Property buying guide for Austria
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Property maintenance in Austria

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Property expenses in Austria are not particularly high in comparison to other European countries. Essential charges include utilities and taxes while repairs, renovation and insurance depend on the owner’s budget.

Austria’s tax system for property is quite unique. It levies land tax (Grundsteuer) assessed on the estimated value (Einheitswert), which is materially lower than the market one. For apartment owners, it is a small fee included in the monthly utility charges.

Land tax on detached houses is assessed on both the cadastral definition and actual use of the plot. For example, the part of the land where the house is built is located is evaluated at a certain rate. Any land meant for development according to the cadastral plan (Bauland), but not yet developed, is charged at a different rate and finally, there is a separate rate for any land recorded as “green” use (i.e., forest or agricultural lands).

The estimated value varies by region and municipality. The local tax office (Finanzamt) can help owners estimate the average land tax for their plot.

Utilities bills

Rates for utilities vary from region to region and are calculated based on the living area of the house rather than the actual consumption. In Austria, utility bills (Betriebskosten) range from €2.50–3.50 per m² of residential property per month for midrange housing. This includes land tax, waste removal and water and sewage charges as well as monthly contributions to the home maintenance and repair fund, insurance of the building and the management company's fees for a flat in a shared residential building. For instance, an apartment of 70 m² in Vienna incurs €150 per month in fixed charges and another €80 for heating and electricity.

Expenses for a flat in a luxury residential building with sauna, spa, gym and private pool can exceed €300.

For residential buildings with multiple residents, a management company organises payments for insurance and maintenance and ensures cooperation with the residents and authorities regarding construction work in the building, improvements to the surrounding area, etc. They hold residents’ meetings every six or twelve months to decide on how the funds will be used and are elected by the residents. If the latter are not satisfied with the quality of services, they can appoint another company instead.

Heating, hot water and electricity are paid according to the meter at local rates. There is a fixed monthly rate paid throughout the year which is assessed according to surface area of the apartment. For example, it costs €45 per month for a 35 sq m apartment with gas heating. Meter reading are taken once a year; if the residents use more power than the monthly sum, they will have to pay up the difference at the end of the year and will have a higher charge the following year. Overpayment is carried through to the next year and the monthly charge is reduced. Heating charges in new apartment buildings are usually adjusted as needed. If the flat is unoccupied, the monthly charges are about €30.

Insurance

Insurance is taken out at the owner’s discretion and estimates are available on provider websites such as Versichern24.AT and Zurich Connect.

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    Property buying guide for Austria
    Article 5 of 6
    Tranio’s managers offer advice on buying real estate in Austria
    Marina Filichkina
    Marina Filichkina
    Head of Sales Tranio Thailand, Europe
    +44 17 4822 0039
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