Hungary Acquisition of real estate by foreigners (non-EU country – third country – nationals) takes place in a different way than the acquisition of property by Hungarian citizens. Apart from the exceptions specified in the law, a foreign individual can only acquire the right to own property in Hungary with a government office permit.
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Unpleasant surprises in case of property acquisition by foreigners
In most cases, this takes place within 1-2 months without problems. Recently, however, the competent municipality has refused to give its consent in several cases. thus, the client’s acquisition of ownership failed. In this article, we present the main rules and report on a successful court case
The rules for foreigners if they want to buy Hungarian real estate
Foreign citizens, legal entities or organizations without legal personality can only acquire real estate with the permission of the capital and county government office competent for the location of the real estate.
The process of acquiring real estate for foreigners begins with the submission of the documents, certificates and permits described below. After sending the necessary documents, the Government Office will contact the municipality where the property is located.
Possible harm of interest interests of the local municipality regarding the acquisiton
The real estate acquisition procedure can only continue if the acquisition of real estate by a foreign legal or natural person does not harm the interests of the municipality.
Other authorites approval regarding the acquisiton of the Hungarian real estate
In the event that natural persons intend to acquire real estate, the Government Office contacts the National Directorate of Alien Policing (former Immigration and Citizenship Office) and the National Police Headquarters. They are investigating whether a natural person who wants to buy an apartment in Hungary has:
- arrest warrant against him/her,
- entry and residence ban
- clear police certificate
- alltogether: does the foreigner’s acquisition of real estate in Hungary harm the public interest
Other aspects during the authorization of the acquisition of real estate in Hungary
- Does the applicant wish to pursue economic activity in Hungary;
- Is the property you wanted to acquire necessary for the continuation of your economic activity;
- Does the applicant wish to live in Hungary in a way of life?
The Hungarian court case related to the acquisition of real estate by foreigners
In the case of our old Russian client, whom we represented and helped in numerous immigration law cases, the government office refused to acquire real estate. This decision was justified by the fact that the local government, which was a downtown Budapest municipality, refused to give its consent citing a violation of the local government’s interests.
At the same time, the local government did not indicate any specific complaints or possible dangers regarding the person of our client, which would have justified why he should not be able to acquire the property
Lawsuit at the Metropolitan Court
We did not leave our client’s loss of interest unaddressed and filed a lawsuit against the decision. During the trial, we referred to the fact that the unjustified decision causes constitutional problems and violates our client’s right to legal remedies.
We also stated that arbitrary and unjustified decisions cannot be accepted in a state of law.
The court’s decision:
The court’s decision in the case of our foreign client’s acquisition of real estate in Hungary was that it annulled the harmful government office decision and ordered a new procedure to be conducted. Thus, we became 100% winners. The lesson is that in cases involving immigration enforcement, foreigners, and the acquisition of real estate by foreigners, a lawyer who, if necessary, is at home in constitutional law and litigation should be entrusted.