Accommodation in Austria

Accommodation in Austria
Updated 2020-01-08 13:26

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 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.

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 accident or break-ins. 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 will 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. 

Buying property in Austria

When purchasing property, 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 finalised, 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. More information in our article "Buying property in Vienna".

Student accommodation in Austria

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

In Vienna, students can receive discounted housing through a non-profit organisation called Student Housing Service SWS. They offer reduced rates for furnished student properties, and the student must show proof that they have enrolled for a study program when applying. Find out more in our article "Student life in Vienna".

 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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