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Real property dictionary

Real property know how from A to Z – our dictionary provides all the answers you need.


Bank guarantee

A promise of payment from a bank, independent of any underlying transactions, in the form of a guarantee, where the bank assumes the financial security of their client to ensure specific success or avoid certain damage. Bank guarantees can be represented by tender guarantees, performance and supply guarantees, deposit and payment guarantees, or warranties. In doing so, the guarantor bank usually promises to pay the sum of the guarantee as soon as the recipient requires it, meaning that the latter only has to claim that the guarantee case (the event precisely described as prone to damage in the guarantee contract) has occurred.

Building and fittings specifications

The building and fittings specifications are a substantial part of rental contracts. These contain the specifications for the significant features of the building’s general parts and the contractual object. On the one hand, the location, the building itself, and the structure and development of the building concerned are described, while on the other hand, individual structures such as façades, flooring, walls, sanitary facilities, as well as heating, ventilation, sanitation, electric, and materials handling are discussed in detail.

Building permission

Building permission represents the decision by the construction authority to approve a new development, extension, conversion, a change in classification, or the demolition of buildings in protection zones. Depending on the type of construction scheme, building plans must come with several copies, a land register extract, the permission of the property owner, disclosure of the development provisions, and the building specifications, as well as static calculations. Site management must be commenced within four years of receiving building permission and construction must be completed a further four years after beginning. For certain construction schemes, a simplified process for obtaining permission may be possible. For this, a civil engineer is required to confirm that the building code is adhered to.
Building permission does not replace any permission that is required in relation to other laws. In many cases, other approvals or declarations of consent must be obtained in addition to or prior to building permission.

Building site (Building land)

A building site must be authorised as such in accordance with the regional building code. No building may be constructed on this until after appropriate classification. Permission is bound to different conditions depending on region.

Building class

The building class is, among other things, a regulation for the construction of buildings and basically specifies – irrespective of other possible limitations – the maximum height a building may be constructed to.

Building code

The building code is a regional law with detailed regulations on the respective legal constructional provisions. This means that every federal region has its own building codes. This contains general rules for land use and development, building control norms, and other constructional norms such as fire protection, noise, and heat insulation. The relevant authority in each region monitors compliance of the building code.

Building right

The building right is an alienable and hereditary right in rem to have a structure on, or under, third-party land. This right can be ordered for a minimum of ten years and a maximum of 100 years. The owner of the building right pays a regular fee (construction fee) to the land owner to use the property. For a building, the owner of the building right is entitled to the rights of the owner, or on a property, to those of the usufructuaries. If the building right expires, the building ownership is retained by the land owner, however, the entitled party receives compensation in the amount of a quarter of the current building value, unless otherwise agreed. 

Building styles

The building location is fixed within the limits of the construction site through various building styles.

The following building styles (development styles) can be distinguished in Vienna:

  • Open coverage: A building is constructed, detached on all sides at a specific minimum distance from the neighbouring land.
  • Coupled building style: Buildings are each built and attached to one another on a shared adjacent boundary, while distance is maintained from the other land boundaries. 
  • Closed coverage: Buildings are built and attached to one another at the road boundary, from one adjacent plot to the next.
  • Grouped building style (special form in Upper Austria and Vienna): Buildings are built and attached one to another from one adjacent boundary to the next adjacent boundary, while at both ends of this row of houses, distance must be kept from the land boundary of the next neighbour and from the circulation area.


A building denotes an object erected through skilled construction that requires a substantial amount of constructional knowledge and has a frictional connection with the ground.

Built-up area

A built-up area denotes any area that is occupied by the building constructed on its land.

Building application plan

As part of the application for building permission, the site plan, floor plan including floors, ratios, and views in a 1:100 scale must be created in colour and submitted to the relevant authority in three copies.

Boundary cadastre

In contrast to the tax cadastre, the boundary cadastre serves the binding evidence of a plot’s boundaries. If the land has been entered into the boundary cadastre, the boundaries surveyed apply. In the tax cadastre, the natural boundaries apply.

Ban on sales and liens

A ban on sales and liens regarding land is aimed at rendering the sale or lien of an area of land impossible without the agreement of the beneficiary. This can be justified through a contract or testament. However, only the first owner is liable to this, not their legal successors. For the beneficiary, this justifies a highly personal right that cannot be transferred. A ban on sales and liens can only be incorporated into the land register if it has been concluded between close relatives. A ban on sales and liens can also be justified by a judgement in enforcement proceedings or by law.