Landlord didn’t return security

Any suggestions on how to deal with a landlord in Budapest
who doesn’t return a security deposit? ( with no justification). Thanks

steveFS wrote:

Any suggestions on how to deal with a landlord in Budapest
who doesn’t return a security deposit? ( with no justification). Thanks

How much is it in relation to the rent? 1 month? 2 months?

Is the landlord claiming some damage?

Did you pay the last month's rent?

The landlord had two months security. I lived there for 3 years. I gave him 6 weeks notice that I was moving. We agreed that I would not pay the last months rent and that he would return the other month. He and I inspected the apartment together the day I left. He said there were no issues and said that he would transfer the remaining month minus utilities to my bank after he got all the bills. He never did  and for a long time he did not respond to my emails. Finally he transferred about half the months rent. He took out 100,000 forint for cleaning. The apartment was clean when I left. He inspected with me. Even so, I can’t believe it cost 100,000 forints to clean an apartment and after three years any minor cleaning he did ( curtains, rugs) would be normal.  When i lived there he always send me copies of the utilities and I paid them. Now, he didn’t send me copies of the bills, and some of them are 3 or 4 times what I usually paid. I always paid rent on time and he never had problems with me as a tenant. It was a furnished apartment and I bought things for the apartment ( towels, shower curtain, more dishes, cutlery, etc) with my own money and left them there for him

In many parts of the world -- and I would not be surprised if that includes Budapest -- your practical assumption when you pay a rental security deposit ought to be that you are never going to see it again. You seem to have gotten three-quarters back, which doesn't sound bad.

Not to sound unsympathetic, but just to point out you shouldn't be surprised by this. The landlord perfectly well knows legal action isn't worth it.

But no reason not to keep after him.

steveFS wrote:

The landlord had two months security. I lived there for 3 years. I gave him 6 weeks notice that I was moving. We agreed that I would not pay the last months rent and that he would return the other month. He and I inspected the apartment together the day I left. He said there were no issues and said that he would transfer the remaining month minus utilities to my bank after he got all the bills. He never did  and for a long time he did not respond to my emails. Finally he transferred about half the months rent. He took out 100,000 forint for cleaning. The apartment was clean when I left. He inspected with me. Even so, I can’t believe it cost 100,000 forints to clean an apartment and after three years any minor cleaning he did ( curtains, rugs) would be normal.  When i lived there he always send me copies of the utilities and I paid them. Now, he didn’t send me copies of the bills, and some of them are 3 or 4 times what I usually paid. I always paid rent on time and he never had problems with me as a tenant. It was a furnished apartment and I bought things for the apartment ( towels, shower curtain, more dishes, cutlery, etc) with my own money and left them there for him

My 2cts.

I'm afraid this is the way it goes here and in many other places without serious regulations.  I've had the same in the past.  I had one landlord who did the same kind of thing to me.  In the end, I never got my money back.  I always assumed I would never get the money back from that point.

So in subsequent rentals, I never did anything. I swept up, cleaned things as best I could but didn't bother hiding damaged parts and I gave everything away to locals.   He complained like hell and threatened me with the law but I just said, you've got the deposit/caution/security, you can use that to fix it up as you wish.  He had nothing to complain about.  It made him plenty of money over the period and he had my deposit for years.   Absolute minimum deposit/security/caution is the name of the game - preferably not more than a month.

You do have an ultimate threat to use remotely (i.e. from abroad) but it might seem like a very nasty revenge but if he's being a b*****d, he might deserve it.  If he's been renting it without declaring his taxes, then you could say that you're going to tell the NAV (tax office) about him.  If he has declared it, then he won't care but if he hasn't you might get some of your money back from the fear factor.  The last thing he'll want is NAV snooping around his business - costs time and money even if nothing is wrong. NAV will want copies of the receipts or bank deposits in his or his relatives name.  It's a last resort to do that, a bridge burning exercise with him and no coming back.  Like open warfare.   Be also aware they might become interested in you.

In bargaining, maybe you could ask him for the 100K HUF,  then work down if necessary to 80K HUF and agree 20K HUF for "cleaning".    I wouldn't bother with discussing much further than that.  My experience here is that many ordinary people are very stubborn, highly reactionary and very little "street smarts" when it comes to tactics in negotiations.   

If you do tell NAV then you definitely will not get your money back so let him have a week to ponder the implications of this final goodbye.

Student says she lost her £210 deposit after landlord found a single pea in the freezer

Reminds me of my student digs. By mistake I left a small poster stuck on the ceiling.  Cost me something like £20 back in the 1970s.  That was when money was really worth something.

Maybe Dr.Màtyàs Klàra attornexy can help (but not free...)
But the "ügyvédi kamara" is the bar of legal attorneys and they HAVE to give good reference to you.

3 years of using a furnished flat and only 100,000 taken out. I'd count myself lucky if I were you.
Even if you pay to get a place professinally cleaned some landlords will still find some damages.
Hungary is known for landlords not returning depsoits.
They figure you have to go to court which could take years.
Worst case they have to return what they took.
I always was proud that we got back every single penny of depsoits on any property we ever leased or rented until the one time we moved in a rush and ran out of extra space with a rental truck. We lugged a big nice leather Lazy-Boy chair out to the front of the house for the garabe truck or anyone passing by to take.
The landlord who we had used in the past for another property charged us for the removal of the chair.
My son in Vegas had his then GF from Hungary stay in Las Vegas for 6 months. They rented a flat in the same complex as we did.
His HU GF turned out to be a huge slob.
I scrambled after she took off back to HU and their lease was up to clean his flat.
She left everything in a state. My son tried to clean but he worked full time ( as I did) and his GF just sat at home those 6 months.
They got bird and she allowed it to dump all over the carpets, left the sink full to the brim with greasy dishes, glasses and pans. the bathroom had black mold growing and shoe boxes ( she forced my boy to buy her her hearts desire) were tossed everywhere with wrapping papers and store bags.
I literally stripped myself naked to clean as the palce was so nasty that I didn't want o soil my clothing, I showered while cleaning the shower stall.
My son still got back every single penny of deposit from management.
I just pretty much scrubbed everything best I could and threw away good dishes, pans ect. because I was too tired to clean throughout the night.
The things mothers do...
There must be a good reason they kept some of your deposit.
Not sure about rules in HU but I know in the US they can not charge for painting after a lease is up and carpet cleaning is done by law between new tenants.
My son moved to Japan and between tenants there they even change out window screens and mats on all flooring. You usually have a 2 year lease there though.
100,000 forints is less then $400. so not a big deal overall.

Do you pay your rent in cash, ie, is the landlord likely to not pay tax on rent?
If so, mention that you would enquire at the NAV office as to how to deal with the case...

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