If the temperatures in the summer are beyond 30 degrees during the day and do not fall below 20 degrees at night, apartments also heat up strongly. Air conditioning systems promise relief for those plagued by heat. The most efficient are so-called split units, which consist of an indoor and an outdoor unit. What tenants or apartment owners should be aware of before installing an air conditioner:
Situation for tenants
The following applies to tenants: The installation of an air conditioning system is a significant change to the rental property. In any case, the intended work must be notified to the landlord in writing – preferably by registered letter. This must be done as accurately as possible with plans and cost estimates. The landlord has two months from receipt of the letter to react. If there is no reaction, the agreement is deemed to have been given. If the system was installed without an enquiry, the landlord is threatened with an action for a breach of title.
In practice, it is only possible in exceptional cases to have an air conditioning system installed against the will of the house owner. Under certain circumstances, this can be enforced if the following conditions are met: The change must correspond to the state of the art, be customary in traffic, be carried out flawlessly and be carried out at the expense of the main tenant. In addition, the interests of the landlord must not be adversely affected in a way worthy of protection, the house must not suffer any impairment as a result and the change must not pose any danger to persons or property. Especially if the installation is to take place outside the rental property and there is an interference with the building fabric, the courts will conduct a strict examination to determine whether the planned changes are actually customary.
Situation for condominium owners
In addition to a permit from the building authorities see more down below, condominium owners also need the consent of all co-owners. If individual co-owners refuse their consent, a court can determine in an out-of-court procedure whether the important interest in an apartment with tolerable room temperatures outweighs the interests of the other apartment owners worthy of protection.
A building permit is usually required to install the outdoor unit of a split system – but the regulations differ from state to state. In Vienna, all changes to the external appearance are checked by MA 19 (Department of Architecture and Urban Design). The following applies here: The installation of split air-conditioning units is permissible if they cannot be seen from the public space (e.g. behind a balcony parapet) (MA19 requirements). The MA19 then forwards a statement or an expert opinion to the responsible authority – building police (MA 37). In addition to the appearance, the volume of the air conditioning system is also important. Here there are certain limit values that must be adhered to.
Step by step to external blinds
As a rule, changes outside the rental property require the consent of the landlord/lady or the property management! If external blinds are installed, the landlord’s consent must be obtained. Under no circumstances should external blinds be installed without consultation with the landlord, as this could lead to an action for disruption of ownership in the event of a conflict.
Applicability of the law on tenancy?
As always, you must first check whether or not your tenancy agreement is subject to the Mietrechtsgesetz (MRG). As a rule of thumb, buildings whose building permit was issued before 30.06.1953 are fully subject to the MRG. There are exceptions, in particular for apartments in subsequent extensions, extensions and extensions – here you better ask us.
If the tenancy is fully subject to the MRG, § 9 Mietrechtsgesetz (MRG) applies. There is a record of what you may change within the rental object and how you must proceed.
Do I have to notify my conversion plans in writing?
Definitely yes! In any case, you must notify your landlord in writing of any conversion work and significant changes to your rented apartment. You should document this as accurately as possible with plans and cost estimates.
What if the landlord does not answer?
If your landlord does not reply within two months, the tenancy law “simulates” his tacit consent. Attention: This applies only to those steps and changes that you have notified in writing. Any deviation from the original plan must be re-approved!
In summary, this means that landlords must ensure that apartments and business premises are maintained in such a way that there is no significant risk to physical integrity and the place goes out. A room temperature that is too high due to summer weather should therefore be counteracted. The ruling of the OGH could give a boost to all those tenants who would like to see the installation of a Air conditioning demand.