Finding rent houses in budapest

Hey all,

I realised I made a topic only a few days ago, but I rather keep it seperate :)

Anyways, I have been looking for rental houses for a few weeks now (3-5) and have my eyes on one. With price and all that, it's not really a problem. I only have a few questions.

They are speaking there of Common Cost and Utilities. What is the difference between those two and what falls under it?

Did you started renting an appartment by visiting it first, then go back to your own country (for me, the distance is 1300 km and I have flight fear) or did you go purely based what you see on the advert? Or did you do something else? Is it wise to just purely go on the advert, pictures and the one on the other side of the phone? How to act appropiately on it?

What about internet, tv and phone line? Do you have to arrange that yourself or is the standard placed in the appartment at first arrival?

Thanks in advance for your answers :) I feel I am close to going, but those three questions are bugging me a bit.

Great questions, this can also be interesting for me to learn as I am also confused about the common costs/utilities distinction and what each of them include.

Disq :

...did you go purely based what you see on the advert? Or did you do something else?

When I was younger, single and moved around more, I would reserve a one month rental (usually vacation room) and take my time finding a place in a new city. The one month rental was expensive, but I always found in that month a good deal on a place I really liked, and so the total "cost" was worth it to me.

Disq :

Is it wise to just purely go on the advert, pictures and the one on the other side of the phone? How to act appropiately on it?

Oh, definitely go there and look at it. You do not simply rent an apartment, you are selecting a place in the city to live. For example, I know someone who rented a very nice apartment but some sewage system was right by the entrance door, and it constantly leaked odoriferous aromas; making coming an going from their place rather unpleasant.

Disq :

Hey all,

They are speaking there of Common Cost and Utilities. What is the difference between those two and what falls under it?

Common Cost is your contribution to maintain the building and includes water/sewer. Utilities would be gas and electric.

Disq :

Did you started renting an appartment by visiting it first, then go back to your own country (for me, the distance is 1300 km and I have flight fear) or did you go purely based what you see on the advert? Or did you do something else? Is it wise to just purely go on the advert, pictures and the one on the other side of the phone? How to act appropiately on it?

Pictures can be deceiving, I would visit in person. You mention your fear of flying - to be honest that is the only practical way of getting from Eindhoven to Budapest.. WizzAir and RyanAir are fairly cheap.

Disq :

What about internet, tv and phone line? Do you have to arrange that yourself or is the standard placed in the appartment at first arrival?

Yes, you'll need to arrange that yourself. T-Home, Digi, or UPC depending on your area.

From your point of view "common costs" is a fixed sum per month whereas utility costs depend on your usage. Somewhat. If you are lucky :-)

You could line up a few promising looking places, and decide when you arrive. Or ask one of the Budapest guys here to take a look at it for you.

szocske :

You could line up a few promising looking places, and decide when you arrive. Or ask one of the Budapest guys here to take a look at it for you.

then I need to find a place where I can stay for the time being.

If anyone is willing to sacrifice some time for a fellow expatter, I would love that. :D

Disq :

Hey all,

Anyways, I have been looking for rental houses for a few weeks now (3-5) and have my eyes on one. With price and all that, it's not really a problem. I only have a few questions.
Did you started renting an appartment by visiting it first, then go back to your own country (for me, the distance is 1300 km and I have flight fear) or did you go purely based what you see on the advert? Or did you do something else? Is it wise to just purely go on the advert, pictures and the one on the other side of the phone? How to act appropriately on it?

What about internet, tv and phone line? Do you have to arrange that yourself or is the standard placed in the appartment at first arrival?

Do I understand correctly, you have never visited the place and only looked at it on the internet? Generally I find it is a really bad idea to rent a place like this, if it is for long-term.

I strongly agree to klsallee's post, as I did the same - find a short-term place (furnished flat, if you are a family ?) to look to rent for long term.  Perhaps you could simply try negotiating a shorter trial period of 1-2 months in the beginning during which you have a very short notice to move out?
I would have thought, a few weeks of taking the matter seriously in Budapest might already be enough to find a nice plate to rent, well, if you are not very picky or short of money (compared to locals), as economy is dead here, and typical property owners are desperate to find tenants. (My family is trying to rent out flats, too...).
[To put numbers down, I'd estimate that willing to pay somewhere around 600 EUR in total p.m. for a 70 sqm flat in a nice but not totally posh area would already put you above the average local long-term-tenant as this sum is an above-average net salary here. Sorry, don't know the detached house market as I am a city-center-boy... ]

Regarding internet, cable, phone, if it is really long term you might have/want to register/install it under your own name, but as it is a hassle, many owners just have it running under their name and you pay it, instead of changing everything if tenants leave.

fireroller :
Disq :

Hey all,

Anyways, I have been looking for rental houses for a few weeks now (3-5) and have my eyes on one. With price and all that, it's not really a problem. I only have a few questions.
Did you started renting an appartment by visiting it first, then go back to your own country (for me, the distance is 1300 km and I have flight fear) or did you go purely based what you see on the advert? Or did you do something else? Is it wise to just purely go on the advert, pictures and the one on the other side of the phone? How to act appropriately on it?

