Most people moving to Austria tend to rent accommodation as property prices are high. The rental market is well developed in Austria; with a broad range of housing available. Accomodation outside urban areas not only tends to be cheaper but can also provide more pleasant living conditions. Check out the local public transport (Metro, Bus, Train) and/or car parking facilities as well as local amenities. Renting is a more practical option although, prices can vary considerably depending on location.
findng accomodation - Information on vacant apartments together with other kinds of property can be found from: property sites in the internet (enter ”immobilien oesterreich” in google for suitable sites)
city authorities and local councils
advertisements in newspapers, especially the weekend editions
estate agents (Immobilienmakler) who, however, may demand a fee for their services
university noticeboards are a practical source for students
Mietwohnzentrale provides information about flats or rooms which are sublet with a contract signed with the tenant, not the landlord. If you have local contacts ask them for help with your search as personal relationships often play a significant role in Austria.                        
cost of accomodation - The average cost of accommodation (rent; repayment/annuities in the case of owned apartments; operating costs) varies according to location. Prices can vary considerably in a single area and are related to factors such as fixtures and fittings, communication and transport links, neighbourhood and infrastructure. Inner city locations and locations in some outer suburbs tend to be more expensive as do smaller apartments. Additional costs that also need to be taken into consideration include: heating costs; gas and electricity charges and operating costs. Subsidised accommodation is also available in some districts but often involves being placed on a waiting list.
Landlords may sometimes demand an Abfindung – this is a one-time payment and it is generally not legal! Such compensation is only legitimate when extra value has been added to the apartment. If this kind of fee is paid, make sure that the payment is officially documented. If it turns out to be inappropriate, it may be possible to reclaim it. However, if the Abfindung results in a reduced rent it may be worth considering. When you move into your new room or apartment, It is advisable to take photos to document the state of the property when you move in. This may help you get back your deposit afterwards, if the landlord claims money for renovation or repairs.
landlord and tenant act - Rents for the majority of primary leasehold apartments and local authority and housing association apartments are regulated throughout Austria by the Landlord and Tenant Act (Mietrechtsgesetz). This Act deals with primary leasehold apartments (older buildings) according to their installations (heating, WC location, hot water supply, etc.), and additionally regulates sets limits for rents and standard rental rates, period of notice required, etc. Single-family houses are not usually covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act, they are, however, subject to legal requirements for period of notice requirements
lease / purchase contracts - Before a lease or purchase contract is concluded, it is advisable to contact an appropriate advice service e.g. Tenants’ Association (Mietervereinigung), Association for the Protection of Tenants (Mieterschutzverband), Consumer Information Association (Verein für Konsumenteninformation), Chamber of Labour (Arbeiterkammer) in order to have the lease or purchase contract checked for legality. A small annual fee covers full support and consultation in all legal aspects concerning rental contracts. A standard rental contract is usually signed for a period of three years. During this time you are legally well protected and your landlord will not be able to easily make you leave. Landlords carefully select potential candidates, and require proof that a tenant is reliable and can pay the rent on time.
shared accomodation - This form of accommodation (WGs or Wohngemeinschaften) is particularly popular with students and young people although the number of older people living in this type of accommodation is growing. It can be useful for those new to an area as it provides the opportunity to look for more suitable accommodation at leisure as well as providing local contacts. Living in a WG usually involves sharing kitchen and bathroom – rooms are not always furnished.Tenancy agreements (or rental contracts) for such apartments can either be limited or unlimited, with the following types of tenancy agreements are possible:
One person enters into a tenancy agreement, and the others move in as co-tenants. Disadvantage: If the person who negotiated the contract moves out, the tenancy agreement might not be transferred to another member of the commune and everybody may have to move out.
All members of the commune sign the tenancy agreement, and thus enjoy equal legal protection as tenants. If one member of the commune moves out, this does not change the tenancy agreement for the rest of the group. Students should, however, make sure that the rights of the person moving out are transferred to the remaining tenants.
Separate tenancy agreements concerning the rooms in which the individual members of the commune live are made with the landlord  
student accomodation - Students have the opportunity to apply for a moderately priced apartment through the Non-profit Student Housing Service (SWS). Appropriate apartments in older buildings including furniture can be rented from the SWS for one year, which may be extended for goo tenants. Students have to show adequate study progress at the university (freshmen only need to present their A-levels), as well as their income situation and/or that of their parents. Student Dormitories which are built and administered by various associations, foundations, and public corporations are also usually available - students should register for student dormitories one semester before they begin to study at a university.  
temporary accomodation - If you only plan to stay in Austria for a limited time, you can consider temporary accommodation, which is also a solution as an interim solution before settling in more permanently. In Austria, tenants are often allowed to sublet their apartment for a limited time. Since many young people travel a lot, this is actually quite common. Sublets can generally be found under the terms Untermiete or Zwischenmiete. This means that the flats or rooms are sublet with a contract signed with the tenant, not the landlord. Jugendwohnhäuser provide accommodation for young people under the age of 30, who are working or training. Single bedrooms, 1-room studios and 2-room-studios are offered. The housing units are generally equipped with telephone and TV. Shared facilities can include laundry, sauna, gymnastic room and library. The monthly includes all working expenses, fees for electricity and water as well as central heating

estate agents