Author: Dr. Fodor Klaudia | 22nd March 2021

Do you come from a non-European country and want to buy property in Hungary? It is absolutely doable!

In my earlier articles, I described the sense of copyright protection, the scope of the protection, how long the protection lasts, and in my last article I summarized, what rights are granted to the author through copyright in Hungary. After we have looked into the magical box of copyright, let’s get back to the user side and see how the user can lawfully use someone else’s copyright work.

  • If you are a third-country citizen, buying a property in Hungary requires a permission from the Hungarian government. In this article, I will summarize, why and how to apply for this permission and what to do to minimize the risk to be sure you will be a happy owner of your future home in Hungary.
  • “What is the “PERMISSION”, that I, as a third-country citizen should obtain?”

If you are a “foreigner” (meaning: a non-EU/EEA citizen), and you want to acquire property in Hungary, first you need to receive a permission from the authority.

This basically means that the

Hungarian state is entitled to review your person and the country you come from.
Some might say this is pure formality. I always inform my clients about the whole procedure though.
  • "Are there any specific rules applicable on me because of the pandemic?"
No, the applicable law on the permission has not changed a bit.
  • “Where can I apply for the permission?”

From the local government body that is closest to the real estate.
A procedural fee of HUF 50,000 (appr EUR 150) / real estate must be paid.
You will receive the decision within 45 days.

  • “Will I always get the permission?”
The law says the permission should be granted if the acquisition
does not violate “public interest”
or interest of local municipality, the applicant
proves some business interests in Hungary

or the applicant lives or intends to live in Hungary habitually. Further, the person of the applicant and the intention of the purchase shall be identified.

The permission should be granted

if the applicant has been living in Hungary for more than 5 years with residence and has been working here for more than 3 years.

Fun fact: the permission is not directly related to your visa or residence permit – it is possible to obtain the permission without being in Hungary.
As part of the decision the authority might rule that the applicant should start living in Hungary and start business activity.

My experience: I have not seen once that the authority asked for any specific document or evidence during these procedures.

Photo: Jackie Das
  • “Can the permission be refused?”
Technically yes, if the country where you come from
does not grant the same treatment to Hungarians,

as far as buying property in that country is concerned.
Refusal is possible in case of violation of public interest or interest of local municipality.

It can be an obstacle of the permission, if the applicant already owns more properties and did not pay the relevant taxes to the local municipality.

My experience: careful preparation is needed!

  • “Is there any risk I must bear?”
As I explained above, there is a slight chance that the permission will be refused.
It is therefore important that the sales and purchase agreement refers to this possibility:

if the permission is refused, the purchaser shall get the first installment back from the seller.

Conclusion: You need the right contract made specially for you to eliminate this risk!

  • “Is the procedure complicated?”
No. The procedure became simpler and simpler throughout the years.
  • “What documents do I need for the permission?”
You as a purchaser need three things:
  • The final, signed sales and purchase agreement.
  • The copy of your passport /ID card.
  • The procedural fee paid as stamp duty.
No need to notarize the copy of the passport or to submit land registry excerpt anymore.
  • “I don’t speak Hungarian, how will I talk to the authority?”

Don’t worry, you don’t have to do anything. Hire the right lawyer to prepare the papers and send them to the authority for you.

The application for permission should not keep you away from the investment of your life!

The applicable legal act is: Government Decree No. 251/2014 (X. 2.) on the acquisition by foreign nationals of real estate other than land used for agricultural or forestry purposes.

Do you need more information? Any specific query? Do not hesitate to contact me!

My mission: I realized that there are many misconceptions about copyright that I call “copyright myths”. Therefore, I have started a copyright awareness raising campaign on social media – the English blog series is one part of it. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for the Hungarian contents (#kfodorlegal). Let’s kill copyright myths once and for all. #KillingCopyrightMyths

Dr. Klaudia Franciska Fodor is an attorney-at-law in Budapest, specialized in real estate, company law and copyright. Don’t hesitate to contact her in civil law related legal matters in Hungary.

Billboard picture: xandro Vandewalle / Unplash

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