READER QUESTION: Is subletting legal in Austria?

Hayley Maguire
Hayley Maguire - [email protected]
READER QUESTION: Is subletting legal in Austria?
Apartment buildings in Austria. The housing market is facing difficulties. Photo: Waldemar Brandt / Pexels

Want to rent out your apartment while travelling or thinking about getting a lodger for a spare room? Whatever the reason, make sure you understand Austria’s subletting laws first.

Looking to move? Find your next rental apartment here.


When living in rented accommodation it can be easy to think it’s your home and you can do what you want. 

But the reality is that you are leasing the right to live in the property from a landlord, and there will be a set of rules to follow. 

These rules usually extend to subletting and are in line with whatever laws are in place in that country or district.

READ ALSO: READERS REVEAL: What is it like to rent a home in Austria?

For example, subletting in the UK is only allowed with the landlord’s permission and can result in eviction if a contract is breached. Whereas in the US, the right to sublet varies depending on the state laws.

So what about Austria? Is subletting legal?

Technically, yes, although most rental contracts will set out what you can and can’t do as a tenant.

What is subletting?

According to the government’s Living and Working in Austria website, “a sublet is created when a tenancy agreement (Mietvertrag) is established between a primary leaseholder and the person wanting to rent.”

So basically, a sublet occurs if you rent a room from someone who is already renting an apartment from a landlord. Or if you rent an entire home from someone who has a tenancy agreement for the property and is not the owner.

A sublet can be agreed on a long-term or a short-term basis, depending on the needs of both the person subletting and the primary tenant.

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Subletting rules in Austria

In the private rental market in Austria, the right to sublet will mostly depend on the tenancy agreement that is signed between the landlord and the primary tenant.

In many cases, subletting is prohibited without permission from the landlord – something that will be clearly stated in the rental contract.


But even if subletting is allowed, there are still a few laws in place: for example, the price of the sublease must not exceed more than 50 percent of the original rent, and the number of new occupants should not exceed the number of living spaces. 

Also, a landlord can refuse a request to sublease if an entire apartment is to be sublet (even for free), or there are fears that a new lodger could disturb the peace in the household.

If a tenant is found to be subletting a property without the consent of a landlord, or charging a considerably high amount, the rental agreement can be terminated in line with the Austrian Tenancy Act (Mietrechtsgesetz). 

And if a main tenant – or leaseholder – is evicted, it usually means the subtenant will have to leave the property as well.

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Subletting and subsidised housing in Vienna

If you live in subsidised housing in Vienna, subletting is not allowed. 

This is because the property is owned by the City of Vienna, which sets the rental rates and ensures affordable accommodation is widely available for city residents.

Almost 60 percent of all residents in Vienna live in subsidised housing and the city invests around €500 million into housing every year – one of the reasons why Vienna is regularly named as the world’s most liveable city.


Useful vocabulary

Sublet - Untermiete

Tenancy agreement - Mietvertrag

Primary leasehold - Hauptmiete

Useful links

Subletting guidelines

Austrian Tenancy Act



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