We’ve put together this article to help hosts on Airbnb become familiar with hosting responsibilities, and to provide a general overview of different laws, regulations, and best practices that may affect Hosts in Vienna, just like our country article for Austria. It’s your responsibility to verify and comply with any obligations that apply to you as a Host. This article can serve as a starting point or place you can come back to if you have questions. However, it isn’t exhaustive and it doesn’t constitute legal or tax advice. We recommend you stay up to date on current laws and procedures.
Some of the laws that might affect you are complicated. Contact the City of Vienna directly or consult a local advisor, such as an attorney or tax professional, if you have any additional questions.
Short-term rental regulations
Generally, apartments in Vienna can be rented out for tourist purposes. However, restrictions may apply as outlined in the Vienna Building Code or by Civil law. Please make sure to consult the City of Vienna’s website for an overview on the different laws, regulations and requirements that may affect you as a host in Vienna. For example, there are certain restrictions in the residential zones or in municipal housing in Vienna:
Since December 2018, commercial rental of accommodation is generally prohibited for designated residential zones. That means, that according to § 7a of the Vienna Building Code (“Bauordnung”), the regular commercial renting out of residential premises as short-term accommodation purposes is not permitted in residential zones.
However, according to the City of Vienna home-sharing (individuals renting out their private homes or rooms occasionally if the use for residential purposes by the host predominates) does not fall within the scope of the law and is therefore permitted in residential zones. However, there is no clear legal definition of home sharing.
New restrictions under Vienna Building Code Amendment since 2023
Please note that in 2023 the Vienna Building Code (“Bauordnung”) has been amended to introduce further restrictions for short-term rentals (for a duration of stay of up to 30 days). In order to understand how these changes affect you as a host, best consult the City of Vienna website or ask the Service Department for Urban Development (“Servicestelle Stadtentwicklung”).
The ban of short-term rental in residential zones will be extended. A new ban on commercial short-term rental and short-term rental of residences beyond 90 days a year without an exemption permit outside of residential zones will apply from July 1st 2024. From the date of announcement of the provision, short-term rental outside of residential zones is still permitted for another six months without an exception permit so that there is time to obtain such permit.
We recommend you to inform yourself about the new requirements including:
- Hosting restrictions in residential zones for all levels of a building, not just for the main levels (“Hauptgeschosse”)
- A ban of short-term rental in residential zones with the exception of home-sharing (no definition in the law; requires that the use for residential purposes of the host predominates)
- Restriction of commercial short-term rental
- Restriction of short-term rental of a residence outside of residential zones to 90 days in total per calendar year (Section 119 (2a) of the Building Code)
- Exchange of personal user data between the building and tax authorities to control compliance with the rules
- Extended liability of both the owner and users of an apartment/house for violations (Section 129 of the Building Code).
Exemption Permits (“Ausnahmebewilligung”)
In residential zones, an exemption permit for short-term rental may be granted under the conditions of Section 7a (5) of the Building Code, requiring a replacement for residential space.
Outside of residential zones hosts can apply for an exemption permit under Section 129 (1a) of the Building Code. It requires a written consent by the owner(s) of your building and that less than 50% of the units in your building is used for commercial short-term rental. Such an exemption permit will have limited validity for up to 5 years.
Pursuant to Section 135 (6a) of the Building Code, the mere offering of an apartment on the Internet, for example on Airbnb or other online platforms, in violation of building regulations is punishable as an administrative offense. An offense is punishable by a fine of up to EUR 50,000 or substitute imprisonment of up to two weeks.
In case you live in subsidized housing like the Viennese municipal housing or other social housing like in apartments built by “Gemeinnützige Bauvereinigungen”, you should check your lease agreement as it might include provisions that prohibit subletting without permission by the landlord. Non-compliance with a valid prohibition may have severe consequences, so make sure to follow the rules and make sure to check with your housing authority or housing association if you live in municipal housing and are interested in becoming a host.
Vienna City tax (“Ortstaxe”)
Vienna has a city tax that you must register for and pay regularly. Hosts are obliged to collect and pay the tax by the 15th day of the following month for paid stays in the previous month. You can process your payments with an online account. Further information regarding your city tax responsibilities can be found on the City of Vienna’s web site in both German and English.
The Vienna Tourism Promotion Act of September 2017 governs the collection of local taxes. According to the Act, anyone who stays in the city of Vienna in a lodging establishment or in private accommodation in exchange for money must pay the city tax. Minors staying in Vienna for school visits, vocational training, or at youth hostels, as well as students at Vienna universities, and persons staying continuously for more than three months in private accommodation are exempt from the city tax.
The tax is based on the amount paid for accommodation. You can calculate the tax with the City’s Tax Tool.
There are a few exclusions:
- Reasonable charges for breakfast based on local standards
- A flat-rate deduction of 11% of the remaining charge for accommodation (after you've subtracted 1 and 2)
The city tax is set at 3.2% rate of the Vienna city tax basis is per person and per accommodation.
Unless permitted to charge the local tax at a flat rate, the owners of the lodging establishment must keep records in such a way that all accommodations as well as the payment received for each individual accommodation is reliably visible.
In general, the money you earn as a host on Airbnb is considered taxable income that may be subject to different taxes like income tax, city tax, tourism tax, or VAT.
Tax forms for Austria are due by 30 April following each tax year. Check with the Federal Ministry of Finance to find out how you need to declare the amount you earn from hosting, which you can find in your host earnings summary. It’s also a good idea to find out if you’re eligible for other credits like tax reliefs and allowances.
Please note that from January 2021, Airbnb will report specific data to the Austrian tax authorities on the previous year. The data relates to the hosts’ identity and their hosting activities on the platform during the previous calendar year. This applies to both Homes hosts and Experiences hosts. You can find more details on the data reporting under the section ‘National Taxes’ in the Austria country article.
Commercial and private accommodation establishments are required to report the number of their guests and their overnight stays to the municipality on a monthly basis. Hosts also need to keep a guest register and must keep a guest register. Each guest - regardless of the length of stay - must be registered in a guest register within 24 hours of arrival at the latest and must be deregistered accordingly upon departure. You can read up on your reporting obligations as host on your guest at the City of Vienna website.
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