What is a rental agreement? How does it come about? What do you have to pay attention to?


A rental agreement is a verbal, written or tacit agreementbetween the landlord (owner, main tenant) and the tenant (or subtenant) for a certain rental object at a certain rent. If you submit a binding rental offer and the landlord or landlady accepts it, a contract has already been concluded! This means that landlord and tenant are bound to the contract and a withdrawal without cause is no longer permissible. What we can give you as a tip is that you should confirm all verbal assurances (e.g. use of parking space, garage, washing and drying room, hobby room, use of garden) in writing.

Most rental apartments in Austria are subject to the MRG (Mietrechesetz), i.e. houses that were built before the 2nd World War. The advantage with these rental apartments is that there is simply better protection for you as a tenant in many areas in this regard(rent formation, operating costs, maintenance, redemption, etc.). Therefore, you should always ask whether the MRG applies to the apartment to be rented and when the house was built, and also record this in writing in the rental agreement. In addition, always check whether it is a main lease or a sublease.


Contract duration


In advance, you should consider how long you want to live in the apartment and whether a fixed-term or an open-ended leaseis an option for you. Tenancy agreements can be concluded for an unlimited period or for a limited period (for example, for 5 years). In the case of fixed-term contracts, the minimum term is 3 years and there is a right of early termination only after the expiry of one year to the last day of the month, subject to a notice period of 3 months.

Exceptions are made in the case of one- or two-family houses. Here, on the other hand, there is no minimum term and the contracts cannot be terminated prematurely unless such a possibility has been contractually agreed.

Therefore, we provide you with another tip: In the case of fixed-term leases, always take into account the inclusion of a so-called exit clause, such as: "The tenant is entitled to terminate the lease by giving one month's written notice".


Signing the lease


The following applies: Whoever signs the rental agreement also becomes the tenant..


Sole tenant

You can become the sole tenant, but then you are also solelyliablefor the rent and other claims of the landlord.

Shared apartments/WG

In a shared apartment, several people agree to live together in one apartment informally and voluntarily. General rooms such as WC, kitchen and bathroom are shared and usually a separate room is provided for each person's privacy (=bedroom). A shared apartment can be established by several people signing a rental agreement with each other or by one person becoming a tenant and all others being subtenants.


Shared apartment with main and subtenants

In this case, one person usually concludes the main rental agreement and then sublets to the other WG members. The lease agreement must state in writing that several people will be moving in. As the main tenant, you are externally liable toyourlandlord for all claims (rent payments, etc.) but you also act as the landlord to the other tenants and derive rights from this yourself.



Several persons can also become co-tenants with equal rights, who are jointly liable for the rent. All co-signers of the rental agreement have the same rights and obligations, but this also means that they may be liable for the entire rent alone.


Costs for the establishment of the contract


No contract establishment costs are required for rent-protected apartments, as the conclusion of a lease is a typical administrative activity and the associated expenses are covered by the management fee -> charged to the tenants as operating costs. No lawyers or notaries have to be considered for the conclusion of the written lease agreement. Any piece of paper on which landlord/landlady and tenant agree on and sign the essential parts of the contract is sufficient.