The Bestellerprinzip: A Game-Changer in Austria's Real Estate Market

09-Nov-2023 | relocation The Bestellerprinzip: A Game-Changer in Austria's Real Estate Market

Discover how the “Bestellerprinzip” – the New Broker Act – is transforming Austria's real estate market, impacting tenants and expats alike.

Austria's real estate sector is undergoing a profound transformation, revolutionizing the way properties are rented and leased. At the heart of this shift is the "Bestellerprinzip," the policy, which translates to the "orderer principle" in English, holds the potential to enhance fairness, transparency, and efficiency in the realm of property transactions by changing the payment structure for real estate services. Let's delve into the essence of the New Broker Act and understand its far-reaching implications for Austria's real estate industry, particularly its impact on Expats.

What is the “Bestellerprinzip”?

The core principle behind the New Broker Act is simple. Traditionally, tenants shouldered the financial burden of renting or leasing properties, including the real estate agent's fees. This system often led to financial strain on tenants, who were essentially paying for a service first and foremost benefiting the property owner. Under the New Broker Act, this dynamic has shifted. The party commissioning the real estate agent is now responsible for the agent's fee. In most cases, this duty falls upon the property owner or landlord. The policy encompasses apartments, houses for rent, and even rooms in shared flats.

This change has multiple positive effects, such as promoting a more equitable distribution of costs within the real estate market.

More positive implications for tenants

1. Financial Relief: The New Broker Act is a welcome relief for tenants who can now save a significant amount of money when searching for a new rental property. In the past, the agent's fee could be quite substantial, particularly burdensome for those grappling with moving costs and associated expenditures.

2. Enhanced Transparency: The new policy boosts transparency in the real estate market. Tenants can now be more confident that the property they choose is not influenced by the real estate agent's financial interests. This promotes a fairer selection process based on the property's suitability for the tenant's needs.

3. Competitive Market: With reduced financial barriers for tenants, the rental market is likely to become more competitive. This could drive landlords and property owners to offer better terms, prices, or conditions to attract tenants, ultimately leading to a healthier and more competitive real estate market.

How does it impact Expats?

The New Broker Act brings positive implications for newcomers to Austria, including international employees, as well as their employers who have often paid for these brokerage fees. However, a trend is emerging where property owners are opting to privately list their offerings on platforms like "willhaben" to bypass broker fees. This approach also involves landlords drafting leases themselves, which has led to certain rental agreements containing inaccuracies or flaws. Instances include incorrect clauses about full or partial applications, confusing painting obligations, and legally invalid stipulations regarding wear and tear, among others.

A Fairer Future for Austria's Real Estate

The New Broker Act is transforming Austria's real estate sector, emphasizing fairness and transparency by altering payment dynamics. Expats, in particular, benefit from reduced financial barriers and increased competitiveness as property owners shift to private listings, signifying a promising chapter in Austria's evolving real estate scene.

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Author: Julia Hausstätter