Advice on tenants rights/Landlords responsibilities in Budapest.

Can anyone point me in the right direction to some English language literature/website that can advise me on my rights as a tenant and the responsibilities of my landlord please?

I have just moved into a new apartment (in Budapest) and in the four days I have been here I have had problem after problem with the electricity.

I fuse box in the kitchen keeps blowing every time I have a shower or try a cook dinner. I think the trip switch is over heating causing the fuse to blow.

I have spoken to my landlord who basically told me no one else has ever complained before and he wont fix it.

Any advice on what I can do would be gratefully appreciated.

Thanks

"The household furnishing as the wires, the convector, the blinds, the sockets, the flouring etc. shall be in working order. The landlord shall bear absolute warranty with regard to the above, so the tenant may claim from the landlord to make the failure repaired."

From:

http://www.budapest-tourist-guide.com/r … ngary.html

But also see, "Last Changes in Hungarian Leasing Law":

http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=5770

trentboy :

.....I fuse box in the kitchen keeps blowing every time I have a shower or try a cook dinner. I think the trip switch is over heating causing the fuse to blow.

I have spoken to my landlord who basically told me no one else has ever complained before and he wont fix it....

Is it a fuse or is it a (micro) circuit breaker (MCB) that trips?

Reason I ask is that MCBs cost almost nothing, just a few EUR, so it's not a big cost to replace it. Fuses on newer installations are used mainly for the incoming supply (there are 3 fuses, one for each phase, assuming you have 3-phase electricity - very likely).

The fuse or the MCB is there to protect the cable so what's going on behind the scenes is difficult to say without more information. The fuse/MCB is operating because the current load is too high and that's already a fault. If the fuse/MCB didn't operate, there could be an electrical fire.

Assuming the cable is of sufficient size for the cooker or shower load (5 x 2,5mm2 for 3-phase is well within tolerance), then swapping the MCB would only take 5 minutes. However, your cooker could be single phase or 3-phase. Your shower (if a flow through heating unit) is probably not 3-phase but some water heaters (the big tanks they have in Hungary) are 3-phase.

A lot of electrical installations in Hungary are total bodges. The landlord could have done it himself or had a friend do it without totalling up the loads properly, likely problems and protection for individuals. They do things in Hungary which would not be allowed in the UK and would never pass an electrical inspection. In the UK, it's mandatory to have an RCD (Residual Current Device) to prevent electrocutions. I've never seen one in a Hungarian installation. This is just basic common sense to include it.   They also do not do the earth installations correctly which could be fatal in case of a fault condition.

Hi,

I think the RCD (called "Fí Relé", ~ Phi relay for some odd reason) is mandatory on new installations. As you have to ground the zero on site, there's not much sense running 2 wires for zero and ground without it :-)
Looks just like a regular circuit breaker though unless you look at the symbols or count the wires.

You are right about older installations, especially rural single family houses: you'll have a single pair of aluminum wires embedded in the plaster directly (no tubing!) meandering around the house to a 20A circuit breaker. Later generation sections are copper, twirled to the aluminum with firm fingers, insulated with a sparing amount of tape.

When it rains, the left button on the old radio in the kitchen feels fizzy :-)

szocske :

Hi,

..... As you have to ground the zero on site, there's not much sense running 2 wires for zero and ground without it :-)
Looks just like a regular circuit breaker though unless you look at the symbols or count the wires.....

RCDs usually have a test button, not found on ordinary MCBs. It is possible to get a very small RCD which combines the features of an MCB and an RCD but they will always have a test button. RCDs do not rely on being earthed (grounded). They measure that the current flowing in is the same as the current flowing out. If there's a difference between them, it's probably flowing through you and if does it  for any length of time, you'd be dead dead dead.

The use of earths (grounds) depends on the country. In most of Europe, the supply earthing is provided by the power company (this not the same as zero/neutral). It's quite possible of course to have both local earths and the power company earth (or neutral) used at the same time but beware, there can be a significant difference in voltage between earths (and neutral). There's also no guarantee earth is actually at 0V with respect to neutral ("zero") at the place of usage.

It's possible to connect netural to earth if you were using a generator, but you wouldn't be advised to do it on a normal installation (otherwise you could be also dead if a fault develops).

Apologies for the late response but sincere thanks for the excellent responses.

Is it a fuse or is it a (micro) circuit breaker (MCB) that trips?
Fluffy would you have an email address I could send some pictures of what is installed in the kitchen? Maybe then you'd be able to advise on what to say to the landlord.

trentboy :

Apologies for the late response but sincere thanks for the excellent responses.

Is it a fuse or is it a (micro) circuit breaker (MCB) that trips?
Fluffy would you have an email address I could send some pictures of what is installed in the kitchen? Maybe then you'd be able to advise on what to say to the landlord.

Send me a PM (Personal Message). Top right of this web page.

My rent is due on the third of each month,I have to move back to the states for a period on the 12th.For 10 days,can the landlord have me excorted out if I dont pay that rent due on the third? even if he has a months security and 3 months of resci to cover future expenses?

