Austrian city of Graz announces rent brake

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Austrian city of Graz announces rent brake
Buying property as a non-EU foreigner in Graz is much easier than in the rest of the country. (Photo by Yasen Iliev on Unsplash)

The Austrian federal government failed to agree on a cap for rents in the country, but the Styrian capital has announced a rent brake.

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After months of negotiations and demands from several parties, the Austrian federal government failed to agree on a rental cap just as benchmark rents are about to rise, as The Local reported.

Instead, the ÖVP-Greens coalition has announced a one-off housing aid payment. Specific households, with income criteria to be decided by provincial governments, would receive an average of €200.

However, the measure was heavily criticised as superficial and temporary, and the City of Graz has become one of the first to announce a rental price brake on its own.


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Graz mayor Elke Kahr (of the left-wing KPÖ) said on Thursday that rents for municipal apartments wouldn't increase by 8.6 percent (in line with the inflation rate for 2022). Instead, there would be a maximum two percent increase - and a further four percent in 2026.

The mayor of Graz is also not sparing in her criticism of the federal government.

"The same could have been done at the federal level, but that did not happen, and that is incomprehensible," she said. "It's not about relieving the big landlords now, but a price increase of this magnitude puts people in distress, and these one-off payments don't really help."

A supplementary budget would be necessary, but the loss of revenue was bearable, said Kahr. The rent brake in Graz applies to 4,400 municipal apartments. In addition, there are already rent aids in 6,400 cooperative apartments for all those who have to pay more than one-third of their household income for housing costs, Kahr said.

READ ALSO: Renting in Austria: When can my landlord increase the rent, and by how much?

Of the nationwide subsidy volume of €250 million, around €30 million will go to Styria, Social Affairs Minister Doris Kampus (SPÖ) assumed; but the concrete framework conditions will likely not be known until the end of April. 

Who gets how much will then be defined by the different income limits, added Kampus.


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