Termination of Contract (Rent)

Hello!

We have signed a contract with the owner for 6 months, and after a week we discovered that the house is full of molds (everywhere) and we tried to clean them. However, they keep appearing every week and its because of humidity. We do open up all the windows and door every day until we freeze, but that doesn't help.

A month ago, I had a terrible earache and the doctor said I have fungus (because of humidity) in my ear. Then I got medical treatment. And today I again have the same with the other ear.

I would like to ask if it would be possible to terminate the contract for the rent in this regard. We have talked to the owner, but he doesn't wish to terminate unless he keeps deposit that we gave.


Could you please advise on this.

Thanks!

Sounds like a issue for a lawyer.
Sorry this happened to you.
Sounds like you have a good case if you were duped into renting a unhealthy place.
We bought our flat with a few issues.The owner's wife was even a nurse which sort of freaked me out when she opened up the shower for me to see on our first look at the flat.
There was black mold growing on the walls in the bath. I actually screamed loud when she spread open the curtain.
It was almost a no -go on buying because of that  stuff.'Went to a professional cleaning supply house in Budapest and bought some seriously strong mold killer in a spray bottle.
It has never returned in these 11 years even when we have  been out of HU for up to 18 months at a time.
Every week or so I do wash off the walls with a bit of HYPO, a sort of very strong bleach which is sold in a brown plastic bottle in just about every store and is really cheap , only about 75 forints a bottle.
The pro stuff was called,ABF Peneszmentesito.
Maybe a good cleaning and then drying the walls will help in the temp.
That sort of stuff can be a issue in these older apts. because they were never built most times to do the function they are now doing.
When HU became Communist, they would chop up larger apts, to make room for more families so people could live in the city to work.We even looked at a apt. in Buda before we bought which the real estate agent told us used to be the laundry room in a huge flat. No thinks, passed on that "deal".
They just willy -nilly put up walls and made more apts. without thinking of the small details like ventilation or sound.
If your doing all you can , which it seems you are, I would talk to a lawyer to see if they rented under false pretences, knowing there was already a mold issue. If you used a rental co. to find this apt. you may wish to contact them first and see what real options you have legally. They may be   responsible for not checking the flat out before renting to you.

Here is my advise, from long years having to deal with "the system" here.

No matter what you do, you should move out ASAP. First of all, it is for your health to do so. Second, if you delay, any action you take against the landlord will be questioned with "if the problem was so bad, why didn't you move out sooner", which will weaken any claim you make (the system here loves to blame the victim).

Now come the choices:

1) Accept the offer to just loose your deposit. Chalk it up to a learning tax about Hungarian criminal business behavior toward inexperienced expats (which is not rare). After you get signed off, and all the paperwork is done, I would then report the landlord to the health ministry to try to help prevent any future victim. There is also an online business registry (in Hungarian) where you can make a public record complaint against any business. You can also warn people at various online sites to avoid this landlord by name if you wish (but have proof of the claims you make -- photos of the mold, statement from your doctor, as the landlord could always try to sue for defamation -- of maybe safer to just do so at some Russian review site: language issues may prevent the landlord being aware of your public critiques, and you at least help save your fellow countrymen from future grief, which is better than nothing. :) ).

2) Get an attorney. Not one of the all too common weak "mitigation" types who just want to make a deal, but a hard nosed one willing to fight, and go to court. Have the attorney write the landlord that you have moved out, are breaking the contract due to non-disclosure of health issues related to the property, that the landlord is being reported to the health ministry, and then have the attorney issue a demand for return of the deposit. And if the landlord refuses to return the deposite, then have the attorney immediately issue a demand for payment process via the normal notary system (the attorney will know what I am talking about). Now the landlord may still refuse to pay, but the payment process can try to tap his bank account. But he can always "find ways" (not always legitimate) to prevent that. You can file a lawsuit, spend a year or more in court which you may win or may loose (paying your attorney for all his time -- and if you loose you also pay all court costs and the landlords attorney costs). Even if you win, the landlord can still try to find ways to not pay.


In conclusion,  Hungary is pretty much the wild west regarding consumer protection: you are mostly on your own. :(

True and sad. Try to deep clean it yourself if you are not able to move out, coming up with more money on deposits is hard at times.
Dry everything well and place a fan in the room to blow out any humid air after use.
I forgot where we bought the ABF cleaner, a small mom and pop sort of cleaning/paint supply house in the city.
Just tell them what it;s for and they should know what products are best to kill mold.
Get yourself ready to move ASAP when your contract is up if not sooner.

Thank you guys!

Really appreciate your help.

Now, i am facing another problem. How is the bill for electricity calculated? We live in an apartment with 1 bedroom (pretty small) and the owner asked me 37 000 ft (january) for one month electricity bill. We don't have gas, everything runs on electricity. We do try to save on electricity using the heaters only at certain time.

Now, he is asking me 39 000 ft for ferbruary. I am sure that we have used much less than in january.

Could anyone advise on this.
Thanks!