How fast is the landlord eviction process in budapest if the landlord already has one month security from me.AM I safe to stay an extra 10 days after the rent is due without him having me put n the street?? Thanks

fadethetrade :

How fast is the landlord eviction process in budapest if the landlord already has one month security from me. AM I safe to stay an extra 10 days after the rent is due without him having me put n the street?? Thanks

I will be so free and tell you my gut feeling as a "Landlord" and a Hungarian, feel free to act differently:
Assuming that the landlord is a (reasonable) natural person, not a company, I would not approach the problem too much on the formal level. Everybody prefers to have an athmosphere of trust. - So is there a reason not to call/write your landlord politely tell him that sorry, you will be out of country and your payment will be delayed 10 days? I as a landlord would not mind that too much, but would mind if someone just disappeared(an american flatmate did that, leaving his stuff behind). However, being out of country seems a bad excuse for not paying in the age of online banking.

Similarly with the fuse problem - its certainly a good idea to enquire and know your rights, but actually inwoking some formal watchdog institution against your landlord should be last resort reserved for major issues (to state the obvious).
It is generally accepted that it is his responsibility to keep electric circuitry in good condition, and he implicitly aknowledged that already. I agree that "nobody complained so far" is not a serious answer - he may just hope that you are not interested enough in the issue, and perhaps, too outlandish to know your rights. Perhaps he indeed doubts that there is a serious issue.
Instead of threathening with some autority, I would e.g. politely call him every week with the same/similar problem, and wait if he gives in - you can still increase the pressure afterwards. Or, if you want to be stronger, you can even hint that you will move out for fear of electricity soon. Market is on your side...

I am aware that this is not exactly what you asked for but I feel that there is significant cultural difference between  tenant-landlord relationships between the two countries.

Thank you for not answering my specific question.[Moderated].My question was ,Can my landlord have the power to have me excorted out of my apartment if I am 10 days late with the rent and tell him after one or two days tha Im moving back to the states and that I will not pay this rent for you have a one month security already.Does he still have the power to call the police and excort me out of the premise after 10 days without paying rent.?

I indicated in my first line how I label my own post - you don't like it, you don't read it.
Well, you are in hungary, its full of hungarians. I apologize for being one of them.
EDIT:
I do regard your reaction to my post as especially rude. This is kind of a friendly forum here, and I hope it stays that way.

fadethetrade :

My rent is due on the third of each month,I have to move back to the states for a period on the 12th...

How fast is the landlord eviction process in budapest if the landlord already has one month security from me.AM I safe to stay an extra 10 days after the rent is due without him having me put n the street?? Thanks

Why not tell him you are going away for a few days and you would like to pay him in advance? What's up with doing that?

Hi,
Can you please tell me what did you regarding this issue, I have the same exact problem,my landlord got me an electrician who keeps saying I shouldn't be using multiple electric appliances at the same time, which is not the case, sometimes I have the light in the living room and TV only off and still the main big fuse goes off and the whole electricity in the apartment is off.


  Regards,

         Ingie

Ingie :

Hi,
Can you please tell me what did you regarding this issue, I have the same exact problem,my landlord got me an electrician who keeps saying I shouldn't be using multiple electric appliances at the same time, which is not the case, sometimes I have the light in the living room and TV only off and still the main big fuse goes off and the whole electricity in the apartment is off.


  Regards,

         Ingie

They need to either reorganise the wiring and to calculate properly the size of the circuit breakers or both. The electrician is not doing his job properly by asking you to change your behaviour rather than solving technical mistakes in the design installation. There's a lot of amateur domestic electrical installations in Hungary and proper standards are not applied. Any domestic installation should easily be able to handle everything on at the same time. Anything less would be pointless.

They can get around it easily enough by putting the sockets in the living room on a different phase (of the 3 phase supply) from the lights. They would need to avoid any possibility of the phases coming into contact via a fault. But anyway,  they can change the phases in the cupboard where all the breakers are. All they have to do is move the light circuit to a different (or new) breaker (basically undo one or two wires, move them to a different circuit breaker - takes 2 minutes).  That would be a solution if it's a proper installation. I expect it will not be correctly installed and they've done a room per circuit breaker. The lights should be on a different circuit breaker to the sockets although it's not compulsory in Hungary, just good practice generally.

Thank you so much for your thorough reply, thnx God they fixed it, I don't really know what they did, koz they could hardly speak any English so there was no way I could explain to them what to do neither understand what they did :)

fadethetrade :

Does he still have the power to call the police and excort me out of the premise after 10 days without paying rent.?

It fully depends on your lease agreement. Without going into too much legal details:
a)
1. if you have made a proper lease agreement AND
2. the property is really owned by your lessor/landlord OR she/he has the full right to let it THEN
3. he can't just say after 10 days that you are out, it is much more complicated for him. He could be giving a written notice with a reasonable time frame (if the lease agreement doesn't explicitly state the days of the notice). Then if you wouldn't reply or take the registered mail she/he could go for a court case that takes a bit longer in Hungary than 10 days.
b) if you have not made a proper contract AND/OR the lessor is not having full right to let the property (i.e. just a friend signing instead of the real landlord) THEN you might be in a sort of trouble that needs to be managed actively.

Simply put. If you have replied with yes to both a) 1 and 2 assumptions then you are ok. If not run for cover - i.e. get hold of title of the property and start to renegotiate the agreement's terms with the real landlord.

Practically, and by the applying Hungarian Law you are still covered to an extent via the general regulations and the fact that you have paid the rent to them (assuming you have transferred monthly rent via bank transfer or have any other proof that you were in lessor/lessee type of relationship).
Good luck,

Dezso

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