As a student, we know that moving to a foreign country can be quite challenging. Before you start living your new exciting life, you will definitely need a place that you can call home, and that perfectly suits your needs. Well, there is no doubt that Budapest is one of the most vibrant cities in Europe, and it’s mostly famous due to its historic architecture, excellent universities, beautiful buildings, cafes, bars, restaurants, and its music and culture scene. But as a student, if you are to enjoy this city, finding the perfect apartment can be challenging, but at the same time, quite necessary. With this in mind, let’s make things easier for you; let’s see what you need to remember when renting an apartment in Budapest, so as to help you prepare for your search for the perfect home.
When renting an apartment, the time of the year you are renting really matters. For instance, in the apartment rental market in Budapest, the end of August, July and September are particularly busy. Reason being, this is the time that students, both local and foreign, get to know the universities in which they have been admitted. This boom is mostly experienced in college or universities’ neighborhoods or in districts where the universities are located. So, for property owners, advertising during this period, your property will be easily rented; that is to say, your property could be gone in a matter of days, or even hours. For students, the period between July and the end of September is the best time to look for an apartment, since you will find some good rental flats during this time. Still, you may move to the country at a completely different time, which is also okay. And even though you will have fewer choices, if you are lucky, you will pay less rental fees and you won’t be rushed to make your choice.
Secondly, when renting, pay more attention to the price of the property, in terms of rent and utility bills. In Budapest, property prices have considerably risen in recent years, and for students, unfortunately, rental fees have followed suit. For instance, a one-bedroom apartment in downtown locations in the city cost 400-500 EUR in rental fees per month, and it can go up to 800 EUR depending on the location of the building. Essentially, you can also decide to share the apartment with someone, which is also better since you can rent a bigger apartment, for instance, a two to three-bedroom apartment… The price for a two-bedroom range from 800 to 1400 EUR and a three-bedroom apartment ranges from 1000 to 1800 EUR, depending on the building’s location. In other words, before you settle for an apartment, make sure that you calculate the price to ensure it’s a fee that you can pay. Remember, property advertisements in Budapest never includes the total costs for renting the apartment, only the rental fee. There are utilities and common costs that should be included in the rental fee but they aren’t, and it’s important for you to figure this out before renting.
Thirdly, after you find the right apartment and you have the rental fee, you need to sign a rental contract thereafter. For foreign students in Budapest, renting an apartment is more advantageous as most of them want a place to stay for the four or so years they are in school. They don’t need to invest huge sums of money to buy property, and all the costs associated with the purchase. In an ideal situation, renting is beneficial to the tenant and the owner in the long run.
Fourthly, always remember to sign the tenancy agreement. There should be no exceptions about this, not even when the property owner is someone you know or even is your friend. You should never leave anything to chance as it is very dangerous and careless. You always want to be safe and protected, so make sure that you get a copy of the agreement, too. This protects you from being taken advantage of by the owner, where he/she may even disappear with your deposit.
Guideline number five, you should always ask for the property sheet, so as to ascertain the real owner of the property. As a matter of fact, you need to know if the individual renting his/her property to you is the actual owner, or you are about to be scammed. If the owner is a company, the managing director should be the one to present the legal papers to you for signing. If it’s some other individual, let them show you his/her documentation proving that he is legally allowed to act and sign on behalf of the company. The point here is to ensure that your investment is safe and that you are not conned. And something else, refrain from giving money to anyone before signing the real documents. As a matter of fact, if you avoid using cash, the better. Do not rush into this as you can lose money easily if you are not careful.
After all these are done, ensure that you ask any question that you may have with regards to your agreement for clarity. Ask about the rental fees, let the owner explain to you about all the utility bills that you will be paying while in the apartment. Also, let the owner tell you which bills will be paid by you and the ones that he will be paying. The point here is to avoid confusion where you may end up paying more than you should, and that’s why it is important for you to know this information. Thereafter, go through the agreement details such as: lease duration, rent amount, notification period, the deadline for paying the rent as well as the deposit amount. If you have any clarification needed, ask. If everything is clear, then the handover will be next, and from there, it will be up to you to make the apartment your new home. Learn your address and report it to the authorities. After that, live your life and enjoy this beautiful city as much as you can.