You should ask to see the bills. Sounds like allot to me even with electric stove and such.
We have our own  meters inside our flat, some apt. share costs but you should still be able to see a paper bill in writing.
Usually if the meters are in the flat the landlord and you could go into the office together and let them pull up the bills and old records.
If there are no meters in your flat and you pay a average bill to the house, then you still should be able to see the yearly break down of bills or ask your neighbors who also share common costs with you if they pay that large amount.
Be sure to check the meter readings and write them down every month.
Last month our electric bill was less then $20.We have gas heating but our water heater is electric.
Defo something sounds very off with your high bills.
Sorry you are having such a hard time here with housing .

Marilyn Tassy :

Sorry you are having such a hard time here with housing .

Sounds like a crooked landlord.

They are everywhere......

I asked the landlord about the bills. This is the paper he provided in Hungarian only.
Do not really understand what it means.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wc3i9VDaAHNEKY4MeeKhmiMXM7zOfiHs

electricity bills

OMG. i mean we are also moving soon in Hungary now, but after reading this post... what major precautions should i take while renting an apartment??

As we will be totally new in Hungary and with kids i guess it will not be easy to keep on changing apartments etc. :(

@mbkzhan can u plzzz tell me in which district did u rented this apartment???

Coz we are planning to see something in District 13, 11 or 2... Are these nice and safe districts to live with kids?????

Please, i need suggestions!

To be honest, I just don't have the patience ATM to type in all those letters and numbers, having my own laptop issues .
Woke up to find a new format on my screen, hard to get used to it.

Anyways bills here are called, "checks" and the are white and yellow with the name of the person paying the checks, the address , dates and numbers, should be fairly clear to read.
The amount is in the upper left hand corner.
They are about 5" x 10" in size, there is a small section that is torn off for you to keep in your records to prove the bill was paid.
You could go into your districts electric office with proof of your address and ask them to pull up the old records.
If your landlord is renting to you but has not turned over the bills to your name, he is suppose to pay extra taxes on the bills(checks).
He maybe trying to pull something .
He should go into the electric co. with you if he was really a decent person and get this fixed or explain it in detail to you.

Not sure what to say about going about finding a flat to rent in Hungary.
I have had no experience in that, my husband worked out a short term rental for 6 weeks many years ago but he speaks HU and the women was nice who was renting out her place.

I suppose using a reliable rental agent is helpful but they probably ask more for their services then finding a flat on your own.

If I figure out this new format on my notebook,maybe I'll show my husband when he has some free time to look it over.

Be sure to write down the meter readings every month and keep a record of the numbers.

mbkzhan :

I asked the landlord about the bills. This is the paper he provided in Hungarian only.
Do not really understand what it means.

The first thing you should know, is that power companies here often use last year's power usage to estimate a monthly bill this year. Those kW usages between a "two and from" dates may just be estimates (ours are) unless you have so called "smart" meters installed.

If that is the case here, you may be being asked to pay for the last tenant's power usage. You need to take the bill into a local office of the power company to verify this is the bill just for your apartment alone, for example, and what the bill's time frame amount is actually based upon. They may provide better answers (but maybe not, if the bill is not in your name). If no-one in the power company office speaks English (but I sure someone will), then take/hire a translator to go with you:

http://www.expat.com/en/business/europe … erpreters/

But otherwise, be aware that things like an old water heater, set too high, can really chew up power. And one 1200 W electric heater running for 10 hours a day can alone account for 1/3 of the bill's amount (12 kW per day * 30 days =360 kW).

so from the bill what you linked : LM:Leolvasás módja
Dikt :Diktálva- means that the electricity company based the bill and the usage of more then 1000kwh electricity which is a lot on self reported data probably your landlord reported whether it is correct or the landlord reported a bit more you know or maybe he reported last year less....just check the clock whether it is close to 42.925
otherwise you use a lot of electricity 600% of the average...

600% more then average, wow.
Hate to say it but it seems very "scammy".
At the end of the year the power co. may give him back any over due payments on his billing. If the bills are in his name, he will get the refund not you.
Man, seems like you may need a person who is on your side and speaks Hungarian to get this in order if the landlord is resistant .
Hope you find someone to step in and help with this.

I saw your electricity bill posted here, what is based on communication, the main question is now:are the numbers correct? Did you sign the hand over document checking the meter standings when you moved in? Because if the numbers (when you moved in and the last one on the bill) are correct, the electricity bill is official and right. If I understand well you use the electricity for heating, heat the water (shower, etc) and cook as well? Because in this case I think the amount can be real unfortunatelly - even dipending on the size of your apartment. What I saw is on the groundfloor in a historical building: so shall be with high ceiling and really wet and cold.

Have you let anyone in to take a reading of your Electricity or is the meter in a communal area?

Very good questions. Is there a shared meter and are you located on the ground floor.

I suppose the hard lesson learned is to double and triple check all the common cost bills before renting.

If everyone is out during the day at work and with this rather mild winter , I still feel something is off.

37,000 F and 39,000 F is a bit high on a smaller flat.

Of course we do not know how high the water heater is set, it does cool off really fast and to reheat unused water can be a killer in the budget.

I personally still believe you could use a native speaker to figure out what is wrong with those high bills.
Dang they are almost as high as my son's bills in Las Vegas with the A/C on inside a huge house, two stories high with very thin walls.

It's always a good idea when you move into a new dwelling that you get the utility meters checked by the company so you are not paying for someone else's usage.

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