Accommodation in Austria

Accommodation in Austria
Updated 2023-08-06 13:11

There is a wide range of accommodation options available in Austria, from apartments and houses for rent to flatshare options. In metropolitan areas, apartments are the most common option and can range from studios up to multi-room flats.

House hunting in Austria

To find accommodation in Austria, the best options are real estate agents, housing classifieds, and newspaper adverts, although printed ads are less common now. Rental costs can vary depending on the age and condition of the unit, location, size and fittings.

If you want to live in a shared flat, you might have to go through an informal selection process where the other housemates ask you about yourself, your job and your interests. Usually, they do this with different people, and based on this information, they decide who they want to live with.

Rental requirements in Austria

There are two types of lease options -- a primary lease and a sublet

Primary lease agreements under Austrian tenancy law are for a three-year duration, so if you are staying for a shorter time in the country, it is better to consider a sublet. However, if you need to cancel a lease, usually, three months' notice is required.
In Austria, tenants are relatively well protected. There are also unlimited master tenancy agreements.

A sublet is when the leaseholder rents the property to a third party wanting to rent. This is legal in Austria and a great alternative if you wish to relocate before the duration of your lease has finished.

To sign a lease in Austria, you will need to provide references, proof of employment, rental history, and a security bond, which can be up to three months' rent. In addition to the monthly rent, you will also need to allow for gas, electricity, and heating costs, which are generally paid by the tenant. Some landlords may also require you to have home insurance, which will protect your belongings in case of an accident or break-in. Of course, this is an additional cost to account for when budgeting.

In Austria, it is very common that properties are rented unfurnished, so you will need to provide your own furniture and appliances. If you find a furnished flat or house and you intend to rent it, this usually comes with a pretty high deposit. The amount depends on the rent price and is often three times that number.

In many instances, new or recently renovated flats do not come equipped with a kitchen. If you have long-term plans to reside in such a flat or house, you have the option to select your own kitchen setup. In most situations, you can arrange an agreement with the landlord to receive compensation for the kitchen when you eventually move out, should you decide not to take it with you.

Good to know: In the past, tenants were responsible for paying the estate agent's fees. However, there has been a recent change in the rules, and now landlords are required to cover these costs.

Finding furniture for an unfurnished flat in Austria

In Austria, when it comes to furnishing your flat or house, you have a wide range of options depending on your budget and personal preferences. Additionally, you have the choice to hire an international removal agency to transport your furniture from your previous residence. It is essential to compare the costs and benefits of each option to make an informed decision that suits your needs and preferences.

If you prefer purchasing used furniture, you can explore the website of the Austrian classifieds site called It features numerous second-hand ads across various categories, including flats for rent. Additionally, you have the option to visit flea markets, with a notable one taking place every Saturday at the Naschmarkt in Vienna. Another alternative is checking out the Carla shops operated by Caritas, where you can find interesting pieces of furniture.

On the other hand, many people prefer buying furniture directly from major furniture stores or their websites. In Austria, you can find the following furniture stores:

  • Ikea
  • Möbelix
  • Mömax
  • Leiner/Kika
  • Möbel Ludwig

Buying property in Austria

When purchasing property in Austria, buyers should first consult the government's land register for details on the property, including ownership title and history. Once the property sale is complete, you will need to update the government register with your details as the new owner.

Before the sale can be finalized, a contract must be drawn up that both parties agree to, the property price must be paid in full, as well as all fees. Non-EU citizens must first obtain government approval before a property can be purchased. Non-EU buyers must show their passport, proof of income, a declaration on how the property will be used and approval is obtained from provincial authorities. It is approved if it is determined that the sale will not negatively impact the national interest.

Student accommodation in Austria

Students may choose to live in a dormitory provided by their university, or they may select private accommodation. Flat sharing is a popular option and is cheaper than renting a unit as an individual.

If you are studying in Vienna, you can receive discounted housing through a non-profit organization called Student Housing Service (SWS). They offer reduced rates for furnished student properties, and the student must prove that they have enrolled in a study program when applying.

Heating, water and operating costs in Austria

In Austria, there is a wide range of around 150 electricity suppliers and 50 gas suppliers, leading to varying costs for electricity and gas depending on your location. These costs comprise energy consumption charges, grid costs, and additional taxes and fees.

