• Austria edition
 
Renting in Austria
Top six things to know about renting in Austria
Photo: James Pilgrim

Top six things to know about renting in Austria

Published: 11 May 2014 00:04 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 May 2014 00:04 GMT+02:00

1. A rental agreement in Austria is for a minimum of three years, if your apartment is under the jurisdiction of the 'Mietrechtsgesetz' (MRG - Austrian tenancy law). Yes, three years. So think twice if you're coming here for a good time, not a long time.

If so, perhaps search for a room in an established flat - newspapers Der Standard and Kurier have listings online, as do www.jobwohnen.at and www.airbnb.com.

In Austria, it is perfectly legal for a tenant to sublet their room, as long as the number of occupants in the apartment does not exceed that stated in the contract. (Your landlord may not like it, but the law overrides them. Prosit.) 

The three-year rental contract is mainly to safeguard the tenant, not to protect the interests of the landlord. For example, landlords cannot put the rent up whenever they choose (instead it increases every 12 months, indexed to inflation) and after one year a tenant may leave at any time, giving three months' notice.

2. Apartments are almost always rented empty in Austria; you must fill it with your own stuff. By law, an apartment must include functioning central heating, hot water, a kitchen sink, stove top and a shower/toilet, unless you've chosen to live in an extremely old, rundown 'category C' apartment, with shared bathroom facilities. In which case you are getting it SUPER cheap, so stop your whinging and find a friend with a Jacuzzi. Rubber ducky, you're the one...

3. Most landlords will require you to take out Contents Insurance. This is available as a standard product from insurance companies and your premium will depend on the size of your apartment and the number of Rembrandts, Chagalls and bottles of 1951 Penfolds Grange Hermitage you have tucked away.

4. In Austria, your rental bond/deposit (Kaution) is usually 3 months' rent (and can be up to 6 months' rent if the apartment is super swish, furnished, etc). Ouch. Quite a hefty chunk. However if you're under the Mietrechtsgesetz, you are then sitting on some pretty tight tenant protection laws, so all in all, worth the initial financial pain.

5. Your estate agent may do next to nothing for their fee. They will show you a property, but the moment you indicate your intention to rent it, they will disappear in a cloud of smoke, invoicing you for one months' rent along the way (and up to two months' rent if your contract is for longer than three years). Cushiest job in the universe. If there are initial repairs required, don't bother talking to the agent, discuss it directly with the landlord before you sign the contract.

6. If your agreement comes under the jurisdiction of the Austrian Tenancy Law (you should really check this) it takes precedence over any rental contract. It includes rules that regulate the maximum rent that can be charged on a property and limit the length of tenancy agreements. So no matter what crazy stipulations your landlord may have slipped into your contract before you signed, if it is outside the law, it does not stand. Pretty good, huh. Break out the Penfolds.

Staff reporter (news@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Armed police thwart hotel robbery plans
Photo: Police

Armed police thwart hotel robbery plans

A serious armed robbery on a hotel in the Vienna Woods community of Gablitz was thwarted by police on Wednesday, according to the National Police Directorate of the northeast region. READ  

Two burglaries every hour in Austria
Photo: APA (epa)

Two burglaries every hour in Austria

At a press conference on Friday, the Austrian Road Safety Board (KVB) and the Austrian Insurance Association (VVÖ) explained that many Austrians underestimate the risks of burglary, and outlined some simple measures to be taken to avoid getting ripped off. READ  

Deserters' monument unveiled Friday
Photo: APA (Hochmuth)

Deserters' monument unveiled Friday

Austria unveiled Friday its first national monument to the estimated 1,500 people executed by the Nazis for deserting or refusing to fight in World War II, 69 years after the conflict ended. READ  

Computer says no
Austrian Fokker made emergency landing
Fokker 70 in Austrian Airlines' livery. Photo: AUA

Austrian Fokker made emergency landing

A narrow-body twin-engined Fokker 70 belonging to Austrian Airlines (AUA) was forced to make an emergency landing back at Vienna's international airport on Wednesday due to an on-board computer failure. READ  

