Holiday Property

Some Britons have owned holiday properties for many years in Austria and have regularly visited for holiday purposes. Others have bought property that is let out to tourists. We have drawn together the following FAQs that relate to issues that face Britons about holiday property and visiting it, including possible residency and motoring-related issues.

How many places of residence (Wohnsitze) can I have?

While there is no restriction to the number of places of residence that someone can have, it is only possible to have one principle/main place of residence (HauptwohnsitzHauptwohnsitz Your Hauptwohnsitz is your principle place of residence, i.e. where you typically have the centre of your vital interests. Other residences are known as Nebenwohnsitze.). You can have more than one NebenwohnsitzZweitwohnsitz Secondary places of residence (e.g. holiday homes that you spend some time in yourself, pied-à-terres, granny flats) are known as Zweitwohnsitze (in legal terms) or Nebenwohnsitze (in common parlance). While you may reside at a secondary residence for part of the time, it does not constitute the centre of your vital interests. It is of course possible to change your residence status (i.e. from your Zweitwohnsitz to Hauptwohnsitz - known as Ummeldung) to reflect changes in circumstances, although you should be aware that "flipping" is not intended for short-term changes and that doing so can affect the status of grants etc. contingent on the location of your vital interests. (e.g. an apartment in a ski resort, a house by a lake, a bolthole in the city), and there is no limitation on the number of provinces you have them in. Some provinces do place restrictions on the acquisition of property by foreigners purely for recreational purposes (i.e. use as Nebenwohnsitz for say only a couple of weeks per year).

Was this content useful?

Hauptwohnsitz/Nebenwohnsitz

  1. There will be a clear distinction in most cases:
    • If your house in Austria is registered as your NebenwohnsitzZweitwohnsitz Secondary places of residence (e.g. holiday homes that you spend some time in yourself, pied-à-terres, granny flats) are known as Zweitwohnsitze (in legal terms) or Nebenwohnsitze (in common parlance). While you may reside at a secondary residence for part of the time, it does not constitute the centre of your vital interests. It is of course possible to change your residence status (i.e. from your Zweitwohnsitz to Hauptwohnsitz - known as Ummeldung) to reflect changes in circumstances, although you should be aware that "flipping" is not intended for short-term changes and that doing so can affect the status of grants etc. contingent on the location of your vital interests. but you live in it for 11 months/year, then it is your HauptwohnsitzHauptwohnsitz Your Hauptwohnsitz is your principle place of residence, i.e. where you typically have the centre of your vital interests. Other residences are known as Nebenwohnsitze. and it won’t stop you from obtaining the Article 50 EUV cardAufenthaltstitel "Artikel 50 EUV" The Aufenthaltstitel "Art 50 EUV" is a residency title to be issued to British citizens from the end of the transition period. Its name is derived from Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The "Titel" refers to the document or card itself, and not the right, or permission that it confirms..
    • If you only live in your house in Austria for 1 month/year then it is a Nebenwohnsitz. You won’t be able to obtain the Article 50 EUV card, but this won’t stop you from living in the house for 1 month per year.

Was this content useful?

I am operating an AirBnB property or similar. Do my guests need to get a Meldebestätigung?

Owners of AirBnB properties or similar room rental services are required to operate a register of guests (Gästeverzeichnis) for guests staying short-term. Only in the case of guests staying for more than two months are they required to do their own MeldebestätigungMeldezettel Austria requires everyone living in Austria (both Austrians and foreigners) to register their place(s) of residence with the local authorities. The confirmation of this registration is called a Meldebestätigung (EN: confirmation of registration), although it is still affectionately known to many by its former name (the Meldezettel). This is done at your Meldeamt in the Gemeinde or Bezirk you live in. You are required to do your registration within three days of arrival. It is important to do this also because your qualification for permanent residence starts to run from the point of your registration. (confirmation of registration).

Stadt Wien information in German about the Gästeverzeichnis.

Was this content useful?

Will British Citizens be able to use their UK driving licence in Austria?

The answer depends on whether you are resident in Austria or not (and of for employment in Austria you are likely to be required to be resident). Under Austrian law relating to driving licences, British citizens resident in Austria will need to exchange their licences by 30 June 2021. Family members joining you in Austria will have 6 months to exchange their licences after arrival.

British citizens residing in the UK, on the other hand, will be able to use their UK licence for trips to Austria (i.e. as tourists), but will be limited in terms of amount of time that can be spent in Austria to 90 days out of 180 days. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021)

Remember that you have until 30 June 2021 to exchange your British driving licence for an Austrian one, if you are resident in Austria.
See also: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria#driving-in-austria

Was this content useful?

Does registration in Austria as a secondary residence or holiday home affect whether I can apply for residency?

The quality of your registration as principle or secondary residence (HauptwohnsitzHauptwohnsitz Your Hauptwohnsitz is your principle place of residence, i.e. where you typically have the centre of your vital interests. Other residences are known as Nebenwohnsitze. or NebenwohnsitzZweitwohnsitz Secondary places of residence (e.g. holiday homes that you spend some time in yourself, pied-à-terres, granny flats) are known as Zweitwohnsitze (in legal terms) or Nebenwohnsitze (in common parlance). While you may reside at a secondary residence for part of the time, it does not constitute the centre of your vital interests. It is of course possible to change your residence status (i.e. from your Zweitwohnsitz to Hauptwohnsitz - known as Ummeldung) to reflect changes in circumstances, although you should be aware that "flipping" is not intended for short-term changes and that doing so can affect the status of grants etc. contingent on the location of your vital interests. respectively), is not decisive, but your actual residency in Austria. If you spend most of your time in Austria each year (more than 6 months) and wish to continue to live here you will have to apply for an “Art 50 EUVAufenthaltstitel "Artikel 50 EUV" The Aufenthaltstitel "Art 50 EUV" is a residency title to be issued to British citizens from the end of the transition period. Its name is derived from Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The "Titel" refers to the document or card itself, and not the right, or permission that it confirms.” card by the end of 2021, or for an Austrian non-EU residence permit which is restrictive and difficult to get. If, you only visit say a couple of times of year (e.g. to spend a vacation in a holiday home) and don’t spend most of the year in Austria, then you are not covered by the Withdrawal AgreementWithdrawal Agreement The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.   If you are resident in Austria at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Austria.   Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations.   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-withdrawal-agreement-and-political-declaration   and will have to apply for a residency title under the Settlement and Residency Act (NAGNiederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz The Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz (Residency and Settlement Act) is the Austrian law governing residency for foreign citizens in Austria.; Niederlassungs- und AufenthaltsgesetzNiederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz The Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz (Residency and Settlement Act) is the Austrian law governing residency for foreign citizens in Austria.).

Further information about the various residency permits in Austria can be found at: https://www.migration.gv.at/en/welcome/?no_cache=1

Was this content useful?

Was this content useful?