Tenants Seeking Rentals: The Realities of Flat-hunting in Budapest


The rental market faces an extremely busy period in Budapest. Apartment hunting has never been an easy process, but it looks like it'll be harder than ever in these coming months. Estate agencies can speed up the process.

According to The Budapest Times article entitled Looking for a city centre apartment  there is hardly any other European metropolis like the Hungarian capital offering such quality living and cultural diversity along with recreational opportunities, and all set against a backdrop of such architectural masterpieces, from gothic, to renaissance, from classicism to art nouveau. The three million tourists, who visit it each year agrees that Budapest is a splendid holiday destination. The author, Doris-Evelyn Zakel, asks:

Who wouldn’t want to live in one of these beautiful old buildings with floorboards, stuccos, winged doors and a well-kept courtyard?

In the article she summarizes everything you need to know about the Budapest housing market before you begin actively searching, and all the things you should definitely pay attention to so that your housing dreams won’t be followed by a rude awakening.

Great demand on the Budapest housing market

The writer thinks that looking for an affordable and central apartment nowadays is just like looking for a needle in a haystack. And it is not a far-fetched simile. Experiencing a growing number of visitors made investors buying apartments and transform them into rental apartments for tourists (there are 7000 of them in Budapest). Many people are finding that platforms like AirBnb are one way to earn a bit of extra income renting apartments out as vacation rentals for travelers. Numerous flats are also used for profitable long-term investment.  No wonder that the demand is so great and the supply is relatively low.

Searching is not easy

For a new arrival in Budapest, finding an apartment at the right price with the right legal conditions and, most importantly, with a landlord who will respect the terms of the lease agreement you will sign, can be a challenge. Zakel calls the attention to a common phenomenon which may be new to foreigners that it happens quite often that the advertised apartment is “gone” within a few hours of posting the advertisement. Therefore, she suggests to be a quick dealer in this business:

 ”If you take too long to contact the agent or the landlord you are likely to miss the chance of getting your dream apartment. But even if you encounter an older advertisement you should still give it a try. In many cases the situation is that the landlord could not make an agreement with the tenants yet, or they prefer to wait for the one who is the most suitable. So the first rule for searching an apartment to rent in Budapest is: don’t give up too quickly. If you organise your search well, behave in a self-confident way and stay true, you will surely impress the Hungarian landlords, who prefer to have their apartments in good and reliable hands” – she explains.

As regards paying fees to agencies you should not be concerned as in Hungary it is common that the landlord or the owner pays the commission to the agency after the successful contract, and not the tenant.




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