When you receive basic services in Vienna, you can live in assisted accommodation or in private accommodation. People who live in private accommodation can receive financial support for board and lodging. More on this can be found in the basic services section (internal site linking).
As soon as you have been granted asylum, the support with basic social benefits ends after a transitional phase of four months. If you are living in assisted accommodation, you must move out at the latest after this deadline has expired and seek new accommodation. People with subsidiary protection can also continue to live in a basic services facility even after the four months have expired.
When looking for a new place to live, you should take note of some important points.
Where can I find an apartment?
In Vienna, there are various types of apartments:
- Apartments on the free apartment market
- Cooperative apartments that are freely financed or funded
- Municipal apartments
Apartments on the free apartment market are primarily arranged via agents of real estate firms in return for payment of a commission.
Facility managements of cooperatives rent out apartments and do not ask for any commission.
Municipal apartments are apartments of the city of Vienna that are only accessible under certain prerequisites. One requirement is, for instance, that you must have had the focus of your life in Vienna for at least five years. Further information on municipal apartments can be found here: https://www.wien.gv.at/wohnen/wienerwohnen/
You can look for an apartment via apartment ads in newspapers as well as via apartment listings on the Internet. You can contact the landlords in writing or by telephone.
What is the commission?
A commission will be paid once if an apartment has successfully been placed by an estate agent. Please note the following maximum contributions for the commission:
|Time limit for up to three years||1 x gross rent + 20 per cent VAT|
|Time limit of more than three years and tenancy contracts without time limitation|
2 x gross rents + 20 per cent VAT
It is important that you do not make any down payments or advance payments on the commission before you sign the tenancy contract.
What is the deposit?
The deposit (or rental deposit) is a payment to the Landlord when the tenancy contract is signed. The deposit is used as a reserve (i.e. protection) in the event that a receivable exists in connection with the rental contract. For instance, if the rent is not paid or the apartment is returned in a damaged condition. For this reason, it is important to precisely inspect the apartment for damage when it is taken over. It is usual to demand 3 gross monthly rents as a deposit. However, the deposit may usually not exceed a maximum of 6 gross monthly rents.
It is recommended drawing up a handover record, i.e. a written documentation of the condition of your apartment. Please therefore have yourself accompanied by a good friend, advisor, etc. when you take over the apartment and take photos of the apartment. When you move out of the apartment again, have the condition of the apartment confirmed with a record.
What are operating costs?
Operating costs are costs incurred in the operation of the property. These are, for instance, costs for the cleaning in the building, for a caretaker, for gritting and snow-clearing services, administrative costs or insurance costs. These services benefit all tenants and therefore have to paid by the latter. The operating costs are settled up once a year. Depending on the property, various operating costs can be incurred.
What are heating costs?
The heating of the apartment (heat and hot water) is usually to be paid by the tenant. With a so-called "central heating", the proportionate costs will be broken down and assigned to the respective tenants based on the statement of consumption and settled up once a year.
Some apartments have their own heating (e.g. gas single-storey heating, distance heating). In this case, you have to conclude a separate contract with an energy supply company.
The type of heating is listed in the tenancy contract.
Please note that the tenant is responsible for the maintenance of the single-storey heating systems.
Who can help me in the search for an apartment?
The Vienna housing advisory centres will support in your search for an apartment. The employees check together with you the authenticity of the rental offer, the correctness of the rent and the commission. You can contact the following organisations.
|Asylum seekers||Persons who have been granted asylum||People granted subsidiary protection|
What do I have to bear in mind when choosing an apartment?
Apartments in Vienna have different categories of furnishings, i.e. different standards. The amount of rent is also based on these categories.
Category A: The apartment is in a usable condition and has a floor space of at least 30 m². Room, kitchen (kitchenette), hallway, WC, a contemporary bathroom facility and the preparation of hot water for the bathroom and kitchen are mandatory. The apartment must also have a central or single-storey heating system.
Category B: The apartment is in a usable condition and has a room, kitchen (kitchenette), hallway, WC and a contemporary bathroom facility.
Category C: The apartment is in a usable condition and has a water point and a WC.
