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Toussaint J.,Technical University of Delft | Szemzo H.,Metropolitan Research Institute | Elsinga M.,Technical University of Delft | Hegedus J.,Metropolitan Research Institute | Teller N.,Technical University of Delft
International Journal of Housing Policy | Year: 2012

Societies are trying to cope with ageing and the consequences of the global financial crisis. In most societies collective welfare arrangements for the elderly are under pressure, and drawing on housing equity can be considered as a potential source of augmenting one's pension and financing one's care in old age. This article explores the way in which housing equity is perceived as a financial back-up for old age in Hungary and the Netherlands: two completely different contexts. Hungary and the Netherlands are at opposite poles in many respects when it comes to old age and the role of owner-occupation. In Hungary the large majority of the population is owner-occupier, in the Netherlands the proportion is much smaller. In Hungary most home owners are outright owners; in the Netherlands they invariably have a mortgage. These differences appear to impact on household strategies. In Hungary housing equity plays a key role in the financial strategies of families, whereas it plays only a minor role in the Netherlands. Moving to the rental sector to release housing equity appears an obvious strategy in the Netherlands, whereas this strategy is non-existent in Hungary. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Hegedus J.,Metropolitan Research Institute | Horvath V.,Metropolitan Research Institute | Tosics N.,Metropolitan Research Institute
International Journal of Housing Policy | Year: 2014

After privatisation in the 1990s, the Hungarian public rental sector decreased sharply in size, from 23% to 3% by 2012. Meanwhile, against expectations, the private rental sector (PRS) did not undergo dynamic growth either, its official share now being 4%. The PRS seems to suffer from a number of defects. The tax and subsidy environment makes it unattractive for both potential landlords and tenants. Moreover, the legal environment - under-regulated tenant-landlord relations and an ineffective legal conflict resolution system - increases the risk inherent in private residential tenancy contracts. The absence of professional landlords is indicative of the lack of incentives to enter the private rental market. Yet, private rental lives on, if only for a lack of other options in many cases. Typically, landlords are accidental second homeowners and typical tenants are households that are excluded from other forms of housing provision. After a brief overview of the current state of the sector and its history, this paper will focus on the economic and legal conflicts between landlords and tenants, and will consider critically the constraints on the development of the PRS after the transition. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

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