Dorm Guide

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.



Choosing the right location when finding your future dormitory is essential. To help you get an overview, we have compiled a (non-exhaustive)  map of student dormitories from non-profit providers. Here you’ll find the dormitories in list-form.


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 mostly a determining factor. The monthly cost of a room (the occupancy fee) can vary greatly depending on the provider. There is no general rule of thumb. Non-profit, (formerly) state-subsidized dormitories, tend to be less expensive.


Beware of flat rates! In order to be able to specify an attractive monthly cost, some d0rm 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 dorm operator in case you (willfully) cause repairs beyond normal wear and tear or if you can’t pay your rent. The deposit must be returned to you (with interest) when you move out and must not exceed two months rent.


Rent contracts 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? The law requires one termination date per semester, in addition to special cases in specific situations. However, many dorm operators set a much shorter notice period – and that can pay off. We recommend avoiding user contracts that do not include fair notice periods.


Read the contract carefully in advance. As a resident of the dormitory you are not a tenant! This means a different legal basis; therefore you do not pay rent, but a occupancy or usage fee (on this page we have however used the term “rent” to simplify). Many things are regulated in the contract of use and the applicable dormitory statutes. The latter describes the objectives of the dormitory operator and explains the rules of living together in the dormitory, but also the rules for receiving guests and operating equipment. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get full information before signing.

Avoid agencies

Conclude your contract directly with the dormitory 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, however, there are often a few problematic package deals. The dormitory operators will always offer you the correct, current rates, they know their room allotment and can better give you concrete info on their dormitories.

Dormitory Representation

Find out if there is active dormitory representation (Heimvertretung). Dormitory representatives are elected by the residents who can exercise important rights vis-à-vis the dorm operators on behalf of the students: Starting with mediation in case of conflict up to the inspection of the composition of the usage fee (rent). 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. If you are curious to learn more, we have compiled all the necessary information here.

Housing Rights Counseling

If you have any questions or need advice on a contract, please reach out to us! Find info on housing rights counseling here or email us at:


According to the Studierendenheimgesetz, students are all regular students of Austrian universities and universities of the arts as well as students of universities of applied sciences, (vocational) pedagogical academies, academies for social work and similar institutions. Non-degree students who are preparing for the university entrance qualification examination or who are enrolled in a university course with the aim of starting a degree program are treated equally to the above-mentioned students as are recipients of scholarships from public-law corporations.

Basically, the earlier the better, because there is always demand for home places. Therefore, it is advisable to write to several student residences in question 6-12 months before the start of your studies.
The place in the dormitory itself is secured by signing a contract of use with the respective student dormitory.

It must contain information about the home, the contract period, notice periods, amount of the fee, deposit and the arbitration clause.

Completion is for one year at a time (exception: 2 years at the beginning of the program at the request of the _ student). Thus, until the end of the average duration of the chosen study program, it is always possible to extend the period of study by one year if social need and favorable study progress (purposeful, serious study) are proven. However, a further extension is possible upon prima facie evidence of imminent completion. In addition, the period of use is extended by one semester for each two years of such activity for student _ ing or home representative _ ing.

A move to the city in which the study takes place – but also within the city in which you pursue your studies – makes a registration necessary! The registration takes place at the registration office responsible for the respective district.