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Real property dictionary

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


Local building and construction plan

The local building and construction plan is registered by the municipality on the basis of the zoning plan and regulates the structural order of an area, as well as the specification of alignments, the course of municipal roads, and setback lines. The miscellaneous usefulness of areas is also regulated within this.

Limited-profit housing association

A company that builds, rents out, manages, or potentially sells housing, is only a “limited-profit housing association” if its non-profit status is conferred by way of notification from the regional government. A limited-profit housing association can be organised in the legal form of a co-operative association, as well as a corporation (GesmbH, AG). If a limited-profit housing association uses public grant funds to build housing, then they are additionally subject to the Regulations on Housing Subsidies, which vary according to federal region. The same legal status basically applies for all beneficial owners of flats from limited-profit housing associations, which is also regulated in the Austrian Non-Profit Housing Act (WGG). This particularly affects the composition of rent. Limited-profit housing associations may only make limited profits. They must also reinvest these profits in national housing policies. In contrast to this, private developers can use profits from their building activity or rental income as they wish. In principle, a so-called “cost covering principle” applies, that is, limited-profit housing associations are subject to a strict examination regulation, which is observed with a separate auditing association (Austrian Federation of Limited-Profit Housing Associations), as well as the relevant regional government acting as the supervisory authority.

Land register

The land register is a public directory managed by the district courts, into which land and the rights in rem concerning them are entered. The following rights can be entered into the land register: Ownership, flat ownership, right of lien, building right, easements, and land charges (there are different forms of both); furthermore, these can be proven through remarks and indications based upon certain legally relevant facts. This public inspection in the land register is supposed to retain all information about the ownership and charges of a property or residential unit. The importance of the land register is primarily that the rights in rem mentioned can only be acquired through entry into the land register (so-called entry principle) and that anyone can basically rely on the accuracy and integrity of the land register (so-called reliance principle).

Land transfer tax

The land transfer tax is levied by the federal government in the event of the acquisition of domestic properties and parts of properties, building rights and buildings on third-party land (Superaedificate). This is measured by the return, the purchasing price, and is, in principle, 3.5% of this value.

With gratuitous and partially payable acquisitions, the so-called site value is used as a basis of assessment in place of the return. This can be conveyed through the flat-rate value model or an applicable real estate price index or proven through an appropriate report by a real estate expert. With gratuitous and partially payable acquisitions, the following multi-step tariff system applies:

  • For the first €250,000: 0.5%
  • For the next €150,000: 2%
  • Furthermore: 3.5%

For property transfer within a family association, as well as acquisition as a result of death, a gratuitous acquisition is always simulated.

If there is a consolidation of shares with partnerships and corporations or a change of partnership with private companies that amounts to over 95%, then the tax rate is 0.5% of the property value.

Land tax

The land tax is a continually paid municipal tax on domestic property. The objects of the land tax are agricultural and forestry operations and property, as well as factory premises. In contrast, international land is not subject to Austrian land tax. For this reason, the principle of residence is decisive for tax obligation.


The loggia is a protruding room in a flat, which, in contrast to a balcony, only has one side open and otherwise is surrounded by walls, flooring, and ceiling on five sides. Unlike with balcony and terrace areas, the floor area of a loggia is part of the usable floor area in line with the Act on Tenancy Law (MRG).

Lettable area

Areas of buildings are described as lettable areas when they are assigned to one or several users within the framework of rental contracts. The lettable area is normally measured in m². In some cases, areas which are rented are also described as so-called (special) rental objects in a different measurement unit (e.g. number of parking spaces, (garden) usage times, etc.). According to the Society of Property Researchers (gif), in the commercial realm, the following areas are included in the lettable area: office premises, adjoining rooms (kitchenette, copying room), ancillary spaces (restrooms), entrance and reception areas, movable rooms (convertible partition walls), as well as circulation areas (corridors, lift lobbies).

Land charge

The land charge denotes the burden of land with the liability of the respective owner to render services to the entitled party of the land charge. Usually, recurring services such as annuities or life estates are the object of the land charge. As land charges emerge with the entry into the land register, the content and scope of the right must be stated as precisely as possible.