Today in Austria For Members

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Gas and electricity bills have increased. Photo by Jean-Christophe VERHAEGEN / AFP

National Council approves new brokerage law, EU proposes new rules for swapping foreign driver's licence, gas and electricity prices could drop and more news from Austria on Thursday.


  • National Council approves new brokerage law

Austria's parliamentary house has approved the new law on brokerage fees. From July 1st, those who hire real estate agencies will pay the brokerage fee, also known as Provision in Austria. 

The National Council has approved the Bestellerprinzip (buyer's principle) that will apply to apartment rentals. The reform was first announced early in 2022, as The Local reported. Currently, renters need to pay several fees when moving into a new apartment, including a security deposit and the first month’s rent.

Unless the property is rented “privately” by the owner without the brokerage firm intermediate, one of those fees includes the so-called ‘Provision‘, a brokerage fee paid by the tenant equivalent to two months' rent.

Once a broker acts as an intermediate, the renter pays the fee even if the property owner hires them. However, with the new law, the person hiring the brokerage service pays for it.

READ ALSO: Austria to scrap broker’s fee on apartment rentals in 2023


  • How much money do non-EU citizens need to move to Austria in 2023?

It's not easy for a non-EU citizen to move to Austria as the country has strict requirements. Here's how much money you need to show in 2023 to get a residence permit.

  • Foreign drivers could get simpler way to exchange licence under EU proposal

The EU Commission on Wednesday presented proposals for new EU driving licence rules which could make it easier for people from non-EU countries to swap their licences.

In a statement, the Commission said its proposal would “modernise driving licence rules” across member countries.

One of the changes included in the proposal would allow drivers from non-EU countries with road safety standards considered 'comparable' to the EU to exchange their existing licence for an EU one more easily.

You can read more about it HERE.

  • Gas and electricity prices could drop by mid-2023

E-Control board member Wolfgang Urbantschitsch said he expected prices for electricity and gas to fall in the middle of the year. However, prices would not be down to the same level as two years ago, he said in an interview with ZIB2 on Wednesday evening.

Commenting on the Vienna Commercial Court ruling, which overturned the May 2022 price increase of the partly state-owned electricity group Verbund, Urbantschitsch said that it had been "surprising" and "very far-reaching". 

However, he added, it was a first-instance ruling, and now it was a matter of waiting for the Verbund Group's appeal. Urbantschitsch said that despite the public interest in low energy prices, the health of the companies, many of them owned by the public sector, should also be taken into account.

READ ALSO: How expensive are gas and electricity in Austria right now?


  • TELL US: What do you wish you had known before you moved to Austria?

Moving to another country can be a life-changing and rewarding experience, although there are usually a few bumps. We'd love to hear your thoughts on what you wish you knew before moving to Austria.

If you have any questions about life in Austria, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local, please get in touch with us at [email protected].


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