I was always told that looking online was the best way to find a property to rent in Austria, but from personal experience the properties are not always what they seem from the pictures and descriptions. It is advisable first to speak to friends who live in the area, as personal relationships have paired me with the best properties. You could even consider sharing on a temporary basis, as this is a great way to get acclimatized to a new environment and meet people who will advise you on the best and worst areas to rent in the country. As well as possibly translating for you if you are lucky.
Apartments generally start from around €400 per month plus utilities. It is helpful to research the average utility costs for the property to lower the risk of surprises. The majority of tenants rent properties through estate agents, but they can be very costly. Sometimes they can ask for up to 3 months rent in advance, so it is advisable you first look around yourself before considering this option. Your deposit will go into a savings account and is likely to earn interest (although interest is at a low in Austria at the moment). You will only get your deposit back subject to rent arrears or damage to the property.
Rental agreements are generally from 1 – 3 years in duration and often the longer you rent for, the cheaper the price will be. Usually it is custom to provide 3 months notice prior to terminating a rental agreement.
Remember that most properties are unfurnished unless specified and strangely sometimes without kitchens. Watch out for older properties that have old windows that may let drafts in and increase your heating costs.