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Land in hungary

Hi there, my wife is Hungarian her son has resently bought an house and land of 900m2 with planning for another house within the land, it's our intention to build a house for us to moved to. Building permission was in 2004 so we think has expired, upon consultation with a Arcitec he says the land is still as one and can not be separated due to it being under 720m2, so the house we can build will be too close to the existing house and it would difficult to sell on later if things change. Is this so can anyone help thanks

Yes, there's a minimum plot size. 

Permission is 5 years if I remember correctly so you have to start again in the planning system.   You need to check the zoning % to see how dense your proposed development can be.  You can get the area plans at the local government.   In our case we thought it was 25% as everywhere else is but when we finally got the zoning information, we found it was re-zoned to  20% but no-one knew.  In our case, it totally stuffed our plans to modify our outbuildings to be a garage/workshop.  We're short only 8m2.  If it was 25% we would have had enough to be legal.

If you build your place, you might be better off with making a two or three generation place but if you do, I would look very carefully how the stairs, individual entrances and parking are laid out. Many two or three generation houses need a lot of modification if they are converted into individual apartments at a later date.

Always get the land boundaries checked professionally.  The land registry is a hopeless organisation.  Their data has a lot of errors in it and it could end up costing money to put it right.

Thank you for your reply to my thread so what is to minimum plot size I was told it is 720 m2 ?, my land is  only 400 m2. The architect says 30 % of the total land which is 900 m2, leaving me about house of 100 m2 but  we can only have it built in a certain direction which would face the existing building is this so or can we build it whichever direction we want ?

Bob Jasper :

Thank you for your reply to my thread so what is to minimum plot size I was told it is 720 m2 ?, my land is  only 400 m2. The architect says 30 % of the total land which is 900 m2, leaving me about house of 100 m2 but  we can only have it built in a certain direction which would face the existing building is this so or can we build it whichever direction we want ?

We did our basic building a couple of years ago so I've forgotten some of the numbers. Here's what  I know.

I think the minimum plot size is something like 500m2.   

100m2 is only the base so you could have 100m2 on each floor and depending on the zoning, say 3 floors or 2 floors and a basement.   So with 900m2, you could have a base of 300m2 which is substantial if one building. divided internally.  That's pretty big. 

Anything with a roof is a building and could break the area rule.  We broke ours by having an open sided but covered porch. However, so far, no-one actually said anything officially about that.  They insisted on us having a pergola for a garage/parking area. If we can get away with any "illegal" build for more than 10 years, it's automatically accepted.  So if you built a car port, this is considered a building and part of the 100m2.  To be not counted in the building area it has to have a pergola style open roof.

The height of the building cannot be more than something like 5m depending on the zone., i.e. not flats. That's to the eaves. But this is only the average. You can change the roof angle on the house and then lower it in one corner - for example, having a balcony which is lower than the eaves on the other corners.   We had to do this to get enough headroom for bedrooms upstairs.

Each house has a frontage to the street.  There's two sizes which are standard but forgotten how much.   You have to have something like 5m to the property edge on the left hand side and on the right you can build up to the edge (which would be unwise as you need 1m for maintenance).   The 5m is for fire protection and is not negotiable.

You cannot put your house further back or forward than the property lines of the other houses in the street.  They all have to be in a line.  Otherwise you can interfere with the neighbours light.  BTW, plants must be  1m from the edge of the plot.

It makes sense to put the house front at the front of the plot but it's not impossible to have say, large doors to a courtyard - this is not unusual here anway.  Whatever you do, the house will eventually be sold to someone else and to get the best saleability, best to follow the style norms for the country/locality.

Unless you went to the land office and officially split the land, the land is indeed still one property. Trust you architect, they know the local laws. If you can get permission to build a second house or not on that one property, again, trust the advice from your architect. And if you have to downsize your expectations, on the size of your house, then just embrase the tiny house movement. Our house footprint is 70 sq m. It is enough for two. Just build more space in a second story as already suggested by fluffy.

fluffy2560 :

In our case we thought it was 25% as everywhere else is but when we finally got the zoning information, we found it was re-zoned to  20% but no-one knewt.

Outside towns and villages building size can be as low as 3% of the land size. We are 100 m outside the village, which is why our 70 sq m house sits on nearly 1/4 of a hectare.