What about internet, tv and phone line? Do you have to arrange that yourself or is the standard placed in the appartment at first arrival?

Do I understand correctly, you have never visited the place and only looked at it on the internet? Generally I find it is a really bad idea to rent a place like this, if it is for long-term.

I strongly agree to klsallee's post, as I did the same - find a short-term place (furnished flat, if you are a family ?) to look to rent for long term.  Perhaps you could simply try negotiating a shorter trial period of 1-2 months in the beginning during which you have a very short notice to move out?
I would have thought, a few weeks of taking the matter seriously in Budapest might already be enough to find a nice plate to rent, well, if you are not very picky or short of money (compared to locals), as economy is dead here, and typical property owners are desperate to find tenants. (My family is trying to rent out flats, too...).
[To put numbers down, I'd estimate that willing to pay somewhere around 600 EUR in total p.m. for a 70 sqm flat in a nice but not totally posh area would already put you above the average local long-term-tenant as this sum is an above-average net salary here. Sorry, don't know the detached house market as I am a city-center-boy... ]

Regarding internet, cable, phone, if it is really long term you might have/want to register/install it under your own name, but as it is a hassle, many owners just have it running under their name and you pay it, instead of changing everything if tenants leave.

I was thinking more of a €206 (rent + common cost and €72 given at the utlilities) for a 50 sqm flat in District X, reasonbly close to the center (east). But what do you consider long term? months? years?

Can you explain what do you mean with a hassle?

Flying is definetly not an option, I am not joking, but I rather eat mice.

Disq :

I was thinking more of a €206 (rent + common cost and €72 given at the utlilities) for a 50 sqm flat in District X, reasonbly close to the center (east). But what do you consider long term? months? years?
Can you explain what do you mean with a hassle?

200ish eur for 50sqm sounds like a possible deal in budapest, but this is certainly not a luxurious budget (I don't know the X district, however, I learned from Indiana Jones that 'X marks the spot').

Long term property rental in many countries is associated with the intention to stay for at least a number of months (preferably more than 6), you typically have an agreement(hopefully written contract) with a relatively long notice (months) period to terminate the rental.
It is possible to have your own contracts with various service providers(electricity, cable, etc.). One notable catch is that it is hard to know exactly how much you will pay for, say, heating as this strongly depends on the heating system/building agreement and how do you know if the owner is honest about it. So some experience - or a financial buffer - is of essence. (Heating costs even be, say, a third of the total budget in the winter).
There is some 'hassle', i.e. much unpleasant paperwork involved, to end all these contracts (especially if the tenant forgets to terminate his/her own contracts when leaving), especially as (I think) some providers have a notice period, too. Of course, in Budapest, these things are not taken terribly seriously in the sense that as long the bill is paid, nobody cares much about the name on the bill.
Hence it is also pretty usual that some/all of the service contracts are under the name of the owner (telephone may be an exception for obvious reasons). This is also with the background that nobody wants to make it official and pay taxes, as the total profit is often minimal anyway and well, this is eastern Europe where the willingness of people and government to collaborate is, uhm, modest.
More often than not, long term rental involves an (almost) unfurnished property, as (at least in my experience) most Hungarian tenants want it that way. So typically, all of this is not something you want to go through just for a few weeks of stay - neither does the owner.
Hence, renting short term, i.e. just for a few weeks/months is a different business and market, the idea is that a fully functional (furniture, cutlery and all) property is let for a fixed amount (of course phone bills are extra). (As an example, I just found http://www.only-apartments.com/ I don't know how good this site is, but you get the idea).

A possibility is to rent a short term apartment for 1-3 months while searching.  Just be aware that there is also a day-wise market for tourists providing apartments day-wise with prices around 40-100 EUR per day which is probably not what you want.

fireroller :

I was thinking more of a €206 (rent
Hence, renting short term, i.e. just for a few weeks/months is a different business and market, the idea is that a fully functional (furniture, cutlery and all) property is let for a fixed amount (of course phone bills are extra). (As an example, I just found http://www.only-apartments.com/ I don't know how good this site is, but you get the idea).

