How to find a rental apartment in Vienna, Austria without paying an agent fee (Provisionsfreie Wohnungen)

Renting apartments in Vienna, Austria usually means you will have to pay an agent fee

One of the big problems with finding an apartment to rent in Vienna, Austria is a huge number of them are only available via an agent.

What that sadly means is, along with paying the first month’s rent plus two to three months’ rent as a deposit before you can move in, you will also be expected to pay the agent fee.

As that fee can be up to two months’ rent for an agent who basically does nothing except show you a couple of apartments and then draw up a lease, renting a €1,000 a month apartment in Vienna can cost you over €6,000 before you can even move in.



That is why many people looking for apartments to rent in Vienna try to find one that can be rented directly through the owner and, thus,without paying an agent fee.

These apartments are advertised as ‘provisionsfrei‘ — aka commission free, and will usually be named on German-language apartment listings as Provisionsfreie Wohnungen — agent fee-free apartments.

I live in a building in Vienna that was built in the late 1950s, so my kitchen is a bit kitschy and yep, yellow. And I love it!

Where to find apartments in Vienna, Austria without an agent fee

With many people looking for provisionsfrei apartments in Vienna, however, they can be difficult to find.

I was lucky enough to find one as I did not want to pay over €2,500 to an agent, so I made sure I concentrated on looking at only provisionsfrei apartments when I set out on my apartment hunt.

I also allowed myself plenty of time (4 weeks) to find one.

The three websites I concentrated on that do list provisionsfrei apartments in Vienna when looking for places to rent were Privatimmobilien, Jobwohnen and Willhaben.

On all of these sites, you can search for apartments within a certain price range, with any apartment that is available without an agent fee being listed as such.

Just be sure you read the small print on any Vienna apartment for rent listing though before you agree to view one and then rent it as, just like in any country, some apartment owners in Austria do not have the morals others have.

How long will it take to find an apartment in Vienna without an agent fee

Before you get started, let me stress it will probably not be easy.

This is because most apartments are rented through an agent. Don’t get discouraged though as it is possible to find one. Especially if you allow enough time before you need to rent one and move in.

My apartment search, for instance, took me almost four weeks. Four weeks during which I searched online for places to rent every day and went to view almost 40 apartments before I found one.

Some of them were not places I would consider living in, did not fit the specifications I needed, or were in districts of Vienna I did not like.

Others I loved but, with over 100 other people also viewing them, it was not much of a surprise when the landlord decided to rent them to somebody else.

This can sometimes be a problem if you are not Austrian, as some landlords simply prefer to rent to someone from the home country although, of course, they will not tell you that.

That is why, if you can only afford to rent an apartment in Vienna without an agent fee, make sure you allow at least two weeks to a month or longer to find one and expect a lot of disappointments along the way.

You can also expect many landlords to set a specific time and day when an apartment can be viewed, and then have 50, 100 or more people show up to see it at the same time.

Once you do find Provisionsfreie Wohnungen you like and rent one, however, you will pay thousands of euros less for it than those that had to pay that fee. So it is well worth the time you will spend.

Unlike in many other countries, in Austria you will also get a lease that will allow you to live in the flat for at least three years (three years is the Austrian standard apartment lease term mandated by the government) before you either have to renegotiate the lease or move out.

In the latter case, just enough time to relax and enjoy your apartment before you have to do it all over again.

Michelle Topham