Gas is mainly offered for heating and hot water purposes in older buildings known as "Altbau," but gas stoves are not commonly found anymore. Moreover, Austria has plans to phase out the use of gas as an energy source in the coming years. If you move to Austria into a flat or house, you have the option to select and register for different tariffs online. Alternatively, you can choose to continue with the same provider used by the previous tenant and landlord.

When choosing an electricity or gas provider, you should consider the following criteria:

  • Price
  • Whether you prefer 100% green electricity
  • How often you want to switch to take advantage of offers or prefer to stay with one provider
  • Whether you want electricity sourced from Austria

There are various online portals where you can calculate prices and check the origin of the electricity. In newer buildings, environmentally friendly district heating ("Fernwärme") is commonly used. While it efficiently and ecologically heats the flats, it is not particularly cheap.

Air conditioners are not typical for living spaces in Austria. While many offices are equipped with air conditioning, it's rare to find them in flats and houses due to the climate. The need for air conditioning arises only for a few weeks during exceptionally hot periods, not for most of the year.

To counteract the heat and improve thermal insulation in Vienna, you can have external blinds installed, and the City of Vienna offers public funding with subsidies of up to 50%. However, certain conditions must be met, such as the house being more than 20 years old and the landlord's written agreement.

Before moving in, it's essential to find out if the previous tenant or landlord has disconnected the electricity. In such cases, you will need to provide additional details during the registration process.

Regarding additional costs, they are typically already included in rental prices. However, for properties, these costs can be significantly higher and may need to be paid separately.

Registration in Austria

Once you have found and moved into an apartment, house, student room, or shared apartment in Austria, it is essential to report your new address to the municipal office, known as the "Gemeinde" or "Magistrat" in larger cities. It's crucial to note that this notification should only be done after you have actually moved in; providing false information could lead to legal consequences. In Austria, it is mandatory for everyone to be registered at a specific residence.

The registration form for this purpose is called the "Meldeschein," and it holds significance for various bureaucratic procedures and contracts within Austria. It is essential to keep your residential registration updated.

Notably, there is a digital official service available for changing your main place of residence (both registration and deregistration) within Austria, which can be utilised if you move within the country. This service streamlines the process of updating your address information when you relocate within Austria.

Legal requirements for staying in Austria

Having a good relationship with your neighbors greatly enhances the quality of life. However, it's essential to know when certain activities are permissible and when they might cause disturbances. Austria tends to be a noise-sensitive country, and most people highly value their nighttime rest.

By law, it is not allowed to create disruptive noise, even during the daytime. It's essential to be considerate of others, especially during quiet hours. For instance, playing loud music or hosting a noisy party with open windows should generally be avoided, especially during the night clock, which is typically from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on weekdays, Sundays, and public holidays.

If you encounter noise issues with your neighbors, it's best to initiate a conversation with them rather than immediately involving the police. You can politely discuss the matter, such as if your neighbor is practicing the piano or doing some drilling while you have put your children to bed. Communication can help find a reasonable solution and maintain good relations.

In summary, being aware of legal regulations and respecting quiet hours can foster a peaceful living environment and prevent conflicts with neighbors. Open communication and mutual understanding play a significant role in harmonious coexistence.

German terms in Austria

It's true that most announcements for buying or renting properties are in German when searching online. To help you navigate through these listings, here are some essential terms explained:

Apartment/Flat: "Wohnung"

Room: "Zimmer." For instance, a "1-room flat" is called "1-Zimmer-Wohnung," and a "2-room flat" is called "2-Zimmer-Wohnung," and so on.

Metro: "U-Bahn"

Local train: "S-Bahn" In Vienna, it indicates if there is an underground/train station nearby.

Landlord: "Vermieter:in"

Tenant: "Mieter:in"

Deposit: "Kaution"

To buy: "kaufen"

To rent: "mieten"

Old building: "Altbau" (often abbreviated as AB)

New building: "Neubau" (often abbreviated as NB)

Operating/additional costs: "Nebenkosten" (often abbreviated as NK)

If you are having difficulty understanding certain announcements, it's a good idea to ask around among your acquaintances if anyone can help. Often, valuable opportunities for buying or renting properties can arise through word-of-mouth recommendations. With these terms in mind, you'll be better equipped to navigate the property market in Austria.

Useful links:


Der Standard


Schwarzes Brett

Acquisition of Property

Home 4 students

Tenants' Association (German)

Property for Rent

Amazing Austria Rentals

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