Rents to rise shortly

Hundreds of thousands of Austrians will be forced to fork out more on rent soon.

Radio station Ö1 reported yesterday (Tues) prices would be increased for certain categories of contracts. According to tenants’ representatives, 300,000 households will feel the price hikes set to come into effect later this month or next month. They explained that, with 220,000, the lion’s share of affected flats were located in capital Vienna.

Residents who signed contracts before 1994 will soon be asked to pay more. Those who moved in later were warned about an increase of rates in April 2012. Property managers explained the increases were determined in bylaws and had to do with inflation. Regulations mean rates must be adapted from time to time.

Austria’s inflation was found to be 3.7 per cent in August compared to the same month of 2010 by Eurostat, the European Commission’s (EC) statistic agency, in its most recent check. This means the overall price of products and services on offer in the alpine state increased at this rate. The figure is just a slight decline compared to July when Eurostat found a 3.8 per cent increase. Especially food, heating oil and car fuel have become dearer in Austria in the past months.

The European Union (EU) average was 2.9 per cent last month compared to August 2010, unchanged from Eurostat’s comparison between July 2011 and July 2010. Soaring car petrol prices fuelled inflation in most countries, according to researchers.

News that rents are set to rise come on the heels of reports that more apartments and houses were sold last year than in 2009. Land registry records reveal that 93,807 estates were acquired in 2010, 12.7 per cent more than the year before.

Austria has 8.5 million citizens. Around half of them reside in houses. Forty per cent live in rented flats and 10 per cent in apartments they own. One in five people living in Austria plan to move within three years, according to a survey by Market. The agency interviewed around 1,000 citizens.