For members


Renting in Austria: How much can estate agents charge in commission?

The size of the estate agent's commission, called 'Provision', comes as a shock to a lot of foreign renters in Austria. There are legal limits on what they can charge, depending on the type of contract you have.

Couple and estate agent looking at an apartment
If your estate agent overcharges you for commission, you have a right to claim it back, so it's worth knowing your rights. Photo: Alena Darmel/Pexels

The majority of apartment rental contracts in Austria are managed by estate agents, which means that there is a commission to be paid. This is even the case if you found the apartment using an online service or through word of mouth, as long as an estate agent has been given the job of that apartment rental.

This commission is called Provision or Maklerprovision.

A standard amount is two months’ rent, plus an extra 20 percent in VAT.

For the purposes of the commission, the ‘rent’ means the net rent (Nettomiete) plus any service costs (Betriebskosten) that are included, but not the VAT that makes up part of your gross rent, and not extra costs you pay individually as the tenant, like electricity and gas in most cases. 

If your contract is limited to three years or less however, the maximum an estate agent is allowed to charge in commission is one months’ rent plus VAT. The same is generally true if the estate agent is also the property manager of the landlord; you should only be charged one months’ rent plus VAT (or half a months’ rent if it’s limited to less than three years).

These fees apply whether you’re renting an apartment or a house. If you are renting a single room as a lodger, you can only be charged one months’ rent plus VAT, regardless of the length of contract.

What’s more, if the estate agent owns the apartment and is representing themselves, they should not be charging any commission to the tenant. They’re obliged to disclose any economic or personal relationship between the agent and landlord.

If your contract is extended after you reach the end of the initial time period, whether it’s extended to another set term or changed to an unlimited contract, the estate agent can again take a commission, but this time the limit is half one month’s rent.

A few things to note about the Provision that may not be immediately obvious are that the amount must be listed in the apartment ad, and that this is not a refundable fee like the deposit (Kaution).

Check the Provision amount carefully; these are legal upper limits, so you can’t be charged extra — and if you are, you can claim the money back. Since they are upper limits and not fixed prices, it may even be possible to negotiate a lower fee, especially if it’s an apartment that hasn’t been easy to rent.

You should also make sure that VAT has only been counted once, so that the two months’ rent calculation wasn’t made on the basis of the gross rent.

Lastly and crucially, you should only need to pay the commission after the conclusion of a valid rental agreement, so be very wary of any agents that ask for fees upfront. 

Do you have questions about renting, or another aspect of life in Austria? Email our editorial team at [email protected] with your question and we will do our best to help you.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


What are Austria’s last posting dates for Christmas 2022?

Planning to send Christmas presents back home this year? Here are the dates you need to know when using the Austrian postal service.

What are Austria's last posting dates for Christmas 2022?

Christmas can creep up fast, but with a little preparation you can make sure Christmas cards and gifts make it to friends and family in time for Christmas.

However, there are different dates to be aware of, depending on whether items are being posted within Austria or abroad.

Here’s what you need to know.

READ ALSO: 8 things to know if you’re visiting Austria in December

Last posting dates in Austria

Austria Post’s Team Christkind will be working overtime in the coming weeks to deliver around one million parcels every day.

If sending a letter or Christmas card, here are the last posting dates.

  • Within Austria: December 21 for priority shipping or December 19 for economy.
  • Within Europe: December 16 (priority), December 12 (economy).
  • Worldwide: December 12 (priority), December 8 (economy).

These are the last posting dates for sending a parcel.

  • Within Austria: December 21 for standard shipping and December 22 for Post Express.
  • Within Europe: December 16 (standard), December 21 (Post Express).
  • Worldwide: December 14 (standard), December 15 (Post Express).

READ MORE: IN PICTURES: A guide to the main Christmas Markets in Austria

Post office opening dates

In the week leading up to Christmas, there will be slightly different opening times at Austria Post.

From Monday December 19 to Thursday December 22, post offices will be open from 8am to 6pm.

On Friday December 23, the opening times will be 8am to 7pm. The exact opening times of your nearest Austria Post branch can be found here.

Austria Post aims to deliver parcels up until 12pm on December 24.