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COST OF LIVING

Vienna tenant has rent slashed because of crime-riddled neighbourhood

A court has slashed a tenant's rent by a third because he lived near Vienna's Josefstädter Straße U-Bahn station, which the judge said was heavily affected by drug dealing and petty crime.

Vienna tenant has rent slashed because of crime-riddled neighbourhood
Living too close to this station got a tenant a rent decrease in Vienna. Photo: Von Tokfo - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0

A tenant in Vienna has had his rent of €750 per month reduced to €500 by the courts, as his refurbished 80 square meter apartment was located near “a hotspot of drug crime” near the U6 station Josefstädter Straße.

The landlord had wanted to charge a “location surcharge” as a subway, doctors, shops and parks were nearby.

The tenant however argued that the increase should be rejected because he lived just 160 metres from the station, which the tenant argued was a drug and crime hotspot. 

The tenant had his case rejected by the court in the first two instances, before launching an appeal to the Supreme Court. 

The Supreme Court agreed with the tenant and overturned the previous rulings on appeal, finding the street-side apartment was affected by traffic noise and the station was a hotspot for drug and petty crime “with regular police deployments”. 

The court rejected the location surcharge, the Kurier newspaper reports.

“This decision proves once again that it is worth having the rent checked,” says MieterHilfe boss Christian Bartok told Kurier. 

As a result, rent increases in similar areas – i.e. with consistently loud noise or close to areas with prevalent criminality – may also be rejected. 

More information about Vienna’s rental rules – including information on how to check if you are paying too much rent – can be found at the following link. 

READ MORE: How to find out if you are paying too much rent in Vienna

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MONEY

Bread, butter and veggies: The items getting more expensive in Austria

The purchase price of flour has risen by around 70 percent, which means the cost of bread, cakes and pastries in Austria are set to rise, alongside steep increases for fresh and canned vegetables. Here's what you need to know.

Bread, butter and veggies: The items getting more expensive in Austria

The war in Ukraine and a ban on the export of wheat in India is driving up the cost of wheat flour around the world, with bakers in Austria warning they have no choice but to raise prices.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, there is also a paper shortage for packaging that is used for most baked goods, adding to further pressure on bakers.

Reinhard Honeder, Chairman of Bakers for the Chamber of Commerce, told ORF: “I believe that every colleague must raise their prices if they have not already done so.”

READ ALSO: The essential products that are getting more expensive in Austria

However, the rising cost of wheat flour is not expected to hit Austria as hard as other countries because Austria is “self-sufficient” when it comes to wheat, due to domestic agriculture capabilities.

Honeder says Austria has enough wheat to feed the population and believes this should stop baked goods from becoming unaffordable. 

In Upper Austria, there are around 288,000 hectares of arable land and wheat is currently grown on almost 46,000 hectares, according to Agrarmarkt Austria.

However, global wheat production is forecast to be 774.8 million tonnes for 2022/2023, which is 4.5 million tonnes less than in 2021/2022.

Farmers are also being hit with rising costs for fertiliser and machinery, leading to ongoing increases in the global price of grain.

FOR MEMBERS: Cost of living: 45 ways to save money in Austria

The cost of groceries (Lebensmittel) also on the rise in Austria

Bread isn’t the only staple food product that is becoming more expensive in Austria.

Der Standard reports that the cost of a bell pepper (Paprika), butter and tinned tomatoes are also rising sharply. 

When comparing prices from April 2021 and May 2022, one red pepper (from Austria) is up by 67 percent to €1.49, a 250g pack of Clever butter is 79 percent more at €2.49, and a can of Clever chopped tomatoes costs 20 percent more at €0.47. 

Inflation has been rising in Austria for the past year and hit 7.2 percent in April – the highest rate in Austria since October 1981 when the Gulf War led to an increase in oil prices.

The cost of food is a big driver in the rise in inflation with the average weekly shopping basket costing 14 percent more than last year, according to Statistics Austria.

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