Drugs bust in OÖ
Major drugs bust in Rohrbach
Part of the grow operation found in Hörsching. Photo: OÖ Police

Major drugs bust in Rohrbach

Police from Upper Austria announced on Friday the successful completion of an operation to disrupt the import and trafficking in illegal drugs from the Czech Republic, including crystal meth. READ  

Bomb Threat
Bomb alert closed Schwarzenbergplatz
Bomb disposal specialists inspect the suspicious package. Photo: APA (Neubauer)

Bomb alert closed Schwarzenbergplatz

A bomb alert was triggered on Friday morning at Vienna's Schwarzenbergplaz because of a suspicious package. READ  

Catch a London cab to a ski holiday in Austria
Photo: Visit Austria

Catch a London cab to a ski holiday in Austria

Austrian tourism bosses have been busy promoting skiing holidays by offering a quiz in the back of a London taxi. READ  

Grand Rapids hollers back to Kapfenberg
From the Youtube video showing dancing priests in the streets of Kapfenberg. Photo: Youtube

Grand Rapids hollers back to Kapfenberg

A US town which inspired an Austrian town to emulate its success with a music video which is going viral has acknowledged the tribute. READ  

Pensioner acted as decoy to catch conman
Police released an image of the 19-year-old suspect. Photo: Police

Pensioner acted as decoy to catch conman

A 19-year-old Polish man has been arrested for attempting to carry out a 'nephew scam' in Linz, after the 74-year-old he was trying to con acted as a decoy for the police. READ  

Vienna bans dangerous reptiles as pets
No longer deemed a suitable pet. Photo: Dbenbenn

Vienna bans dangerous reptiles as pets

From January 2015 people in Vienna will no longer be allowed to keep giant snakes, spiders, scorpions and the like as pets. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Protest in concrete: Vienna's €19 billion 'Hypotopia' city
Tech
Editorial: Google Plus
Travel & Tourism
Vienna in Lonely Planet's top ten city destinations for 2015
International
Finding your favourite home foods in Austria
Gallery
Photo of the Week: Austrian Jagdkommando and his dog
Culture
Vienna Philharmonic receives major music prize
Gallery
What kind of Austria expat are you?
Health
Doctors launch campaign to challenge smoker's paradise
Culture
Happy Birthday, Udo Jürgens
Culture
Test your German skills with the odd word out quiz
Gallery
Ten noises that sound very different in German
National
Graz designer creates Dirndl and Lederhosen with a twist
Health
Sigmund Freud: 75 years after his death
Society
Coming home after 75 years with the Jewish Welcome Service
Health
Austrians can't stop smoking
Culture
Why Austria wants a divorce from Germany
Features
'A love of learning was vital'
National
The Vienna solar power plant that is also a nature reserve
National
Vienna exhibition on 50 years of Turkish guest workers
Politics
The unpopular finance minister defeated by tax reform
Features
'Suddenly you're just trying to get a sentence out'
Health
Key to happiness is 'making the right choices'
National
The Austrian office with a climbing wall and swimming pool
National
Six top tips to get a job in Austria
National
Danielle Spera on the mission of the Jewish Museum Vienna
National
Why Vienna is a 'hub for European jihadists'
Gallery
Horses rescued from burning barn
National
Why beggars are a problem for Vienna's street paper Augustin
Culture
'No one speak English to him!'
National
The grassroots group working to unite Muslims and Jews
Society
Pink Lake festival attracts LGBT visitors
Gallery
Weirdest spa treatments: Fancy a session of full-body cryotherapy?
Society
The question of begging in Austria
National
Naked cyclist faces charges and told to wear clothes
International
Cop surrounded; busts a few moves
Society
Church porn star faces charges
Tech
Austrian student launches class-action lawsuit against Facebook
Politics
Parliamentary speaker Prammer loses fight with cancer
National
Why Vienna is the capital of choice for spies
Society
Happy birthday, Arnie
Gallery
Pizzeria anarchists block traffic in street march
International
Centenary of Austria's declaration of war on Serbia
National
Eight cheap things to do in Vienna this summer
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

269
jobs available