One of our law firm’s basic philosophies is to try to settle and not only to manage the problems of our clients. Consequently, we offer a complex approach to every individual case in all areas of civil law. For example, in case of forming a company, we offer legal counselling in the fields of company law, taxation law and labour law as part of our services.
Few think about the serious legal issues relevant to everyday housing. This is especially true for those who live in multi-storey buildings or in properties with more than two individually owned flats. These flats can be registered as condominium if the owners decide this way.
We undertake the foundation of condominiums and the amendment of the articles of association. Please note that a property may be registered as a condominium before the construction of the building provided there is a valid and final building permit issued. This way, ensuing arguments between the property owners may be prevented. (In practice, the owners used to form building cooperatives to regulate the legal relationship during the phase of construction. Here, the Contractor and the Cooperative used to be parties to the Construction Agreement, and so, it became unnecessary for each owner-to-be to conclude an individual agreement with the Contractor. Unfortunately, in the past years, this practice has been neglected.)
A condominium will be registered if the Construction Authority has issued the final occupancy permit for the building erected. This fact shall also be marked on the land registry map. In this case each flat shall be registered under an individual topographical number.
We offer our services to authorized joint representatives of condominiums. At present, one of our clients is a company that represents several thousands of condominium units. In this field, we conduct the recovery of collective maintenance fees, which is a common interest of all owners. However, we have many other affiliated legal tasks (e.g. lease agreements, registration of mortgage etc.).
We undertake the preparation of the bylaws of condominiums. In accordance with the laws and regulations, all condominiums are obliged to have their bylaws which include the organizational structure of the condominium, the powers, tasks and responsibilities of its bodies and the House Rules.
Cases of Inheritance
“Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
Do not for ever with thy vailèd lids
Seek for thy noble father in the dust:
Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.”
The quotation above is taken from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and depicts very well the recurrent nature of birth and death. Such events have certain legal aspects, especially from the field of inheritance law. We have a broad array of expertise in conducting these matters.
The bequest of the deceased passes to the heir(s) by law at the moment of his/her death. The declaration of this by law is defined at a later date, as part of the probate proceeding conducted by the competent civil law notary.
Inheritance has a strict form of proceeding regulated by law the testator may divert from by drawing up a will. As there are special rules applicable to wills, it is advised to ask for legal advice if someone wants to make one.
The testator may dispose of his property as a gratuitous donation or in exchange for, most typically, support. The latter case means the conclusion of a contract of inheritance by which the heir(s) shall be entitled to receive the property only upon the death of the testator.
The contract of maintenance for life does not fall within the scope of inheritance, still, we need to discuss it here:
If someone decides to enter into a contract of maintenance for life, he/she as beneficiary shall provide the same services as in case of a contract of inheritance: is obliged to support and attend to the testator in every sense. In case of illness, the beneficiary is to make sure the testator receives adequate medical care, and, after the testator’s death, it is the beneficiary’s duty to arrange the funeral. However, in terms of a contract of maintenance for life, the property of the testator shall pass to the beneficiary on the close of the contract.
Representation in Corporate Affairs, Company Registration
Most attorneys undertake company registration and corporate modifications. In the process of company registry, the attorney shall prepare the deed of foundation or articles of association, and after signing it electronically, shall forward it by electronic means to the Court of Registry. At present, as a deed of foundation may be prepared by the application of a sample specified by law, some may think that an attorney’s only task is to provide authentication of the instrument.
However, during the process of company registry, several issues may arise that can be addressed exclusively by someone who has a wide range of legal background knowledge. For example, questions regarding taxation, social security, labour law or the responsibilities of members and leading officers. We offer solutions to these questions as well.
We undertake tasks related to a conversion of a company and general representation of companies. General representation means that the company either concludes a monthly flat rate fee agreement or a framework agreement with hourly rate of pay. Within the terms of monthly flat rate fee agreements, independent of the amount of work necessary, we undertake representation in proceedings before courts and authorities; furthermore, we provide legal counselling and the drafting, reviewing and editing of documents.
Property Law Cases
In real estate gift agreements and sale and purchase agreements, legal representation is obligatory. It is not only obligatory but also reasonable since these instruments, however simple they may seem, require extensive legal expertise. The defects of sale and purchase agreements have already caused lifelong problems; on some occasions, even the work and savings of a lifetime was swept way.
