All about owning real estate in Austria
Becoming a full owner of real estate in Austria
be prepared for the mandatory costs of its maintenance. In addition, the Austrian housing legislation clearly defines the rules and regulations regarding relations with neighbors, the installation of certain equipment, redevelopment and other aspects of home ownership.
Legal aspects of ownership
Every homeowner in Austria has not only rights, but also strict responsibilities
According to Austrian law, the owner of real estate receives three key rights:
- Use housing to your advantage.
- Actually own property.
- Freely dispose of housing: donate, rent, leave as a legacy.
Perhaps the main responsibilities of the owner are the observance of the general house rules and the maintenance of the residential condition of the property. So, after buying an apartment, you are responsible for cleaning the territory and ennobling it. Many homes have indoor smoking bans and designated quiet hours from 10 pm to 6 am – these requirements must be strictly followed.
The rules of the game change if the property is in fractional ownership. On the one hand, this is very beneficial, since the costs of maintaining housing are divided between equity holders. In addition, additional agreements on the rights and obligations of the parties can be drawn up. But on the other hand, it should be borne in mind that if one owner refuses to pay for the same “communal”, all expenses are transferred to another.
How to maintain property
The cost of maintaining a house or apartment is divided into 4 main parts:
- operating or utility payments;
- home management costs;
If you are the owner of an old house, the amount of expenses will have to include repairs and renovation of housing. This will bring it as close as possible to modern housing standards, and, in the end, still save a little on maintenance.
The work of electricians in the house
Maintenance of the house is a mandatory item of expenditure for the Austrian property owner
In Austria, property management and specialized companies are engaged in real estate maintenance. The former are responsible for the following services:
- Water and sewer service.
- Garbage removal.
- Lighting and cleaning of the common house area.
- Chimney service.
- Destruction of rodents and insects.
The owner enters into a separate agreement with the profile company for:
Gas and electricity supply.
Internet and telephone connection.
Home management expenses
In Austria, the practice of hiring a property manager to administer private and multi-family buildings is widespread. It can be both a legal entity and an individual. For all his actions, the manager reports to the meeting of tenants or the landlord. The terms of his duties are prescribed in the contract:
External representation of the interests of residents. The administrator hires lawyers, or he himself acts in court on behalf of the residents of the house.
Construction and renovation management. Conclusion of contracts with construction and repair contractors. In addition, the manager monitors the technical condition of building structures, elevators and laundries.
Financial management. Tracking utility bills of tenants and tenants. Collecting money into a reserve fund for operating expenses. Maintaining financial reporting.
Organization of meetings of homeowners and keeping minutes. A general gathering of tenants is held at least once every two years.
Accounting for unoccupied premises. Property check and rental assistance.
The management fee is included in operating costs. To date, this amount is about 4 euros per sq. m. m.
In Austria, the owner of real estate pays land tax. For apartment owners, the tax is calculated from the appraised value and included in the monthly rent. And for homeowners, the amount of tax consists of the cadastral value and the actual use of housing. The amount of the tax depends on the area where the house is located.
As a rule, the insurance contract includes a standard set of insured events, such as fire, flooding, burglary and natural disasters. In apartment buildings, insurance covers residential premises, therefore, it is possible to conclude an insurance agreement only with the consent of the majority of residents.
Features of the content of the old house
old austrian house
An old house in Austria must meet modern European standards
Buying an old house to live in is cheaper than buying a new building. But in the future, the house will still need repairs and, possibly, even reconstruction. After all, the old building is decaying.
In recent years, energy efficiency standards for buildings have become more and more popular in Austria. They try to make them as thermally insulated and airtight as possible, which significantly reduces heating costs. These standards also apply to old houses. If you own a pre-war house, get ready to replace the heating system, repair the roof, insulate the walls, install doors and windows.
Most of the old buildings in Austria are protected by the state, as they have cultural and historical value. Therefore, before repair work, it is necessary to consult with a specialist from the local monument protection department. In addition, the owner of an old house can count on a state subsidy that will cover up to 30% of the cost of repairing the building.
Relations with neighbors and solving common house issues
If the owner violates the rules of the house, the case may come to lawsuits against him. In order not to fall into the statistics, according to which every fourth inhabitant of Austria at least once came into conflict with neighbors, it is important to observe the rules of good neighborly coexistence.
The main claims of the neighbors
Dispute with neighbors
An old house in Austria must meet modern European standards
Most often, disagreements with neighbors arise for three reasons:
Too high noise level. Loud conversations, music, footsteps, noise from falling objects – such irritants, especially at night, can be a reason to go to court.
Unpleasant odors from smoking or barbecuing. In Austrian judicial practice, there are precedents when a tenant was forbidden to smoke and cook meat on the balcony strictly at a certain time.
Violations of the rules for the use of joint property. In Austria, you cannot install a video camera or hang up an air conditioner without agreeing with your neighbors.
Redevelopment and arrangement of the apartment
The homeowner, on the one hand, has every right to build additional walls in an apartment or house and cut in new doors. On the other hand, this requires the consent of the neighbors, because construction and repair work will be accompanied by a lot of noise.
In addition, in each federal state of Austria there are legislative regulations regarding the types of redevelopment and housing arrangements. For example, a permit from the local municipality is not required to paint the facade. But if you decide to attach a garage to the house, you will have to obtain official approval from the authorities.
Installing an air conditioner is also considered part of the home improvement process. Therefore, you may need the consent of the neighbors and permission from the supervisory authority. There are certain requirements for the placement of the external unit of the split system so that it does not violate the architectural appearance of the building.
Many houses in Austria have spacious balconies where residents set up barbecue equipment. But just like that, you can hardly fry meat at any time. Here, too, it is worth considering the rights of neighbors who can be annoyed by smell and smoke.
Therefore, at the entrance to the apartment, find out what rules are prescribed in the house for barbecue on the balcony. If you are renting out your property, you should inform the tenant about the same.
Voting at a meeting of homeowners
In Austria, the broker represents the interests of both parties, bearing double responsibility. Therefore, both the buyer and the seller pay him (from each, on average, 3.6% of the price)
The Austrian Federal Law on Residential Property specifies that all owners of apartments in a building are a community. Essentially a legal entity. It raises funds to repair the building, monitors its residential condition and hires a management company.
Once a year or two, tenants hold meetings where they discuss pressing issues: hiring an insurance company or manager, raising money to fix home equipment, the behavior of owners, and so on. Each item of discussion is subject to an open or secret ballot. 2/3 votes for or against are considered the basis for making a decision.
If the owner of the property is going to sell it, he will be subject to capital gains tax on the sale. In 2016, the tax rate was increased from 25% to 30%. Depending on when the immovable property is acquired, whether it is a building or a land plot, the tax is subject to:
transaction amount, if the property was purchased before 2002;
the difference between the purchase and sale price if the property was purchased after March 31, 2002.
There are several exceptions to taxation. Having inherited the property, the owner pays only 2 or 3.5% of the property transfer tax. There is also no capital gains tax if the homeowner built it himself. The tax is paid through a notary who submits information about the property to the tax office.
Almost every aspect of property ownership in Austria is legal and subject to strict rules. The main thing is to know your rights and obligations, take into account the requirements of local regulations and, of course, be friends with your neighbors. Then living in an Austrian house will be as comfortable and easy as possible.