Vienna lawyer to help tenants in Austria sue landlords for overpaid rent

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
Vienna lawyer to help tenants in Austria sue landlords for overpaid rent
People study a flat contract. Image by aymane jdidi from Pixabay

Due to an Austrian Supreme Court, a Vienna lawyer says hundreds of thousands of inflation adjustment clauses – where rent is linked to inflation – could be invalid. He’s calling on tenants to join in his class action lawsuit against landlords to get overpaid rent back.

Looking to move? Find your next rental apartment here.


The case stems from the March court decision finding that index clauses – which raise rent in accordance with inflation – go against Austria’s Consumer Protection Act in certain cases.

Those cases involve leases with index clauses that don’t exclude rent rises in the first two months of the contract’s term. If a lease doesn’t have this provision, lawyer Oliver Peschel argues it’s not a valid index clause and the tenant doesn’t have to pay the extra money.

The Consumer Protection Act governs leases that tenants have with commercial landlords only though – so if they rent from apartment building owners, funds, or insurance companies.

Renting from private landlords – for example a couple who own one extra apartment other than their own and rent it out – doesn’t fall under the law.

Peschel is calling on eligible tenants who think they’ve overpaid rent to join his class action lawsuit.

“I don’t start a case unless I’m very sure of the law,” he told Der Standard newspaper.

Peschel encourages those who have legal insurance to sign up to the lawsuit, as they will be able to join free of charge.

For those who don’t have it, he says he’s looking to partner with litigation financiers who would keep a small amount of the damage payments in the event the tenants win.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The Austrian insurance for if you get sued – or want to sue someone


Peschel says the case could include anyone who thinks they’ve overpaid on an index clause within the last 30 years.

The Austrian Real Estate Association (ÖVI), however, is looking to temper expectations.

Firstly, they counter that the law likely has a limit of three years when it comes to collecting overpaid rent – if any.

“The Supreme Court confirmed the landlord’s legitimate interest in making a value protection agreement only a few years ago,” wrote Managing Director Anton Holzapfel.

“It’s also questionable that they would decide on individual cases.”

READ ALSO: How to find out if you are paying too much rent in Vienna


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also