Not all dormitories are the same!
To make it easier for you to find the right place to live for your studies, we have put together a checklist to help you choose your home room.
Location is a fundamental criterion when choosing a place to live: In the best case, the way to your (future) faculty is short and the transport connection is good. Do you prefer the center or rather the outskirts of the city? Get an idea – our home compass will help you to orientate yourself.
Furnishings are an important consideration; after all, you want to feel comfortable in your new home. Do the rooms suit you? What rooms are there for common use with the other residents? What do the kitchens look like? Single room or double room? Be careful, pictures on a website can be deceiving – it’s best to see for yourself on site.
The price is sometimes decisive. The monthly cost of a room (the occupancy fee) can vary greatly depending on the provider:in. There is no general rule of thumb. Non-profit, (formerly) state-subsidized homes, tend to be less expensive. In the end, comparison makes smart.
Beware of flat rates! In order to be able to specify an attractive monthly user fee, some home operators levy additional factors that increase the monthly costs for the place of residence and are incurred in addition to the fee (not infrequently as lump sums). The flat rates must be shown in the contract and at best justified.
The deposit is a security for the home owner in case you (willfully) cause repairs beyond normal wear and tear or if you owe your occupancy fee. The deposit must be returned to you (with interest) when you move out and must not exceed two user fees.
Thinking about moving out or giving notice before you move in? Absolutely! Contracts of use are initially valid for one year. So you don’t have to worry about suddenly being without a home during the academic year. But what if you have found an alternative and want to cancel the contract on your part? The law requires one termination date per semester, in addition to special cases in specific situations. However, many home operators set a much shorter notice period – and that can pay off. We recommend avoiding user contracts that do not include accommodating notice periods.
Read the contract carefully in advance. As a resident of the home you are not a tenant! This means a different legal basis; therefore you do not pay rent, but a usage fee. Many things are regulated in the contract of use and the applicable home statutes. The latter describes the objectives of the home operator:in and explains the rules of living together in the home, but also the rules for receiving guests and operating equipment. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get full information before signing.
Conclude your contract directly with the home operators – avoid agencies! Agencies often promise a convenient total package – especially if you are not from Austria and the search for the best room has to be done over distance. Among many reputable providers:inside, however, there are a few problematic offers. The dormitory operators:inside will always offer you the correct, current rates, they know their room allotment and can better give you concrete info on their dormitories.
Find out if there is active home advocacy. Home representatives are representatives elected by the residents who can exercise important rights vis-à-vis the home operators on behalf of the students: Starting with mediation in case of conflict up to the inspection of the composition of the user fee, which is bound to the principle of cost recovery in the case of non-profit home operators.
In addition, a functioning dormitory representative also means a lively life in the dormitory in terms of recreational activities and opportunities to get to know each other and network.
In addition, we welcome feedback: Is there a point we haven’t covered here? Shall we go deeper into one of the explanations?