Types of buildings by ownership
Apartments are owned by individuals for residential and/or investment purposes. 99% of the apartments fall in this category. In some cases the owner of the apartment does not live in Budapest, so she/he is represented by authorized persons of the management company which manages the apartment. These management companies do everything instead of the owner (technical maintenance of the apartment, collecting rental fees and utilities), and they give services for the tenants as well (paid by the owner): they are in contact with suppliers – so the tenants don’t have to go to the electricity company for example. It is very useful for foreign tenants because the administration of bills takes a lot of time and it is necessary to use Hungarian. Two months’ rent is the standard refundable security deposit.
These buildings are structured as corporations. Rather than owning an apartment outright individuals own shares according to the size and value of their unit. There might be restrictions on the rental of co-ops in terms of the length of lease, roommates etc. The security deposit may exceed one month's rent. Co-ops are rare in Budapest.
There are just a few new rental buildings in Budapest. The landlord owns the entire building. Two months’ rent is the standard refundable security deposit.