Since I moved to Graz 6 years ago, I have been through every type of rental place you can find. I have lived in a student dorm, in a room in a shared flat (WG), in a one-room Altbau and in a two-room Neubau. In this article I would like to use my experience to help those looking for accommodation in Graz.
Disclaimer: as I have never bought a house or a flat, I can only give advice on rental accommodation in Graz. (Based on my own experience).
If you would like to get an idea of which neighbourhood of Graz suits you, check out my previous article on the topic. Otherwise write a comment below or send me a message if you have any other question regarding accommodation in Graz. I will try to help as much as I can! 🙂
Average rental prices
There are two main reasons why the prices of real estate are going up in Graz (and many cities around the world): on one side, people buy flats as investment and keep them empty; on the other side, AirBnB has arrived making renting to tourists more attractive to home-owners. This means that less flats are available for renting and the prices go up.
Here is an overview of rental prices by square metre (source):
|Neighbourhood||Average prices by square metre|
What does this mean?
On average, renting a room in a shared flat will cost you anything between €350 and €450 per month. A one-room studio apartment (30m² to 35m² ) from €400 to €500 per month. A two-room studio apartment (35m² to 50m² ) from €500 to €800 per month.
General information for renters
Costs and contracts
Besides the expenses for rent, for most flats you are expected to pay a Kaution (deposit) and a Provision (commission). The commission obviously only comes into question if you are looking for a flat over a real estate agency. Each amounts to 1-2 months’ rent and may need to be paid in advance to secure the flat for yourself. If you would like to rent without paying a commission, look for listings stating “provisionsfrei“.
Rental contracts can have a fixed term of 3 or 5 years, after which they need to be renewed. However, usually after one year you are allowed to leave the flat without any financial repercussions.
The price of rent usually includes the “Betriebskosten“, utility costs. These can become higher from year to year depending on taxes, inflation and the building’s management. Contracts for heating, electricity, internet and so on have to be done separately and the costs are not included in rent. Here we distinguish then between “Kaltmiete“, rent without utilities and bills, and “Warmmiete“, including utilities and bills.
If the flat is completely new and you are the first person to move in (Ersteinzug), you may also have to pay an extra deposit for the kitchen in the flat. Make sure to clear this with the real estate agent or landlord, to have no bad surprises.
Furniture and furnishings
Flats and rooms usually come unfurnished, so you are expected to buy all furniture and electronics for yourelf. It may happen that the person living before you in the place would like to sell you the furniture, this is usually stated with “Möbelablöse möglich” on the listing.
You can find three different types of buildings listed: Altbau, renovierte Altbau and Neubau. Altbau describes a building built before the 1960s, they are characterised by high vaulted ceilings, thick walls, hardwood floors and old-fashioned doors and windows. Renovierte Altbau means that the old building or flat has been renovated, usually with modern windows and fixtures. Neubau is everything else, usually those types of houses have lower ceilings, modern fixtures and are more efficient when it comes to heating.
If you are an Erasmus student or planning on staying in Graz for less than one year, I heartily recommend looking for accommodation in a student dorm. The room is furnished and the institute takes care of bureaucracy for you. It is quite easy to get a room there, you need to apply some months before your arrival date in Graz and they gave you a room if any is available. When you apply, you can choose whether you want to stay in a shared room, a single room or a studio apartment. Here is a great list I found of student dorms when doing research for my article on studying in Graz.
Many students though prefer looking for a room in a shared flat (WG – Wohngemeinschaft) instead, because it gives you more freedom than a dorm.
Here are some links where you can find adverts for free rooms or free flats in Graz:
- Facebook groups:
If you decide to look for a room in a shared flat, be aware that room-seekers have to go through a sort of “casting” process. Living in a WG means that you are expected to spend time with your flatmates and do things together. Therefore, current occupants of the flat want to meet every applicant to make sure the one selected fits well in the group. However, if you are not interested in this, you can look for a so-called “Zwecks-WG“, where consequently people live under the same roof but only share the flat with having little to do with one another.
Where to find rental accommodation
Here are links to pages where you can find flats to rent in Graz: