An Expat Guide to Rental Housing in Austria

If you will be moving abroad to Europe to live and possibly work in Austria you will need to find your self some appropriate housing. It is a good idea to familiarize your self with the process of getting housing in Austria before you actually arrive in the country.

When you begin your search for a rental in Austria you will notice that there is a lot of variety in available properties. There are brand new apartments and very old buildings and a little of everything in between. Note that the places closer to city centers will be some of the most expensive places to rent while the more remote places are cheaper to rent.

Note that Austria does have a somewhat expensive cost of living, but it is cheaper than Switzerland or the surrounding Nordic countries. Spain and Italy both offer a less expensive cost of living. If you want to live in a city, such as Vienna, you will see that apartment prices start around €400 per month for rent, not including utilities.

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One of the best ways to find an apartments is in the newspaper classified ads. The Friday editions of the local newspapers offer the most selection of ads. You can also search for apartments with the help of housing agencies, university notice boards and on the internet.

Student housing offers some of the cheapest rental options if you qualify. Other than student dorms there are also communal apartments and student apartments that students can rent for a modest price.

If you are not interested in getting an apartment by your self you will want to look into getting a shared apartment or other type of temporary housing. Shared apartments come unfurnished and you will be sharing a bathroom and kitchen with others. You may also want to sublet an apartment from another tenant. Craigslist is a popular place to find sublets. There is also an agency, called Mietwohnzentrale, that specializes in locating furnished shared apartment rentals for short term periods. Note that there is a fee for their service.

When you find an apartment for your self you will need to be ready to sign a rental contract and pay a deposit. Rental contracts are typically signed for a period of three years with a deposit of one to three months worth of rent being the standard. You should take photos of the apartment before you move in so that you will not be charged for anything you did not do when you move out. You should also beware of landlords that try to charge you a one-time nonrefundable fee as this is illegal. If you do end up paying it make sure that it is documented so that you will be able to get it back. Sometimes people pay the fee just to get the apartment that they want badly.