Most if not all sites listing Hungarian Properties in English are overpriced. Take a look at http://ingatlan.com/x-ker/kiado+lakas (district you specified). While some realtors may speak English, the likelihood of you getting a reply is slim to none.

Try finding someone who speaks Hungarian to go with you.

Just to clarify: www.ingatlan.com GCM suggested is (as far as I can see) is only for long term rental, it is perhaps THE online market in Bp. The site I gave was a short-term market. I guess from all the above posts, it slowly transpires why it is normally perceived a bad idea to jump into a long term rental without having spent a bit of time in town in person.
I did not understand the word 'realtor' tho...

Btw. 'ingatlan' is a direct translation of immobile (-tlan = im- ) meaning property or real estate. The root is 'ing' meaning to oscillate, commute. And by coincidence, also  shirt. Ingem=my shirt, Ingám=my pendulum. Welcome to Hungarian:-)
(sorry, was that a tiny bit off topic?)

fireroller :

Just to clarify: www.ingatlan.com is (as far as I can see) is a long term rental market site, perhaps THE online market in Bp. I guess from all the above posts, it slowly transpires why it is normally perceived a bad idea to jump into a long term rental without having spent a bit of time in town in person.

Btw. 'ingatlan' is a direct translation of immobile (-tlan = im- ) meaning property or real estate. The root is 'ing' meaning to oscillate, commute. And by coincidence, also  shirt. Ingem=my shirt, Ingám=my pendulum. Welcome to Hungarian:-)
(sorry, that may have been slightly off topic)

It varies on the lister. Some require 3 others 12 months. If OP is looking for short term, Airbnb.com is a much better alternative to the link you mentioned.

I speak Hungarian ;)

The one I actually was looking at is http://www.alberlet.hu/en/sublet_to_let … oom_418945

seeing as someone else gave me that link (alberlet.hu) a few months ago. Would that look any good (as an example)?

allright, that 'hassle' is nothing else, but the normal hassle then. thanks for that info fireroller.

Disq :

The one I actually was looking at is http://www.alberlet.hu/en/sublet_to_let … oom_418945
seeing as someone else gave me that link (alberlet.hu) a few months ago. Would that look any good (as an example)?
allright, that 'hassle' is nothing else, but the normal hassle then. thanks for that info fireroller.

Well flats are pretty personal, really. I can give my own personal view on this one: One thing to know is that this is a concrete 'panel' building (the site's translation is 'Block Apartment'). I think the proper English term is 'prefabricated building' or sg. like this, but you cannot translate the cultural/social context. - The point is, while it made people happy 30-40 years ago to have *a* flat, for todays standards, it is not the best quality of building, insulation (noise, heat) is generally inferior to other types, hence cheap (of course depends on what your used to), but heating may come expensive. But then again, some repairs have been done...
In related matter 'utilities 72eur/20 kFt' - is that a fixed amount or just the owner's estimate? I'd guess it is the latter, so who knows.
Regarding location, for me (as I mentioned, a city-boy) this is at the 'end of the world', as you need some transport to reach the final stop of the metro(KöKi). I guess, it is not the most cosmopolitan part of the city, to say the least.  My father briefly glanced at it and suggested, you may get a flat for a similar price walking distance from a metro station. Regarding the area, I cannot tell if the neighbourhood (Újhegyi lakótelep, Szőlővirág utca.) is socially OK or not which is an important aspect.
As I understand you are a young couple, trying to really live in Budapest, in which case, your flat has imho a great influence on your quality of life.
I don't know your taste is or how tight your budget is, but speaking for myself, I would definitely not like to live there, I'd rather share a flat with others or figure out something - or perhaps just do more search in person, oh we've already been there:)

ps. GCM's suggestion https://www.airbnb.com/ seems to give really sensible results at the first glance. But in spite of the GUI options, I'm not sure, all listers will welcome a short-term guest.

god, the suspence is killing me... did you take the flat, after all?
:-)

EDIT:
I think it doesnt hurt if I share the address of a property-agent lady who sometimes helped my mother to let her flats. I was told, she speaks english.
Judit Kurucz   
She used to be a teacher years ago, but couldn't make ends meet (typical hungarian story), hence started with this business.
My mother likes to work with her - so she must be pretty nice.
It is the usual renumeration system: it is the landlord who pays her a month's rent, when she finds a tenant. She will try to find a tenant who stays at least for a year.
As I said, economy is dead, so it is easy to find places.

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