Complaints Office? Landlord took our deposit...

Dear All,

Does anyone know of an office that would handle tenant complaints or claims vs. landlords? I mean, something official to the Budapest local authority?

We gave our landlord a 100,000 HUF deposit, and rented for over 6 months. This landlord lives overseas, but was in Budapest to sign the contract, collect the deposit, hand over keys.

We gave notice of moving out (30 days as agreed), the apartment was left as we found it. The landlord sent a friend to check out the place, and then wrote to us "ok, the apartment is fine.". They asked that we leave the keys in the friend's mailbox that same night? This seemed very sketchy... and we did not have our deposit, so we wrote to ask whether it would be possible even just to meet the friend in person to deliver the keys back. The landlord was super angry that we did not leave the keys in the mailbox that night. We left the keys the following night.

Since that day, the landlord ignores us (it has been a month or two now since last contact) and has not returned our 100,000 HUF.

We have signed copy of the contract, mentioning deposit amount received by landlord, as well as e-mail confirmation that the apartment condition was fine.

Surely there is some official mechanism or office for this?

Thanks for any advice!


I think the only real recourse is civil court which takes forever and costs you more than that.
You can hope your landlord does not know this, and threaten to sue.
Filing a police report for fraud might help.
Leaving negative reviews everywhere on-line is what will hurt him most.

sensjae wrote:

Surely there is some official mechanism or office for this?

Actually, no. The rental market in Hungary is unregulated, based on contract law, and there is no special consumer protection office for renters like in many other countries. You can go to the main document office (Okmányiroda) and request they contact the landlord officially on your behalf, but the landlord can also ignore their letters. You may want to do this anyway to simply check if the landlord is actually the real owner.

There is also an official business black list in Hungary you can request the property owners be added. But you will need documented proof of the issue for this process.

You can get a lawyer, sue in court, put a lean on the property, etc. but since the landlord is abroad, even if you win every court case you may not get your money as there is nothing the court here can do to force a abroad living person to follow a court order or make a payment from abroad.

This reply is for sensjae and for other new expats in Budapest.

It is common sense that ones you payed the deposit which is one month rent, the landlord will spend that money and you will never see it back.

Usually the normal procedure is to tell the landlord that you will not pay the last month because the deposit will cover the rent.

This is what we always done. We did not pay the last month or the last two month.

The hungarian landlords are rapacious!

On the other hand a few months rent can only cover very little of the possible damage a tenant can do in a home, and the legal quagmire swallows all hope of recourse for landlords as well.

The icing on the cake is that there are no legal means to evict a tenant from a home! Tenants can keep living in an apartment without paying rent, in some situations not even utilities!

No wonder most Hungarian couples spend their combined life earnings in advance on home ownership to avoid this mess...

I also try not to pay the last 2 months because getting deposit back can be tricky...

Issuing a European order for payment: … 023_en.htm

If you have his real address and its in europe they will make them pay... its pretty much an automated process.