Before you start searching for a flat and browsing sites, please read this useful guidance. Some agencies are advertising themselves with free services for students. Basically here in Hungary, the agents are paid by the owners of flats; they pay a fee for advertising their apartments and finding a tenant to rent their apartment.
How does it work in general?
You can always see in ads that the apartment costs: … HUF rent fee + overheads or utilities. It means that in addition to the rent fee, you also need to pay the utilities every month.
Usually the description mentions the average amount you need to pay for the bills, that includes the community fee, the heating, electricity and water consumption but does not include the price of internet and cable TV subscription.
What are the bills?
The overheads or utilities cover community fee, water consumption, electricity usage and heating. You can always ask the owner what utility costs you can expect monthly.
Community fee: it is a different amount in every building, as it is determined by the community of owners there, it can be from 5000 to 10 000 HUF / month / flat and it is for waste collection, the electricity, cleaning and maintenance of the building's common areas (stairway, elevator, etc).
Water: it has a unit price per m3, defined by the service provider, the amount you need to pay depends on your consumption. Usually it is around 2000 HUF / month / person. In some buildings, water consumption is calculated into the community fee.
Electricity: it has a unit price per kW/h, defined by the service provider, the amount you need to pay depends on your consumption. Usually it is around 5000 HUF/ month / person, depending on the number of electronic devices used.
Heating: Heating season is from September / October until March / April in general. The amount you need to pay generally depends on the type of the heating system (individual heating, individual heating with gas convector, central heating, block heating), your consumption, as well as on the size of the flat, the temperature outside and the insulation of the building. The average cost is around 20 000 - 30 000 HUF / month in heating season.
When you find the appropriate flat you need to sign a lease contract with the owner, usually for a definite time, the minimum is one year. (In rare cases it is possible for a shorter period but it is always up to the owner.)
Before moving in, you also need pay a security deposit plus the rent for the first month. The amount of the security deposit is usually 2 months' rent fee. The goal of the security deposit is to cover any damages that might be caused during the lease. If there are no damages, at the end of the lease contract, you will get back the full amount. The conditions are included in your lease contract.
In general, flats are furnished and fully equipped. In case there are some items that you need, you can always discuss with the owner if it is possible to get them.
Be prepared that you need to buy your own bedclothes.
Bills are usually paid monthly by the owner. When they collect the rent, they show you the bills and you pay them with the rent, in general until the 10th of every month. This, of course, depends on your agreement with the owner.
Please make sure that you read the contract carefully before you sign it, everything that you and the owner agreed on need to be included in your contract. Do not be afraid to ask if something is not clear.
About internet connection
In general, not all the apartments have live internet access. You need to make your own contract with the service provider. There are different service providers in Debrecen and at least one service is available in every flat. Always ask the owner if you need to make your own contract or internet connection is already available in the apartment. The monthly price depends on the speed of the internet but in average it is 6000 HUF / month. You can buy packages that contain landline and TV as well.