Why your rent in Austria could rise by 6 percent next year

Vienna street
We should find out the exact planned rent increase early next year, but because it's based on inflation a high figure is expected. Photo: Alisa Anton/Unsplash
An increase in permitted rent costs for older buildings in Austria was postponed in spring this year due to the pandemic. The centre-left oppposition have called for further political action to help tenants avoid a potential 6 percent increase in 2022.

Many rental apartments, particularly those in older buildings called Altbau, are subject to rent controls in Austria, and these are typically adjusted every two years in line with inflation. 

READ ALSO: How to navigate the Austrian rental market

The increase originally planned for this year was 2.9 percent, based on inflation rates, but it was postponed after the governing conservative-green coalition agreed with the centre-left opposition to postpone this

In 2021, inflation has risen significantly in Austria, which means the rise in 2022 could be around 6 percent to cover inflation over 2021-2022. The exact figure should be decided in mid-January and come into effect later than the year unless the rise is postponed again or reduced.

The benchmarks for rent are set by region, and vary slightly — in Vienna for example they apply only to buildings in Vienna smaller than 131m2 built before 1945.

It’s worth noting that despite the maximum rent being set out in Austria’s tenancy laws, sometimes unscrupulous landlords will charge extra even if the apartment is covered by these laws. In those cases, it is possible to claim back overpaid rent, though it’s always better to double check the contract and the numbers beforehand.

The housing spokesperson for the centre-left SPÖ issued a joint statement with the chairperson of the Vienna Tenants’ Association on Friday, criticising the government’s housing policy and calling for political intervention to avoid the 6 percent rise next year.

“The situation is getting worse and for more and more people, living in Austria is becoming a financial challenge. In recent years policy has been geared towards speculators instead of tenants,” SPÖ’s housing spokesperson Ruth Becher said, also criticising the government for not scrapping estate agents’ fees (called Provision in German) for tenants.

READ ALSO: What’s the difference between Altbau and Neubau and which should I rent?


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