Real estate—Austria—Q&A guide
Real estate—Austria—Q&A guide

The following Property practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Real estate—Austria—Q&A guide
  • 1. How would you explain your jurisdiction’s legal system to an investor?
  • 2. Does your jurisdiction have a system for registration or recording of ownership, leasehold and security interests in real estate? Must interests be registered or recorded?
  • 3. What are the legal requirements for registration or recording conveyances, leases and real estate security interests?
  • 4. What are the requirements for non-resident entities and individuals to own or lease real estate in your jurisdiction? What other factors should a foreign investor take into account in considering an investment in your jurisdiction?
  • 5. If a non-resident invests in a property in your jurisdiction, are there exchange control issues?
  • 6. What types of liability does an owner or tenant of, or a lender on, real estate face? Is there a standard of strict liability and can there be liability to subsequent owners and tenants including foreclosing lenders? What about tort liability?
  • 7. How can owners protect themselves from liability and what types of insurance can they obtain?
  • 8. How is the governing law of a transaction involving properties in two jurisdictions chosen? What are the conflict of laws rules in your jurisdiction? Are contractual choice of law provisions enforceable?
  • 9. Which courts or other tribunals have subject-matter jurisdiction over real estate disputes? Which parties must be joined to a claim before it can proceed? What is required for out-of-jurisdiction service? Must a party be qualified to do business in your jurisdiction to enforce remedies in your jurisdiction?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to real estate in Austria published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: October 2020).

Authors: Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner—Lu­kas Flener; Edda Un­fricht

1. How would you explain your jurisdiction’s legal system to an investor?

Nine federal states form the democratic Republic of Austria, which has been a member of the European Union since 1995.

Constitutional law regulates the distribution of competences between the national, federal and local governments with regard to the respective legal matter. National or regional laws must be consistent with constitutional law and the law of the European Union.

Austria has a civil law system. Case law is not binding. The parol evidence rule is not applicable in the civil law system.

The Austrian legal system provides for several forms of injunctions to ensure temporary legal protection.

Judges are independent and not bound by instructions. In their decisions, they are only bound by the law and may not make arbitrary decisions. Legal protection institutions are available to verify the lawfulness of legal norms as well as official and judicial decisions.

Real estate law is a cross-sectional matter for which many different provisions are relevant. Important regulations can be found, for example, in the Austrian Civil Code (ABGB), the Tenancy Act (MRG), the Condominium Ownership Act and the Land Register Act. Real estate

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