It is a professional duty for an attorney to see if the details of the real estate are valid by checking out the Unified Hungarian Land Registry or the Title Deed prior to the conclusion of an agreement. The Title Deed can be checked out by electronic means as well, even on the day of closing the agreement. If necessary, client details can also be checked electronically, through the Central Office for Administrative and Electronic Public Services. Therefore, the sale and purchase agreement or the gift agreement in question becomes safe to be concluded.
We recommend the most suitable and legal way of receivables management for you. The process usually begins with an attorney demand letter for the debt owed. This, on most occasions, is enough for the situation to be resolved.
Against sole traders or natural persons, to recover further debts, payment orders, alternatively, legal actions and, later, enforcement proceedings may be initiated. Payment orders are simplified procedures that, in a short period of time, either conclude with enforceable judgments or with further legal proceedings. When a payment order becomes final, the enforcement proceeding may commence. Enforcement is, in principle, the responsibility of a bailiff, however, legal representation is recommended. The competent bailiff, as independent judicial executor, has access to databases neither an attorney or a natural person would be authorized to (e.g. national land registry, the vehicle register and the tax database).
Against a company, if the attorney demand letter proved ineffective, we recommend the initiation of winding-up proceedings. We prefer this method to the initiation of enforcement proceedings because winding-up proceedings can shed light on the solvency of the company in a short period of time. If the Court decides to wind up the debtor company, it may, of course, entail that the debt will not be recovered. However, in case of enforcement procedures, this fact may be revealed only after many years, when the client has already paid a considerable sum for payment orders, legal actions and enforcement proceedings. Unfortunately, winding up of a company at present is extremely frequent owing to the entrepreneurial circular indebtedness in economic life. Naturally, a winding-up procedure may also be initiated after receiving the final judicial decision.
We also offer representation in any other civil proceedings: for example, indemnifications, warranty claims, cases of violation of rights relating to personality etc.
Dissolution of marriages, publicly known as divorce actions
Besides providing in-court representation in a divorce action, we undertake out-of-court settlement prior to litigious proceedings. As a result of such reconciliation processes, divorce suits were avoided and marital relationships restored. It is unnecessary to highlight the advantages of such processes to the children. In the event the process proved unsuccessful, the reconciliation itself may give ground to a mutual agreement in all issues of the divorce. In addition to its being cost-effective to the clients, it can also establish a good relationship between the divorced spouses.
The marital community of property arising by law by the bond of marriage may be terminated without the dissolution of the marriage. Furthermore, upon marriage, the spouses may deviate from the presumed 50–50 per cent share regulated by law if they conclude an agreement. Such agreements are called prenuptial agreements. They are valid if drafted in a notarial document or countersigned by a Hungarian attorney.
Other legal representation in cases with no attempt to be comprehensive
Claims for damages in the event of traffic accidents. It is important to know that in such cases the claimant is in a legally adversarial position to the insurance company of the vehicle which caused the accident since the insurance company is obliged to pay the indemnification pursuant to the compulsory motor vehicle liability insurance. The case is similar with indemnifications where the insurance company shall pay under a liability insurance covering third-party liability, e.g. a home insurance that covers a dog attack claim.
In labour affairs, we offer legal representation of the employer or the employee. In labour affairs, it is recommended to reach out-of-court settlements before litigious proceedings. Since the value of the claim frequently totals several months’ income, both adversaries will risk a lot by litigation.
We recommend the registration of mortgage if the debtor can offer a property as mortgage collateral for a loan. The creditor also has a right of priority over the mortgage in case of enforcement proceedings. Mortgage can be registered not only in case of loans but also in debts as well. A condominium may have a mortgage registered on an owner’s property for debts incurred from collective maintenance fees.
We also offer our legal services in trademark registry. A trademark is a word or figure applied for a good or service. If the trademark is registered with national and international databases, its use shall be exclusive only to the trademark holder. We undertake the registration of trademarks in EU and non-EU countries as well.
We offer legal assistance in the procedure of acquisition of citizenship. Except for facilitated naturalization, such procedures are rather lengthy and complex. To enter the country, one needs the relevant visa, and even to be able to apply for a visa, one needs to meet several terms and conditions. For a longer stay in Hungary, one needs to apply for a residence permit, and later for a permanent residence permit. To apply, one needs to show proof of secured housing, subsistence and the presence of health insurance. One may apply for Hungarian citizenship only after a long, lawful stay in the country. However, without citizenship, one has the right to make use of the Hungarian health insurance system if qualified for health insurance benefits.