In the long run you might all be happier if you purchase another lot near but not too close to your in-laws.
My in-laws bought land in Erd in the late 1950's with a retirement dream .
They bought a double size lot and another large lot about 2 blocks away.
My SIL and BIL built homes next to each other on the one lot their mother gave them, my husband was shut out from that ( thankfully looking back now) because he left for the US and his sibs never thought
he would return to HU.
They built their little homes in the late 1960's next to each other and have not spoken a word to each other for at least the past 20 years.
Very odd and very uncomfortable for the both of them. My SIL has rented her house out so she doesn't have to see her bro, she rents down the  st. far enough away to not have to she her bro.
Unless you live in a very tight family with set expectations from everyone, it could get messy someday.
My DIL's family lives in a huge home in Japan with one her sis and her family one one side and her parents on the other side of the house. Different entrances , different kitchens and bathrooms, and old style customs.
They have traditional roles for every player in the family , sort of strict and not that flexible. Works fine for them but not for every personality.
My son even took his in-laws and their kids on his honeymoon in Japan, that's how tight they are over there.
I lived with my in-laws for a straight 6 months, was about ready for a straight jacket after that.
Maybe you should give it a nice long visit before you built anything and make sure you can live that close to them without it getting ugly.
We have lived several times for 6 months to a year with our son and his Japanese GF and then with his current wife. In a huge house with everyone respecting each others ways, not always the most comfortable situation though.
His ladies were very very respectful of us as his parents and we respectful with them but even so, sometimes it was not easy.
If you have children of your own, beware your in-laws will have to toss in their 2 cents and you might not agree with their ways. Best to live a short distance away and have your privacy.
On re reading your post, I see it is your step-sons land...find your own land and keep the peace.

klsallee :

Unless you went to the land office and officially split the land, the land is indeed still one property. Trust you architect, they know the local laws. If you can get permission to build a second house or not on that one property, again, trust the advice from your architect......

Definitely worth having the opinion of the architect.  But I would advise some caution.  There are architects and there are building engineering types. Both of them can draw up the right plans and get them through planning.  However, check the construction plans carefully. There are always mistakes - our architect miscalculated the position of the chimney.  It was directly under a roof beam and had to be moved about 10cm which created other oddities - there was no space for door frames and weird stuff where doors were too high on some external walls.  The builders had to redraw the plans - because they were there we just skipped over asking permission.  We also found the drawings incorrect for the drainage on our balcony - again, redone on the fly.

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

In our case we thought it was 25% as everywhere else is but when we finally got the zoning information, we found it was re-zoned to  20% but no-one knewt.

Outside towns and villages building size can be as low as 3% of the land size. We are 100 m outside the village, which is why our 70 sq m house sits on nearly 1/4 of a hectare.

Yup, 3% is typical agricultural.  I do see "holiday houses" which are normal buildings, easily exceeding the 3%.  I don't know how they get away with it.

I would like our place re-zoned back to 25% but there's no chance of that. 

I probably sound really bad here, but our neighbour is really sick and possibly terminal. I'm already thinking of asking his adult kids if they will sell me a long 2m strip of his considerably larger plot so I can increase my land enough to get my extra 8m2 to build our workshop/garage.  I could probably get away with just building it but I'd rather do it properly. I suppose I could pay the fine as well.  Or plant some big trees to shield it from observers.  Or build it, then attempt to  legitimise if new owners come in.

fluffy2560 :

Definitely worth having the opinion of the architect.  But I would advise some caution.  There are architects and there are building engineering types. Both of them can draw up the right plans and get them through planning.  However, check the construction plans carefully. There are always mistakes - our architect miscalculated the position of the chimney.

You are right. I agree 250%. Despite bitter experiences so I should know better, I still at times forget my golden rule: Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.... especially in Hungary.

fluffy2560 :

Yup, 3% is typical agricultural.  I do see "holiday houses" which are normal buildings, easily exceeding the 3%.  I don't know how they get away with it.

They are illegal, but nothing happens, or will happen, unless a neighbor files a complaint. And almost every neighbor has something also illegal, so complaints are rarely filed due to fear of a retribution and a zero sum game.

klsallee :

.... Despite bitter experiences so I should know better, I still at times forget my golden rule: Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.... especially in Hungary.

In Hungary, totally.  Unless it's in writing with an official rubber stamp, then it means nothing.  Even then, one is only a bit more assured.

We're still actually in dispute with our neighbour over our boundary.  I alluded to that in these forums previously. We filed the complaint at the Land Registry.  Been a year and nothing has been done - they've even ignored their own rules and the legislation. 

Mrs Fluffy has been there twice and the guy is "too busy" to make a decision.  Like I give a damn about that excuse. 

I've suggested we take the lawyer next time (we'll give it a go in say, October, convenient for us) and failing that bringing any results within 1 month, we apply to the courts directly to get an order on it.  Our lawyer has written to the land registry several times but even he's not getting a result.

