To find a good apartment in Austria, you need…
How do you find a good apartment?
- You should search the internet for apartments:
- Register on Flüchtlinge Willkommen (Refugees Welcome) for a shared apartment with Austrians.
- Register on WGE! Gemeinsam wohnen (WGE! Living together) for a crossgenerational apartment with old or young Austrians.
- Visit a real estate agency in your town and let an agent show you the available apartments. Be aware that you will have to pay a commission fee for the agent.
- Here you can calculate how much the commission fee will cost you. It is illegal for agents to ask for higher commission fees.
- Ask your Austrian friends if they know about an available apartment.
- If you are a family, you can sign up at Volkshilfe Wien for FLATworks or FLATstarts (only in Vienna).
A few tips for finding an apartment:
- Do not move to Vienna if you do not have a job yet. In Vienna, unemployment and rent are very high. First, you should find a job anywhere in Austria and move there. Through this job you will quickly become a valuable member of Austrian society and after a few months or years you can always apply for a job in Vienna and then move there. People who want to be successful in Austria have to be flexible.
- Yes, your first apartment in Austria is probably going to be too expensive and not very nice. Don’t worry about it. Concentrate on your job and improving your German skills. Make sure that you earn money, save some of it and then you can go look for a better apartment.
Saving rental costs:
- The cheapest way to live in Austria is in a shared apartment. Independent people (men and women, mostly students) share a kitchen, living room, bathroom, but they have their own private bedroom. This is a fantastic opportunity to make friends and practise German. It is best to find a shared apartment (in German: “Wohngemeinschaft” or “WG”) on the internet:
- The further away the apartment is from the city centre or an U-Bahn station, the cheaper the rent will be.
- Compare the rental costs between the city districts, for example in Vienna.
- Old buildings (built before 1945) are cheaper. How much an apartment in an old building is allowed to cost you, you can calculate here.
- The bigger the apartment, the cheaper it is per square meter. Take for example a 50m2 apartment that costs €600 per month and compare to it a 120m2 apartment for €1200 per month. The smaller one costs €12 per 1m2 and the bigger one €8.30 per 1m2. Think about moving into a bigger apartment with friends or another family to save money in the beginning. In Austria, it is normal to change apartments on a regular basis.
Appointment for viewing the apartment:
- If you view the apartment or meet your future housemates in a WG, you should remember that this conversation is like a job interview. That means:
- be on time
- wear nice clothing
- be friendly and smile
- take your pay slip, CV and reference letters with you
A few tips for a good neighbourhood:
- As soon as you move into your apartment, you should go from door to door through the whole house to introduce yourself to the neighbours with your name and apartment number. This is to ensure the neighbours know about you and maybe even a friendship can develop with one or two neighbours.
- Read the house rules – you should have received them with your contract from your landlord. Often the house rules are also displayed in the entrance foyer of the house. This is where you can find the most important rules for ensuring a nice atmosphere and where many questions are answered:
- Where can I put the baby stroller or leave my bicycle?
- Where can I do my laundry and leave it out to dry?
- Am I allowed to barbeque in the garden or on the balcony?
- Am I allowed to have a cat?
- Where can I smoke?
- … and many other things. It is worth reading the house rules at least once.
- In Austria we have a ‘night-time peace’. This is valid every day – also on a Friday or Saturday – and means that in between 10pm and 6am it should be quiet in the house. If you really want to have a party, you should ask your neighbours beforehand and get their permission. If you are too loud, they might call the police and you have to pay a fine.
- Recycling is very important. If garbage is regularly put into the wrong container, the whole house has to pay a fine. If you do not know which garbage goes into which container, just knock at your neighbour’s door and ask.
- Sign up at FragNebenan. This page is similar to Facebook – but only for your neighbourhood.
- Attend a course:
- Go to the nearest centre of the Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF) and sign up for an integration workshop on the topic of “Environment and Neighbourhood”.
- If you live in Vienna, sign up to an information event of MA17 on the topic of “Living Together”.