Additional financial expenditure

Real estate agent (Immobilienmakler/Immobilienmaklerin)

In Austria real estate agents are called Immobilienmakler or Immobilienmaklerin. They sell or let flats on behalf of the owners and are required to carry a licence. If you find a flat with the help of a real estate agent, you are supposed to pay an agent’s fee (Maklergebühr) or agent’s commission (Maklerprovision). The real estate agent, however, can only ask for a commission or fee if the tenancy or purchase agreement is actually concluded. Commissions are calculated on the basis of the monthly gross rent and may only amount to a maximum of two months’ rent. For tenancy agreements limited to three years, only a maximum of one month’s rent may be charged as commission.

Security deposit (Kaution)

In most cases you will also have to pay a security deposit. A security deposit serves as a guarantee for the landlord or landlady to cover rent arrears or costs of potential damages caused by the tenant. If nothing gets damaged during your tenancy, the security deposit will be refunded upon moving out. Whether a security deposit has to be paid at all, as well as the exact amount of it, is a matter of agreement between the tenant and the landlord. In general, the security deposit equals the amount of a three to six months’ gross rent. Security deposits can either be paid in cash, by means of a savings book, or bank guarantee.

Compensation for investments (Investitionsablöse)

If the former tenant made valuable investments to improve the housing situation inside the flat, a compensation for investments has to be paid by either the new tenant or the landlord or landlady to compensate for these investments. The compensation for investments is subject to Section 10 of the Austrian Landlord and Tenant Act (MRG). Unlawful compensations may be reclaimed via the arbitration board (Schlichtungsstelle) (German) within three or ten years. If you need assistance and information, various tenants associations and organisations will help you.

Key money for fixtures and fittings (Privatablöse)

In some tenancy agreements it is specified that the tenant is guaranteed a key money for built-in furniture and a fitted kitchen. The current value of the built-in furniture must be assessed in advance by an expert and submitted to the landlord or landlady.

Vienna key money calculator (Wiener Ablöserechner)

The Vienna key money calculator (German) is an online tool which calculates the current value of the built-in furniture and the key money, which has to be paid for it.

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