While an Austrian rental agreement (or Mietvertrag) is not that much different than the ones you are probably used to signing in your home country, there are some things that should be included on every Austrian lease or rental agreement if it is to be legal.
In other words, before you sign any Austrian Mietvertrag, make sure your new landlord has included all of the following things.
The owner’s name and address
The full contact information (full name and full address) for the owner of the property must be written on the agreement.
If you rented your apartment in Austria with the help of an agent, their contact information should also be included. (If you can rent an apartment without one, however, do so as most agents don’t do much yet charge a ridiculously high fee).
The term of the rental agreement in Austria
Unlike the United States for instance, where a rental agreement is only signed for a year, in Austria a typical agreement is for three years. That means, once you sign it, you can settle in for a while knowing that you are fully protected.
Some leases are even for five years or longer (mine is for five!) and, if they like you, many landlords seem to be fine with allowing you to sign another lease when the first one expires.
Whatever the term, by Austrian law it must be written out on the rental agreement. Don’t sign it if it is not.
The rental amount
The amount you have agreed to pay in rent must also be included in an Austrian rental agreement. It should also include any terms as to when it will increase.
Mine has a clause included that states my rent will increase if the annual inflation in Austria rises to more than 3%. So far, it has not.
The contract dates
The length of time you will be staying in the apartment on that particular lease should also be stated on the lease, from the beginning date to the end.
Some landlords begin the lease immediately you agree to rent the apartment (mine did, which meant I had to pay for half a month I technically didn’t need).
Others will date it to begin either on the last day of the month or the first day of the following month.
Amount of deposit
The amount you paid in deposit should also be included on an Austrian rental agreement. The deposit itself will usually be paid in cash or by check (the amount is usually 3 x your monthly rent).
Be sure to get a receipt, especially if you handed over a sizable amount of cash.
The property itself should be described in detail. This should include any fixtures or furniture that comes with the apartment, as well as any existing damage already done to them.
This protects both you and the landlord as they cannot come back to you later and try to claim there were things included in the apartment that were not, and you cannot claim you own something that you do not.
Most Austrian rental agreements will also include your responsibilities while living in the property.
Mine includes a section that says I am responsible for paying for the annual gas service, and that it should be done on time. It also stipulates that any repairs to the gas heater are the responsibility of my landlord.
Check your Austrian rental agreement, the Mietvertrag, includes all of these things before signing it.
If you are not sure if yours does, you can always contact Die Mietervereinigung and ask.