier is a significant issue, consider hiring a professional translator to assist with communication during property viewings, negotiations, and lease agreements. This ensures clear and accurate communication between all parties involved.

3. Research Cultural Norms: Understanding Hungarian cultural norms and etiquette can help expats navigate interactions with landlords or property managers more effectively. For example, punctuality, formal greetings, and maintaining professionalism are valued in Hungarian culture.

4. Seek English-Speaking Contacts: Look for landlords or property managers who speak English or work with agencies that cater to expats. Having a common language can simplify communication and avoid misunderstandings during the rental process.

5. Use Online Platforms: Utilize online platforms and websites that cater to expats looking for housing in Hungary. These platforms often have bilingual listings and provide assistance in English, making the search for accommodation easier for non-Hungarian speakers.

By adopting these strategies, expats can effectively overcome language and cultural barriers when communicating with landlords or property managers in Hungary, facilitating a smoother transition to their new living arrangements.