The Expat’s Guide to Renting an Apartment in Budapest
Being a newcomer in any country can be challenging; Hungary is no exception. There is a fair amount of things to consider when pursuing Budapest apartments for rent.
However, if you educate yourself on the topic, the challenges might not feel that difficult to overcome.
Where to Find Apartments for Rent in Budapest?
Assumingly you’ve done your homework and decided in which district you want to live; you need to start looking at what’s available.
One option is Facebook groups, where landlords like to post their apartments for rent. Then there are real estate agencies that post their listings on their websites.
Most of the real estate websites have English or some other European language version. Furthermore, most of them have at least one person on their staff that speaks English, so communication is rarely a challenge.
Consider the local housing laws
Hungarian housing law always favors the tenant. In case there is a contract clause that is contradictory to the housing law, the contract clause will be considered invalid.
However, most disputes are resolved with an off-court agreement. That way, all the court fees are avoided.
First, inspect then sign the lease agreement
The best way to protect yourself from false claims is to take some pictures of the property before signing the lease contract. That way, the landlord can’t make you do any repairs for which you are not responsible.
Negotiating a better lease is acceptable
In Hungary, it’s okay if you ask for a lower rent, change some parts of the lease contract, and pretty much anything that you think needs to be addressed. Locals do this on a regular base when renting an apartment in Budapest. To get the best possible deal, get into a negotiation, and try to make the most of things.
Be aware of the common costs
Typically, this a fee that covers maintenance and cleaning expenses. However, living in a more luxurious building, the “common costs” might also include fees for an elevator, gym and/or pool, doorman, and so on. The common cost can vary from just $10 to $200. How high the common cost depends on how luxurious the building is.
Best places to live in Budapest
If you are settling in Budapest with family, your best option is the west side of the city where the American School is located. That’s District 1, 2, and 2A. The area is a bit far from the inner city, but it is well connected via public transport. For an urban residential living, consider District 5, 6, 7, 9, 13, and 14.
If you are there for the nightlife, then look for apartments near the Pest side of the city. There are plenty of nightclubs, bars, and restaurants in the area, which at times can get quite loud as it is regularly crowded with tourists.
District 1 is also worth considering and popular with expatriates. The district is under the castle and has a vibrant community of expatriates.