Renting a property in Vienna
The vast majority of flats in Vienna are rented through real estate agents. Expats can either opt to find an agent to help them in their property search and provide them with information of different suburbs, or they can search newspaper listings and approach the representing agent themselves.
If expats have their own agent then they will likely only show them flats from their personal listings, as this maximises their commission earnings. It can require considerable luck to arrange a property showing alone.
What to expect when renting in Vienna
Most flats will come unfurnished and it isn't uncommon to find them without kitchen appliances. Unless planning to stay indefinitely, it's best to look for ads that specify a full kitchen. The washing machine hook-up will often be in the kitchen or bathroom. As clothes dryers are not commonly used in Vienna, some buildings provide drying rooms to hang laundry.
The building will either be in traditional old Viennese style with high ceilings and parquet floors, or a new build with lower ceilings, new floors, and new windows.
Short-term furnished apartments are a good option for those only staying in Vienna for a few months or who are unsure of the length of their stay.
Leases and cost of renting in Vienna
Read the lease carefully and, if necessary, have it translated. Leases usually run for at least three years – people living in Vienna tend not to move often because of the expenses involved in finding and securing a lease.
Estate agents charge a one- or two-month commission fee for their services. In addition, another two- to three-month rent equivalent is also required as a deposit to cover any potential damage to the unit. It is important to keep the unit and any provided appliances undamaged to guarantee that the deposit is returned in full.
Leases can be broken after a certain period of time, but a written letter detailing the desire to vacate is needed. Leases generally require that notice is given three months before leaving.