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EXPLAINED: What are Austria’s rules for Airbnb rentals?

Thinking of renting out your apartment or just a room via Airbnb in Austria? Here’s what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: What are Austria’s rules for Airbnb rentals?
The temperature is rising in Austria, but so are energy bills. Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

Short-term rentals on Airbnb continue to be popular among travellers, especially as an alternative to hotels during the Covid-19 pandemic.

But while the home stay platform has dramatically changed travel and provided a new income stream for many property owners, it has also led to concerns of rising rents in city centres that are pushing out local residents.

As a result, governments and city councils across Austria and abroad have put in place regulations to try and control the short-term rental market. 

Here’s what you need to know about the rules for Airbnb in Austria. 

FOR MEMBERS: Property: How to find a rental flat when you arrive in Austria

Is Airbnb legal in Austria – and what do I need to know?

Airbnb is legal in Austria but there are certain rules in place to protect cities and local communities from the effects of over-tourism.

For example, Airbnb has been sharing tax data with the Finance Ministry since January 2021 to ensure hosts are correctly informing the tax office about their income from rental properties. 

Airbnb also has a direct telephone hotline where neighbours can report suspected illicit rentals, as well as other issues like loud parties. 

However, there are some specific regional rules to be aware of, as detailed below.

Airbnb rules in Vienna

In Vienna, the commercial rental of properties in residential zones has been prohibited since 2018. Additionally, most subsidised housing lease agreements prohibit tenants from subletting the property.

Unfortunately, many people disregarded the rules prompting Vienna’s Commercial Court to rule that city-owned apartments could no longer be rented on platforms like Airbnb. 

This led to the removal of all Viennese social housing rental apartments from the platform in October 2021, followed by a commitment from Airbnb to promote “responsible tourism” in Austria. 

READ MORE: Airbnb removes all Viennese municipal apartments from its site

In a statement last year, the company said: “Airbnb shares the goal of the City of Vienna to protect living space – especially in municipal housing – and is therefore removing listings in municipal housing from the platform as part of a voluntary initiative.” 

Airbnb has also since granted Viennese authorities access to the site to help ensure the rules are followed, and has agreed to remind Austrian users regularly of the rules.

Finally, there is the Vienna City Tax (Ortstaxe) that Airbnb hosts must register for and pay by the 15th of the month for any paid stays at their properties during the previous month.

Airbnb rules in Tyrol

The topic of Airbnb rentals in Innsbruck in Tyrol is currently being discussed by the municipal council. This is in relation to the protection of data collected during investigations into properties suspected of breaking the rules.

In 2019, a new law was brought in that allows the local authority to issue fines up to €5,000 to landlords that fail to register their property as a short-term rental with Innsbruck Tourismus.

Other rules in Tyrol that Airbnb hosts should be aware of are an overnight tax for tourists and the requirement to have a permit from the building authorities to legally host tourists

Airbnb rules in Salzburg

The Land Use Planning Act in Salzburg states property owners must get permission from the local building authority to use a home for commercial rental purposes, including for Airbnb.

An exception to the rule is the short term rental of private rooms, defined as accommodation up to 10 people in guest rooms, as long as this is the host’s main residence.

However, all hosts (whether of private rooms or entire properties) must register with the tax authority to comply with the Overnight Accommodation Tax Act. All overnight stays in Salzburg are subject to the tax rules.

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Airbnb rules in Styria

In Styria, property owners are entitled to rent out their homes on a short-term basis for tourism. But condominium rules might apply to properties in apartment buildings, which means landlords have to request permission before listing the home for rent.

There is also an overnight and holiday apartment tax law in Styria which means every overnight stay is subject to a tax. This is paid by guests to the host, who then pay the local authority.

Can I sublet my rented apartment in Austria via Airbnb?

Subletting a rental apartment or room is not illegal in Austria, but that doesn’t mean you can start listing your home on Airbnb straight away.

In most cases, permission is required by the landlord to sublet a property. It’s also important to check your rental agreement for any clauses specifically prohibiting subletting.

Then there are regional rules to consider, like Vienna’s ban on social housing being used as Airbnb rentals.

If in doubt, check with the owner of the property and the local authority before planning to become an Airbnb host.

I own my flat. Can I rent it out on Airbnb in Austria?

In theory, yes. However, there could be other rules to consider depending on where the property is located.

For example, you might need permission from neighbours or a homeowner’s association to rent out a flat to Airbnb guests in an apartment building. 

