LivingLaVida has a great post all about finding apartments in Graz to rent including for students, which discusses costs, contracts etc. Expatica also has a good article all about renting in Austria, so read these two first.
A few additional points below.
Currently renters often have to pay a ‘provision’ – real estate agent fee when signing a contract (usually 1 – 3 months rent). However from 2023 the apartment owners will have to pay this themselves, rather than the renters which is good news!
It is also possible to apply for a Graz municipal flat (social housing) after 1 year of residency in Graz or employment (previously it was 5 years). Eligibilty requirements include earning under €40,800 (higher amounts for families) and be an Austrian, EU or Swiss citizen or have the Aufenthaltstitel “Daueraufenthalt-EU”. They also have student apartments. More details can be found here.
Some useful links for finding an apartment. Note real estate agents will only show the apartments they are managing, they won’t search for an apartment for you like in some other countries.
Shared apartments and student accommodation
on-line real estate pages
You may be asked to sign a 3 year contract but legally you are allowed to leave after a year. Be sure to check the contract to learn what is your responsibility if something breaks – the fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, boiler etc. Sometimes the renter has to pay to replace them.
Should you have a dispute with your landlord you can get free legal advice from the City of Graz’s Housing Information Center. The KPÖ also offer a free housing service and can check over your contract and offer advice when issues arise with the landlord, getting deposits back etc. They have lots of useful advice on their website.
Should you have a dispute with your neighours after moving in, you can contact the Friedensbüro for free help with mediation.
For more tips and updates on life in Graz, follow ‘IlovemyGraz‘ on facebook