Welcome to the weird world of Austrian apartments. In Austria it’s common for an apartment to be rented out completely empty, as was the case with the one we recently moved out of. Now, I know what you’re thinking… you’re thinking: “of course you expect to move into an empty apartment.”
But I bet your concept of an empty apartment is not the same as here. In Australia, it means the place comes with a bathroom, toilet, kitchen, hell, maybe even a laundry sink if you’re really lucky!
The apartment that Thomas originally moved into was brand new and had only the following – toilet, shower/bath and very basic washbasin.
And. That. Is. All.
No kitchen, no bathroom cabinets or storage cupboards, nothing.
So here comes the rub.
Because of the way he rented it (empty), it means that potentially he could be expected to revert it back to its former status – eg. Ripping the entire kitchen out.
Are you kidding me??? No, sadly not.
Luckily there’s a work-around. Before you tell the city office (who controls all the state aided rentals) that you plan to move out, you first find someone who is not only happy to rent your apartment, but will also hopefully give you some extra cash on top to cover all the ‘upgrades’ you made to the apartment. Eg. Putting in the kitchen.
Then, when you do tell the city office, you also pass along the name (or names) of the people you’ve already talked money with. Officially the city office can still bring in a third party to look over your apartment – and technically if the city chooses that third person they can override everything and force you to take out your kitchen or leave it in without receiving any extra money.
In our case everything luckily went as planned. We lined up two prospective ‘renters’ and the city didn’t bother bringing a third person into the mix. They made the decision and informed us, and then we could bring the ‘contract’ into play that we had made previously with the new tenant, which stated which furniture we were leaving behind and how much they were paying us for it all.
But damn it seems complicated…and weird… to potentially have to take your kitchen with you when you go.