Only option is the court but that's a bit random here and rather risky.

Marilyn Tassy :

In the long run you might all be happier if you purchase another lot near but not too close to your in-laws.....On re reading your post, I see it is your step-sons land...find your own land and keep the peace.

One might take it to extremes. 

Make sure one is not on a direct bus route between the MIL/FIL's place and the house.  Older people here don't drive so making it much more awkward can be beneficial. At least 3-5km to make it more difficult for them to reach your place.

Experience suggests never live with your relatives or as Marilyn says, make it far enough away not to be tripping over them every 5 minutes or offering "helpful" advice.

Old adage: You can choose your friends but not your family.

fluffy2560 :

- they've even ignored their own rules and the legislation.

The anti-immigrant referendum is scheduled for October 2. Hungarian law says no campaigning before 50 days prior to a vote. The government already published ads to vote for the referendum, violating the law. In an example of Orwellian double speak the goverment claims it is not campaigning. The fish stinks from the head.


fluffy2560 :

Only option is the court but that's a bit random here and rather risky.

My experience:

- against another person on a point of Hungarian law, good chance of winning, but court my require "social" considerations that make you compromise away your rights for "social harmony". So winning, may mean you still lose. For example, court agrees the fence is on your property, but simply makes your neighbour pay you rent to use your land, and lets the fence remain.

- against a government agency under Hungarian law, you may win, but result will be a slap on the wrist for the agency, and anything you do with that agency will be placed under a microscope. Do not underestimate the desire for revenge here.

- on any issue of EU law expect to loose. The courts do not "get it". To win you may need to go to Strasbourg.

fluffy2560 :

Only option is the court but that's a bit random here and rather risky.

klsallee :

- against another person on a point of Hungarian law, good chance of winning, but court my require "social" considerations that make you compromise away your rights for "social harmony". So winning, may mean you still lose. For example, court agrees the fence is on your property, but simply makes your neighbour pay you rent to use your land, and lets the fence remain.

- against a government agency under Hungarian law, you may win, but result will be a slap on the wrist for the agency, and anything you do with that agency will be placed under a microscope. Do not underestimate the desire for revenge here.

- on any issue of EU law expect to loose. The courts do not "get it". To win you may need to go to Strasbourg.

I can believe it.  This is why I think it's really risky.  I was trying to tie them up in a war of attrition which would have given them cause to give in on cost grounds.

Amazingly enough though, the rent for 30m2 is about $1M a year.  Well, it's a thought.

I could simply bulldoze the fence, erect a new one and suffer the consequences.  If the house next door was unoccupied, I would seriously consider doing that as i could do it all in about 3-4 days. Be too late then and I can always say, what's your problem, it's my fence and my land.  But as the bugger is still in there, hovering in the garden despite being terminally ill, the cops will be around in about 30 seconds and I'll be on remand for 6 months improving my Hungarian at state expense before being deported.

Luckily Mrs Fluffy is much more diplomatic in the Hungarian sense.  I tend to shoot first ask questions later. Englishman and his castle etc.

Probably not worth shooting yourself in the foot over a bit of land.
Maybe your next neighbor will be a bit nicer, seems this one won't be around forever, lucky for you...

fluffy2560 :

Amazingly enough though, the rent for 30m2 is about $1M a year.  Well, it's a thought.

Maybe in a village. For us, 30 sq m rent (yes also had this issue on property where the neighbor planted a hedge on our property before we bought it) outside the village was so little it was better to simply get on good terms with the neighbor (with a few well placed "deals"). But our issue was not as structurally important as yours, else I would probably do as you are doing and seeking a legal solution.

fluffy2560 :

I could simply bulldoze the fence, erect a new one and suffer the consequences.

Your neighbor building a fence on your land is a civil issue. Bulldozing that same fence is a criminal issue (i.e. taking the law into your own hands) in Hungary. Sure that seems ridiculous, especially when you are the injured party who can not use your own land, but that is the law here.  :|

Marilyn Tassy :

In the long run you might all be happier if you purchase another lot near but not too close to your in-laws.

Actually, good advise.

In Hungary it is all too common to want to be near "family". But the expat may go nuts over being so close to in-laws.

fluffy2560 :

Make sure one is not on a direct bus route between the MIL/FIL's place and the house.

