HOW TO FIND AN APARTMENT
Vienna has 23 districts, and an excellent public transport system and is really not very large compared to other international cities, so most of the city is at your disposal. Districts 1-9 are considered the city center. Listings in the telephone book will begin with the district number, followed by the street name and number.
10, Klausstrasse 24/14
, Klausstrasse, house number 24
, apartment number 14.
The district (Bezirk) number usually precedes the street name on street signs. You can also suggest the district from the postal code. The second and third character of the “Postleitzahl” describe the number of the district. For example 1020 is the ZIP for the Second District.
Each neighborhood has a different flavor. You can learn more about the neighborhoods by asking friends, work colleagues (but be prepared the answers can sometimes be biased and what they like does not always mean the perfect fit for you) and visiting districts you might want to live in. Just walking around a neighborhood can be a real help in deciding where to live.
Choosing a neighborhood
If you want to make the most of the Viennese culture and also the night life you may prefer to live in central areas of the city. If you have children and your family feels more comfortable as part of the expatriate community, you may choose to live in the areas convenient to the International Schools.
Distance from work and traffic should be taken into account as well as the kind of lifestyle you intend to have.
If you like the hassle-free lifestyle of apartment living you have most of Vienna to choose from. If you want a house your options will be more limited.
The 19th & 22nd districts have the largest concentration of Expats with families due to it’s location and suburban qualities (i.e. American International School, Vienna International School, houses with yards). If you have children contacting the school they will be attending for recommendations might be a good start to help you decide the best option for you and your family.
Once you have a basic idea of the neighborhood(s) you want to live in, you should make the decision whether you will be taking on the task of finding and the apartment or house yourself or if you will use a Relocation Agent or Real Estate Broker.
Real Estate Agents
Real Estate Agents may ask for their commission only after having successfully negotiated a rental or purchase agreement. Commissions are calculated on the basis of the net total rent per month. Since 2010 commissions may amount to a maximum of two months’ rent.
For tenancy agreements limited to less than three years a maximum of one month’s rent may be charged. For tenancy agreements limited to three years and more a maximum of two months’ rent may be charged as commission. Relocation agents may have a different pay structure.
In Vienna different types of real estate agents can be found. From large franchises with several branches like RE/MAX or Engel & Völkers to smaller agents like My Broker and offices with special focus on relocation services.
Using a Relocation Agent has several advantages. They find apartments and make appointments to fit your schedule. A Relocation Agent would probably be invaluable to an individual who is unable to speak German, take time off from work, or someone who lives out of town. Relocation Agents also tend to have a wide selection of sources for apartments to choose from and they have access to apartments not available to the general public. Relocation Agents can also take care of the numerous other things that are part of moving-in like the police, registration, utility hook ups and the thousand and one other details involved in a move.
Many international companies have Relocation Agents for their employees. Ask your human resources person if there is an agent your company uses. You may want to begin your search by asking your employer if the company has any real estate services; some large companies hold apartments for employees or have very good contacts in the rental market.
If you decide not to use a broker, you will want to clear your calendar for a few weeks and take your vitamins, because you have a lot of work ahead of you.
Online Platforms specialized on Expats
Whether moving from abroad or being employed on a temporary basis, furnished apartments are an excellent option when settling in Vienna. Apartments are booked entirely online for rental periods starting at one month. Every apartment is move-in ready and all tenants are verified on the expat-focused platform.
Private apartments, as well as apartments offered by real-estate agents, are often advertised in daily newspapers. Especially the weekend editions are of particular interest.
Once you’ve found a listing that sounds promising, call right away to schedule an appointment. If you reach an answering machine, leave a clear, concise message; say that you are calling about the apartment that was listed in X publication. Give your name and telephone number, and ask the person to call you back at his/her earliest convenience to schedule an appointment to see the apartment. Follow up with another (polite) call in 24 hours if you don’t get a call back. There are times when apartment renters are swamped, and won’t return your call, but if you catch them while they’re around, you can usually work yourself an appointment.
Furnished apartments for mid- to long-term rentals
You are looking for a place for your extended stay in Vienna, from several months up to years, but don’t want to furnish a whole flat yourself? Then fully equipped apartments may be the right choice for you. There are providers specialized on mid- to long-term rentals of furnished apartments for business and expats. Since most providers have a broad selection of different apartments they may help you find the most suitable apartment for your needs.