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Factsheet for case AT-2020-14/579 Updated – measures in Austria

Alleviations for tenants

Erleichterungen für Mieter

Country Austria , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 April 2020 – 30 June 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Keeping a safe home
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Case created 13 April 2020 (updated 07 January 2021)

Background information

Several alleviations for tenants of rented apartments have recently been made, for those who suffer from the pandemic with income losses, disabling them from paying the monthly rent in part or fully. Measures include

  • the prohibition of the termination of a rental contract due to such financial problems;
  • the temporary exclusion of the enforceability of rent arrears;
  • reliefs with regard to the extension of fixed-term residential rental contracts;
  • and the statutory deferment of eviction for dwellings.

Content of measure

If the tenant of a flat does not pay a rent due in the period from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020, or does not pay it in full, because his economic capacity has been considerably impaired as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, the landlord can neither terminate the lease nor demand its cancellation in accordance with § 1118 of the Austrian Civil Code (ABGB) solely because of this arrears in payment. The landlord may not claim the arrears of payment in court until the end of 31 December 2020 or cover them from a deposit handed over by the tenant. In addition, the landlord may not legally demand payment of rent due between 1 April and 30 June 2020 until the end of 31 December 2020, nor may he/she cover it from a security deposit provided by the tenant. This is not a legal postponement of the due date, but only a temporary suspension of the enforceability of the claim.

Furthermore, a fixed-term residential rental agreement subject to the Austrian Tenancy Act (Mietrechtsgesetz) that expires after 30 March 2020 and before 1 July 2020 may, notwithstanding Section 29 MRG, be extended in writing until the end of 31 December 2020 or for a shorter period.

Finally, in order to prevent people in the current situation from becoming homeless due to eviction, it should be possible to postpone the eviction of apartments at the request of the obligated party (tenant).

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

23 December 2020

The date until which the landlord may not claim the arrears of payment in court or cover them from a deposit handed over by the tenant was postponed from 31 December 2020 to 31 March 2021. The regulation that non-payment of the rent for the time period April to June 2020 will not result in the possibility of being sued for eviction until July 2022 remains in place.

Use of measure

Currently no information available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

No involvement.

Views and reactions

Generally, not the social partners' main area of work (even though the Chamber of Labour consults and represents workers in that subject matter).

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Alleviations for tenants, case AT-2020-14/579 (measures in Austria), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.