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After buying a property in Hungary you may not be aware that the owner you bought from, and/or their previous tenants, may still legally or illegally have their name listed on your property (i.e. your address on their address card and/or debt collector records). Unfortunately you would not know this until the purchase has been made.
You might think the previous owner gets taken off the property list (address card list) once you have bought their property, but it is actually your (the new owner's) job to inform the Government Offices (Government OfficesKormányhivatal Megyei) that you are the new owner and would therefore like any previous owners and/or tenants removed from the property list (address card list).
At the time of buying a property: A lawyer, via the land registry, might only be able to check if your potential property can be sold but not necessarily check if it has existing tenants associated with it. This is because that information would need to come from the Government Offices (Kormányhivatal Megyei) and not from the land registry whereby the lawyer might not have the power to perform this kind of check, and because it would be nothing to do with the property sale.
Some previous owners and previous tenants' might need time to move out of your new (their old) property, as agreed in the final property contract for example, and therefore have a genuine reason to keep your new address on their existing address card. Others might need to keep their address card with their old property address on it for school or driving licence reasons (i.e. they need a constant address for their certificates/licence). Hence one reason why a lawyer might not feel it relevant to check who is currently listed on the property list, even if they were allowed to check.
While it is the responsibility of the previous owner/tenants' to inform officials of their new address, by visiting the Documents Office and other relevant establishments (i.e. banks and workplaces), some of them who have bad debts prefer to keep your new address (their old property) as their current address (for debt collector purposes/visits) whereby they get themselves a new 'temporary address card', using their friend's address, for other "clean record" purposes.
The downside to this flaw in the address card system is that you get occasional knocks on the door asking "Where is MR SO-AND-SO?" simply because the previous owner and/or previous tenants' did not officially move address yet. In situations like this you have two choices - Either report them to the government office, which I recommend as it means you do not want to be associated with those people (especially if you have never met them) or wait for the bailiffs (debt collectors) to knock on your door.
Just like in the UK, bailiffs do not have the power to take your belongings away. However, you might have to prove belongings are yours. It is not about that though. Even if you contact the baliffs, they will not listen; even when you e-mail them evidence that you are the new property owner. However, e-mailing them a copy of the letter the Government Offices sends you when you successfully have previous owners/tenants removed from the property list does give the baliffs a kick in the teeth! Some baliffs do not know the word Harrassment until they receive such a letter.
If you visit the Hungarian government offices in your part of Hungary to have a name removed from your property, take your Passport and proof of Hungarian address (Address Card and Title Deeds) with you.
The application form ("person removal form") they give you to fill out, in front of them or to take home and return, will require two witness signatures (with their ID/Address details mentioned) as that form is declaring you acknowledge the person to be removed (unlisted) from your property no longer lives at your property. Note: The whole name removal process can take up to five months, so be prepared for long drawn out process.
You need to visit the Government Offices first because going directly to the Documents Office will get you nowhere. You have to fill in the application form issued by the Government Offices first, so they can investigate your problem. They have the power of communication/investigation by contacting the other authorities on your behalf. In other words, they contact the Documents Office to have the previous owner's/tenants' address(es) removed/unlisted from your property. Their address card will be voided, if the investigation goes in your favour.