Category D: Although it is an apartment, it lacks a water point or a WC or both.
What do I need to bear in mind before I conclude a tenancy contract?
A tenancy contract is a verbal or written agreement between a landlord (this can be the owner or the primary tenant of the apartment) and the tenant (or the subtenant respectively). Tenancy contracts can be concluded for a limited or unlimited period of time.
Please note: Tenancy contracts should be concluded in writing in order to be able to document the individual provisions.
There are different forms of tenancy contracts:
- Primary tenancy contract: If the tenancy contract is concluded with the building owner or the owner of the apartment, this is a primary tenancy contract.
- Subletting contract: If you rent the apartment from a person who himself/herself is only the tenant of the apartment, this is a subletting contract.
- Precarium contract: If an apartment is provided to you for use without charge, this is a precarium contract. Only the consumption-based operating costs can be charged. The provision for use can be revoked at any time. The Tenancy Law Act is not valid.
Important: Agreements and terminations must always be sent in writing. Many landlords request proof of income for a maximum of 3 months. Sureties from private individuals are also possible. This means that the guarantor (e.g. friends) is liable for your debts up until the amount of the surety. When the contract is concluded, a deposit in the amount of at least 3 and a maximum of 6 monthly rents usually has to be paid. However, this does not mean that you do not have to pay any rent for 3 or 6 months after moving into the apartment.
If you sign a rent offer on the day on which you have inspected the apartment, you can withdraw from this contract in writing within a week.
Important: Before you sign the tenancy contract, have this checked for correctness by a legal advisor.
Mieterhilfe ("Tenant assistance")
For what reasons can my tenancy contract be terminated?
Your tenancy contract can be terminated for the following reasons:
- If you do not pay the rent (on time)
- If you sub-let the apartment without permission
- If the apartment is rented but not inhabited
- If the house regulations are not complied with
- If you do not use the apartment correctly or grossly neglect it
- If you commit punishable deeds in the apartment
How can I terminate a tenancy contract myself?
An apartment can be terminated at any time if the period of notice is complied with. No reasons have to be indicated for this. Please note that according to the tenancy contract all tenants have to terminate the contract jointly. The period of notice is 1 to 3 months and should be listed in the tenancy contract.
How is the coexistence in the neighbourhood regulated?
For good coexistence in the neighbourhood, it is important to be considerate towards one another. In many buildings, there are house regulations listing the most important rules for coexistence in the house:
- The facility management takes over all tasks of the building owner and is responsible for the entire residential building.
- The rules for fire prevention must be complied with (stairs and corridors may not be blocked)
- The rest periods (10 pm until 6 am) must be complied with.
- Satellite systems may only be installed after prior consultation with the facility management.
- Waste separation is a component of the housing rules and must be complied with.
- Importance is attached to cleanliness in your immediate surroundings. It is important that everybody contributes to this:
- Bulky waste may only be handed in at the collection points of MA 48.
- Waste and cigarettes belong in the public waste bins.
- Birds may not be fed.
What else do I need to bear in mind BEFORE/WHEN I move into an apartment?
Please note the following points:
- Have the rental contract signed by the landlord
- Only pay your rental deposit in cash in return for a receipt
- Take out liability insurance if necessary
- Register any telephone or Internet connection
- Take photos of the apartment and complete a handover record
- Read the meters (water, electricity, gas, district heating)
What do I need to bear in mind AFTER I have moved into an apartment?
Everybody who lives in the new household has to register their place of residence to the district office in their district within 3 working days and with the following documents:
- Photo ID revealing nationality
- Birth certificate
- Completed registration form that has also been signed by the landlord.
Please note: The registration form is an official and important document that you regularly have to show to authorities (schools, Vienna municipal administration). Please be sure to keep the registration form in a safe place.
You also have to contact the following organisations:
- Registration of electricity/gas
- GIS-Registration due to the licence fee for radio and television
Where can I find advice on a rental contract?
Mieterhilfe ("Tenant assistance")
Schlichtungsstelle für wohnrechtliche Angelegenheiten
Furthermore, some associations offer advice on rental matters. This advice is tied to membership or will incur a fee.