I rarely have a laugh out loud moment at comments here.... but I did LOL with that one. Why? Because it is so true....  ;)

Having one's beloved family near by means allot. We ex -pats had to give up some family ties to live over here in Hungary.
On that note, I hate to be a "party pooper" but one should spend at least a good 6 months living under or near the same roof as extended family.
Seriously, sometimes those closet to us make us the most unhappy.
Hard feelings, guilt, pressure to get along can ruin a marriage.
I spent 5 visits with my in-laws 3 of them were long, around 6 months long over a course of over 22 years.
I told my husband after the last horrid 6 months of living with his widowed mother that I would rather divorce him then ever live with her again.
Sad ,she died without him in Hungary but really I figure we all die alone and his new life was in the US.
I gave up allot to stay with her and help her out, all she could do was see what was wrong with whatever I did for her.
One has to know when enough is enough though.
I have never spent that much time alone with my own beloved mother as I was forced to spend with my MIL who was never happy.
I think in the long run having your own place will make getting on with your new SIL easier, what if he decides he doesn't want you on his land any longer, what will you do with the new house, take a loss or just leave it for him?
All is wonderful when things are going great but just one or two sour times can turn people against each other.
A Hungarian friend in Cal. back many years ago, was the only child of an older HU couple. He left for the USA and got married. His parents were still in HU, they missed him so much. He invited them to move to the US and live with he and his wife. His parents sold everything they owned in HU, gave up longtime friendships, their status in the community and moved to Cal. not knowing how to speak a word of English. All was wonderful but only for a short time. They all started fighting etc. He threw his own parents out of his house, they had nothing, no one in the uS to help them. Father found a small job as a tailor but he had already been retired in HU. How sad to have to find work again after having worked all of your life, gave up everything and then have your own child throw you to the curb? This is only your step-son, unless you have a solid contract, I would never do what your thinking of doing.
Another family we knew fairly well in Cal. had a similar situation, actually even more sad.
The HU man we knew had a auto accident and was in a wheelchair forever. He had no family in the US everyone was in Romania although they all were HU. He got out of the hospital after a year in rehab. I even had my own sister work part-time helping him out with shopping and driving him to the doctors while he waited for immigration in the US and RO to bring his family over to help him out of hardship. He had allot of money coming his way from his accident.
Long story, everyone came over, his sister, her husband and their teen daughter. He thought he had bought a full service of workers to suit his every need. The large money was nice but got old after awhile, he was too much for all of them, they left his huge house and had to take care of themselves in a strange county. His lovely sister passed away soon after coming to the US, she was seriously ill but didn't know before coming to the states. Her husband moved to Germany and their only child stayed in the US. Sad stuff, the whole family was enticed by money but in the end it ruined the whole family.
62 years on earth, seen some stuff go down.

klsallee :

.....
Your neighbor building a fence on your land is a civil issue. Bulldozing that same fence is a criminal issue (i.e. taking the law into your own hands) in Hungary. Sure that seems ridiculous, especially when you are the injured party who can not use your own land, but that is the law here.  :|

It's actually my fence. 

I could - I would think - burn it down, bulldoze it, blow it up, paint it purple or psychedelic colours. 

I am reminded of General Noriega stuck in the Vatican Embassy in Panama. I need some psychological warfare.

The neighbour has a potentially nasty dog but it seems quite friendly to me  at the moment. Might not be so friendly if I take the fence down.

fluffy2560 :

It's actually my fence.

Ah. Well That is different.

Burn it down and rebuilt it 1 meter from their house. Let them sue you to remove it. **

** Just kidding of course....

Get some bacon and keep it on hand at all times, the dogs will love you for it!

But seriously you need a contract on any house you build on land that isn't yours.
Know your legal rights if for some reason in the future you have issues with your step-son and he wants you gone.
I know things may be lovey dovey right now but sadly sometimes things go wrong.
hate to see you invest in property and have no legal claim to be on the land.
Even my husband made up a contract with his mother, we paid for her monthly upkeep and had a lawyer handle it all for us. She didn't need the funds but legally we still needed a contract to inherit half of her house, she had written one child out and the other was after everything.
I have never seen how ugly things can get until I saw how some people do things over here in HU. When it comes to money all blood ties are worthless.
If you plan on only renting from your step-son that is not as big a deal as you parting with your funds to build a house on land that is not yours.

Marilyn Tassy :

Know your legal rights if for some reason in the future you have issues with your step-son and he wants you gone.
I know things may be lovey dovey right now but sadly sometimes things go wrong.
hate to see you invest in property and have no legal claim to be on the land.

An excellent point.

To keep one's rights to live on someone else's land one must go to the land office and put into the land paper (with the land owners permission) that one has "lifetime use and living rights" to the property. Without this one's rights to live on or use the land is tenuous at best.

And any relationship, even between parents and children, can sour.

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