The deposit usually consists of 3 months’ rent (inclusive of house maintenance costs and VAT). Commercial property owners such as banks or insurance companies typically require a deposit of between 4 and 6 months’ total rent.
This is a one-time payment to the preceding tenant to compensate for permanent, non-removable improvements. According to Austrian rental law, an “Ablöse” can be exacted to compensate for substantive upgrades made to the standard of the rental property, such as the installation of a bathroom, toilet, heating system, new electrical wiring and other improvements. Where stipulated in the lease, it is also common practice for the preceding tenant to request an “Ablöse” in exchange for being allowed to pass on the terms of the existing rental contract to the successor, in particular with respect to the amount of monthly rent.
VAT – value added tax is 10% on rent for accommodation and for residential purpose house maintenance costs.
House maintenance costs (“Betriebskosten”) are revised at the end of each calendar year by the house administration (“Hausverwaltung”) and adjusted within the first 6 months of the following year. Your total rent may change accordingly, unless it was agreed that the rent is paid in a set amount with all charges included.
- Caretaker (Hausbesorger) where applicable
- Supply of water and maintenance of water pipes
- Insurance (except for your private household insurance)
- Garbage collection
- Cleaning and lighting of common area
- Costs of house administration and lift
- Chimney sweeping
- Snow Removal
Your landlord must have a legitimate reason to terminate your lease contract. There are two main justifications to terminate: non-payment of rent (or at least part of it) despite a written reminder, and if the property is being used inappropriately (i.e. physical damage to property; disturbing the peace of the neighbors.)
Please check the terms of the “notice clause” in your lease. Where expressly stipulated, a lease can be terminated, after written notice is provided by you three months in advance, whereby the notice must arrive at the landlord’s address by the last day of the month. In the absence of such a stipulation, written notice to your landlord must be processed by the court and served via judicial notice.
It is strongly recommended that you get household insurance coverage that covers theft, third party liability and damages caused by defective appliances such as fires from faulty electrical devices or water damage from washing machine or dish washer). It is also recommended to make sure a clause is included specifically covering glass breakage meant for windows, stovetops, of fish aquariums. It is helpful and cost effective to inquire about a package deal to combine your household insurance together with any other requirements you may have, such as accident, supplementary medical, legal protection, life insurance etc.
According to Austrian rental law “normal wear and tear” must be taken into consideration. However the law applies to apartments in “older” buildings (built before 1945). As it is becoming increasingly customary for landlords to include a clause requiring painting, you are advised to check the terms of your lease.
According to local customs the tenant is responsible to keep the apartment and its inventory that is provided to him/her in good condition, including repair and replacement of appliances. The owner is responsible for serious damages “ernste Schaeden”, concerning the substance of the house (roof, façade, windows on the outside, lift, pipes inside the walls). All other equipment is the responsibility of the tenant. Advice: Before moving in we recommend that you check if the appliances (stove, fridge, dishwasher, washing machine, and heating system) are in good condition and have been serviced before moving in. Also negotiate and get it in writing if the owner will replace the heating and/or appliances. Many landlords who want to rent to Expats will make this concession.
Gas/electricity is billed based on an estimate of the consumption of these utilities during the previous year, divided into 4 or more annual installments. The accounts are settled each year; whereby any credit or amounts are due; the month when the meters of your apartment will be read appears on the bill