Most short-term rental properties also have to be registered with a tourism association, and in most cases overnight stays are subject to a tourism tax. 

Useful links

Airbnb rules in Austria

City of Vienna website

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For members

JOBS

EXPLAINED: How to find a summer job in Austria?

Though Austria is mainly known for its winter resorts, there is no shortage of possibilities for those looking for seasonal jobs in summer.

EXPLAINED: How to find a summer job in Austria?

Summer is coming up, and those few hot months are a perfect opportunity for many people to get a seasonal job and earn some extra cash.

Austria’s economy is heavily based on tourism. But even though the winter resorts and sports are what the alpine country is most well-known for, the summer months are also hectic in the tourism and gastronomy sectors.

The demand for seasonal workers usually is high but has increased even more in the last few years. According to the Austrian employment agency AMS, there are more than 15,000 open positions in gastronomy and tourism still lacking workers.

The pandemic widened the gap, as the sector was hardly hit by lockdowns and changes in consumer behaviour. With coronavirus restrictions, the field lost some of its attraction. It is still having trouble finding new labour, AMS boss Johannes Kopf told broadcaster ORF.

A summer without coronavirus restrictions

However, for the first time since the pandemic started, Austria will see a summer with almost no coronavirus restrictions.

The country has recently dropped its 3G rule for entry for travellers, meaning that tourists (and residents) no longer have to show proof that they were vaccinated against Covid-19, recently recovered from the disease or tested negative.

The expectation is high that this will boost tourism, especially as the 3G rules and the mask mandate also fell in most indoor areas.

READ MORE: LATEST: What are Austria’s current Covid-19 rules?

Last year, even with some restrictions still in place, the sector saw a recovery compared to 2020 but was still not at pre-pandemic levels, according to Statistik Austria.

Still, the May to October season had more than 66 million overnight stays, with almost half of them (42.7 per cent) coming from Germany.

From imperial cities to lakes and mountains, Austria has no shortage of offers during summer. As travelling resumes, the sector is desperately looking for workers.

vienna, pratter

Vienna is big touristic destination also during summer months (Photo by Anton on Unsplash)

Where can I find summer jobs in Austria?

The capital is undoubtedly where most visitors come, according to Statistik Austria. However, it is also where many establishments have a year-round crew, and seasonal work might not be as easy to find.

It is far from impossible, though, and it is worth the search if you have your eyes set on Vienna.

READ ALSO: One day in Vienna: How to spend 24 hours in the Austrian capital

However, other major Austrian cities also have openings, most notably the touristic towns of and around Innsbruck and Salzburg. Of course, the mountainous region of Austria might be most famous for its ski slopes. Still, they also offer breathtaking summer views, cool and beautiful alpine lakes, and numerous hiking trails.

Plus excellent hotels for people to stay in and great Austrian restaurants – all looking for employees.

What types of jobs are available?

There are many job openings to skim through, but most will be the most traditional service work in tourism and gastronomy: waitressing, housekeeping, cooking, and reception.

If you look outside of Vienna, several professions in the tourism and gastronomy sector are included in Austria’s list of shortage occupations.

READ ALSO: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

Those include some surprising ones like department store sales clerks, waiters and waitresses, masseuses, and others. If you don’t have a right to work in Austria (non-EU citizens without a work permit, for example), being skilled in a shortage occupation makes it easier to be hired and get a residence permit.

Most of these jobs will require a certain level of German, especially since Germans are an overwhelming part of tourists entering Austria. However, the high demand for workers might help those who do not speak the language yet, especially for positions that don’t require much customer interaction.

READ ALSO: Austria: Six German expressions to entice your Wanderlust

Another popular job for summer is instructor, or caretaker, in summer camps. As many of them are bilingual or in English, German is not usually a mandatory language – there are also positions for English teachers, especially in camps and schools with summer courses.

Where can I find these jobs?

As with most industries and professions, searching online is usually the first step in finding a summer job in Austria.

Outside of known employment platforms such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn, Austria’s Karriere.at might be a good place to look.

READ ALSO: Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in Austria

Hogastjob is also a local platform with plenty of seasonal offers in Austria, Germany and Italy (South Tyrol region).

Another approach is to contact resorts or hotels directly to find out when they are hiring for the summer season and the types of roles that will be available – they should also have a job vacancies page on official websites that you can check.

Or get in touch with friends that have previously worked in the summer season in Austria and ask for a recommendation.

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