Finding a new home can be one of the most stressful parts of relocating to a new country. Most expats moving to Hungary choose to live in the capital, Budapest.
Although accommodation in Hungary is typically much cheaper than in the rest of Europe, rental prices vary considerably throughout the country and even within cities, so it's worth spending time looking for a great deal.
Types of accommodation in Hungary
Apartments are the norm in Hungary's inner cities, while freestanding houses are more likely to be found in the suburbs or outlying rural areas.
Both furnished and unfurnished accommodation is available. Expats who intend to stay in the country permanently usually prefer to rent unfurnished accommodation, allowing them to style their homes in line with their preferences. Meanwhile, expats staying for a shorter term or an uncertain amount of time often find that the convenience of furnished accommodation suits them better.
Finding accommodation in Hungary
Owing to the language barrier, it is often preferable to employ the services of a letting agent; however, expats should note that the fee charged by the agent will be the equivalent of at least one month's rent, possibly up to three.
If an expat's budget doesn't quite stretch to this, rental listings are also available online and in local Hungarian newspapers.
Renting property in Hungary
Expats looking to rent accommodation in Hungary will enjoy a good quality-to-price ratio. The market isn't overly competitive, so expats shouldn't struggle too much to find a suitable home.
Some landlords are happy to forgo a written contract in favour of a verbal agreement with the tenant. While this might be more convenient and expedient than a written contract, verbal agreements do not offer the same degree of security and can be susceptible to sudden changes by the landlord. Once a lease agreement has been drawn up, expats should make sure to go over their contract in detail before signing or moving in to ensure that they understand the terms and conditions of the rental agreement.
Tenants will have to put down a security deposit before moving in. The required deposit is set and agreed upon by both parties, but usually amounts to between one and three months' rent.
The rent paid to the landlord does not include monthly fees for utilities and, in the case of apartment rentals, monthly levies. These are typically reserved for the tenant's expense.
►See Areas and Suburbs in Budapest for an overview of the different areas to live in the Hungarian capital
"Most people live in apartments, quite small ones. I’m not that familiar with rental processes as we have our own home outside of the city. Friends who taught English here were set up with simple but adequate apartments." Read more about Irish-American expat Colm Fitzgerald's experiences in Hungary.
Are you an expat living in Hungary?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Hungary. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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