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

The Local Austria
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Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
As rents are forecast to rise across Austria, the government is putting in a three-year rent brake. Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash

Debate around expanding the planned rent cap to include more homes, Austrian couple confirmed dead in Greece after floods and more news from around Austria.

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Austria's Greens say expanding rent cap to more homes is possible

The Austrian coalition government, made up of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and the Greens, is planning a rent brake to help curb rising rents. 

Under the plans, for the next three years (from 2024 to the end of 2026), the increase in rents is to be limited to five percent per year.

However, the cap only covers rented accommodation built before 1953 as well as subsidised and social housing, no matter when it was built.

READ ALSO: What we know so far about Austria's planned rent cap

The government expects around 1.2 million rental contracts in Austria will be covered by the rent brake; around 75 percent of all leases.

Now party chairwoman of the Austrian Greens Sigrid Mauer has said she hopes the proposal will be expanded to include so-called 'free market rents' which are unregulated. 

"This area is more difficult than the planned rent cap in the regulated sector," Maurer told Austrian radio, but added: “There are ways to solve this.”

ÖVP group parliamentary leader August Wöginger recently said he also hoped the cap could be expanded - if it was legally possible.

Meanwhile, the opposition Social Democrats (SPÖ) renewed their demand for a two-year rent freeze, and then a rent cap of a maximum of two percent per year. 

"The ÖVP and the Greens have rejected all SPÖ proposals for affordable housing in parliament," said SPÖ club chairman Philip Kucher.

The Freedom Party (FPÖ) also called for a rent freeze across all forms of rentals as well as a strengthening of non-profit housing and huge tax incentives for landlords.

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Austrian couple killed in Greece after house swept away in floods

A couple from Austria who were in Greece for their honeymoon are confirmed to have died after torrential rain and flooding. 

The home they were staying in, located in Potistika, near Mount Pelion, was swept away into the sea after flash floods brought on by Storm Daniel on September 6th. 

Thanasis Samaras, owner of the home, said they were from Graz.

The couple, who have not been named, had been reported missing following the extreme weather. The Austrian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that DNA tests had verified their identities.

Staff at the Austrian embassy in Athens are providing support to the couple's relatives. 

What I wish I knew before becoming 'new self-employed' in Austria

In any country, being self-employed has its rewards and drawbacks. But it helps to know them before starting out, according to Vienna-based freelancer David Everson-Baltas.

New self-employed workers in Austria are those who earn income from self-employment without needing a trade licence to do so.

Baltas says: "Becoming new self-employed is a challenging process that requires commitment and no small amount of research in order to do things correctly."

READ MORE: What I wish before becoming new self-employed in Austria

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Weather

On Monday it will be largely sunny across Austria, but a chillier front is moving in.

The first clouds from the cooler front will hit Voralberg first and slowly move eastwards with possible rain showers and thunderstorms by the evening. 

It will initially remain largely dry in most parts of Lower Austria, Burgenland and southeast Styria.

The maximum temperatures during the day will be 21 to 30C, with the lowest temperatures in East Tyrol and Upper Carinthia.

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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