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RENTING

EXPLAINED: Which documents do you need to rent a flat in Austria?

It's not easy finding an apartment or house in Austria, but once you do, make sure you have all the proper papers so you don't hamper your chances of getting it.

The Austrian city of Salzburg. Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash
The Austrian city of Salzburg. Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash

If you are moving to Austria, finding a flat is certainly one of the first things you might be worried about.

A quick internet search will show that the Austrian rental market is difficult. The major cities have high rents, and the apartment search can get competitive.

However, you can really increase your chances of finding the perfect place by getting all your documents prepared beforehand.

Some of the best places are rented almost on a first-come-first-served basis. As a result, it is not uncommon for people to start negotiations right at the viewing.

One common tip for those looking for a place is to bring some documents and papers prepared with you to hand them to the broker if you like the place so that you can speed up the process – and be seen as a serious candidate.

READ ALSO: Property: How to find a rental flat when you arrive in Austria

What documents can a landowner ask me for?

If you want to be prepared for any interviews or negotiations regarding a new place, you should keep a copy of a picture ID handy.

Usually, a passport would be the best ID for foreigners. Still, if you have EU-issued identification or even an Austrian driver’s license, that would work.

If you are from outside of the European Union, you might be asked for proof that you have a right of residence in Austria. 

Besides that, landowners will ask you for proof of income. There are several ways you could provide this proof, depending on your current situation.

Usually, property owners will ask for a three-month payment slip to prove steady employment. However, if you are just moving into the country, you could also provide them with a work contract or even your most recent tax return documentation.

Agencies and private renters are always looking to reduce risk exposure, so if you are new in the country or if you are self-employed, gather all documents you can to prove you will be able to pay rent.

READ ALSO: Checklist: What you need to do when you leave Austria for good

In some cases, you can ask for a guarantor to cosign the deal with you – so proof of the person’s income would be an essential document to have.

You can also use personal income, such as family donations and inheritance, as proof of income, as long as you can show a payment slip and the donor’s documentation and statement of donation.

Another possibility to reassure the flat owner is to offer to pay a larger security deposit. Usually, renters in Austria need to pay around three months’ rent as a security deposit that they would get when leaving the apartment – if certain conditions are met.

Some people accept a larger deposit (for example, six months) for cases of “higher risk” renters, usually the self-employed or someone who recently moved to Austria. You can negotiate to receive the “extra” deposit back after one year.

Another document you need to have handy is your current proof of residence. In Austria, this is called the Meldezettel.

Your bank details will also be required, and usually, a copy of your bank card is enough.

Finally, there are a few forms that a landowner or real estate agent might ask you to fill out and send them. Usually, these are renter’s forms clarifying if you have pets, intend to work from your apartment and similar things. There is also a “data protection” form in conformance with EU regulations.

READ ALSO: Renting in Austria: The vocab you need to understand apartment ads

Another common practice is to send an “income calculator” with all your income versus your planned monthly expenses. Some renters also ask for character references, which could be from an Austrian friend or your previous landlord or landlady, but this is quite rare.

These may seem like a lot, but getting ready before will save a lot of time and headache. Also, since competition for the best places is high, having your papers prepared could be the difference between getting the flat or not.

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For members

WORKING IN AUSTRIA

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

If you are moving to Austria and planning to work once you're here, there are a few websites that you need to know.

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

Austria is certainly one of the best countries to work in, with strong labour laws that give employees access to public health insurance through their employers, a minimum five weeks of paid vacation and many rights for families.

The alpine country is also known for its high quality of living. Residents can enjoy cheap public transport, public schools and plenty of free or cheap cultural, sports and leisure options.

There are also many vacant jobs, and the country is aiming to make it easier for foreigners who have qualifications to come fill in those jobs – many in nursing and healthcare professions, but a lot in several other so-called “shortage occupations”.

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

If you are planning to work in Austria, here are a few government or government-linked websites to know.

Migration.gv.at

It may not look very modern, but this website will have most of the things you’ll need if you want to move to Austria – especially coming from countries outside of the European Union.

This is where you will find the infamous “point calculator” to see if you get the minimum amount of points based on specific criteria (such as age, education, and language knowledge) to be able to apply for certain work-based residence permits.

There are also many pages explaining the different visas, permits, and many other issues with migration to Austria. The website has a very extensive and complete English version.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The 2022 salary requirements for Austria’s EU Blue Card

ABA – Work in Austria

ABA – Work in Austria is a department of the Austrian Business Agency, which operates under the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs in Austria.

The website has plenty of information – in English – about Austria, living and working in the country, and its job market. ABA – Work in Austria also offers services, including relocation and recognition of qualifications.

Vienna Business Agency

Another site aimed at expats and immigrants but connected to the City of Vienna. The website is entirely in English (there is a German version, too), and most of it will have tips and services for businesses and startups settling in the Austrian capital.

However, there is also an extensive advice area for foreigners. 

People moving to Vienna can also schedule in-person and free appointments to receive advice on anything from setting up a company to paying taxes.

READ ALSO: The downsides of Vienna you should be aware of before moving there

Portal der Arbeiterkammern

This is the Chamber of Labour website, which is an organisation that represents the interests of 3 million Austrian employees and consumers.

Even if you are not a member, it still has plenty of valuable information on Austria’s working and labour market. The website, however, is only in German.

Der Wirtschaftskammer

Also, a local website, WKO is the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, and even though it is only in German, it holds a lot of information, especially on labour laws in the country.

Furthermore, it is possible to schedule a free appointment with an English-speaking representative to answer questions on employment, self-employment, and more.

READ ALSO: Which are the best companies to work for in Austria?

Public Employment Service Austria (AMS)

This is Austria’s official provider of labour-market related services. The government agency offers placement assistance and vocational counselling.

It is also the point of contact for those looking to register as employees, hire people or seek many of the benefits (including unemployment payments) that they are entitled to. It also has a job-looking platform.

Even though a part of the website is in English, most of the pages are in German only. It is also challenging to find people willing to speak English at the AMS offices.

Bonus website: The Local

Besides our news website, with pieces that will help you learn more about life in Austria and be up to date on the latest and most important information, The Local also has a job search platform where you can look for open positions which require only the English language.

Check out our jobs platform here. 

Do you know any other government or government-linked websites that might be useful for people working in Austria? Let us know: [email protected]

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