Summary of F.A.Q. answers + most important house rules

1. How to fix the deal – about contracts

If you want to move in at Babenberghaus, fill in the application to the best of your knowledge. Up to this point, nothing legally binding has occurred. Our office will get in touch with you and, in case we can provide a dorm spot for you, design your paperwork (contract, house rules, dorm statutes, debit authorization). We will also provide more detailed information on how to proceed via email.

If you are curious already, here’s some info on what will happen next: all the legal documents are written in German and will be sent to you via email. We provide an informational translation of the contract in English and you can use google translator for the other documents (house rules, dorm statute etc.). If you don’t have a bank account within the EU already, the debit authorization can wait until after you moved in (the rent will then be debited automatically on the beginning of each month).

Sign the documents, scan them and send them back to dorm management. Also, transfer the initial payment of € 600,00 (deposit + processing fee). After that, the signed contract is legally binding and you have a right to your dorm room. The dorm will sign the contract too and send it over to you again. If you require visa, this signed rental contract usually is the housing document the embassy requires you to show.

2. Moving in

Since we are a small dormitory with only 16 rooms, a standing reception is not required. Some of our staff members, who are students themselves, live in the dorm or nearby. They take care of requests, maintenance and tenants who move in or out, freely arranging their tasks in accordance to their own personal schedule. If personal contact is involved in the task, making appointments via email is necessary, since our staff members can’t possibly be expected to be ready 24/7 (except for emergencies).

When moving in, the new tenant (henceforth referred to as “you”) will inform the management about the approximate time of arrival (either at the dorm or at a place of public transport in Graz) beforehand. Dorm management will appoint a staff member who will stay ready near the dorm to welcome you and to take care of open questions. You’ll receive the phone number of the appointed staff member to make contact once near or at the dorm.

For information regarding public transport in Austria, check out the app “OEBB Scotty” or the route planner of the Austrian Federal Railway Service (“Österreichische Bundesbahnen”, or ÖBB).

When moving in, we’ll do a tour around the dorm. A key chip, the signed registration form for the local authorities and a deficiency list will be handed to you. You have to register within 3 working days (you also have to deregister when moving out, but that should be easily possible via email). The nearest registration office is at 8010 Graz, Schmiedgasse 26. For more detailed information, visit the registration office website.

The deficiency list is supposed to be filled within a few days, providing you with an opportunity to document the initial room condition and providing us the opportunity to further maintain excellent room conditions in case something that needs to be fixed hasn’t come to our attention before you moved in. This way, tenant responsibility for damages caused beforehand is averted.

3. Cleaning service

The cleaning service takes care of all all shared areas. If you want to tidy up your own room, we provide necessary equipment for that in the cleaning room on the 2nd floor, which is available to everyone. Return the equipment as soon as you are done, so others can use it too.

4. Kitchen

Group compatible kitchen treatment is very important to us and to you, since you want to be able to use a clean kitchen even in between the times it is cleaned by our cleaning service. This is why we designed the kitchen rules to encourage maximal personal responsibility.

The dorm does not provide kitchenware, but instead separate storage space in the kitchen, dedicated to the respective sleeping rooms, in which personal kitchenware, which the tenants provide themselves, can be stored. The tenants are welcome to share their kitchenware as they see fit, which is quite common, but requires initial agreement.

If kitchenware is left outside of the personal storage space, it is considered as “free to use” for everyone. If left in an inappropriate manner (dirty, using up cooking space), it can also be disposed of. This way, a clean and orderly kitchen state is encouraged, as every user has interest in keeping his or her kitchenware.

The used kitchenware is to be cleaned and stored away soon after meal consumption. If anyone is frequently caught using stored personal (in other words, “not free to use”) kitchenware of others without asking first, it is a violation of the house rules and in the worst case, the violator has to leave the dorm because of that.

The extractor hood is supposed to be turned off after cooking. Keeping it on for hours non-stop is bad for device longevity.

The drain strainer (sink strainer) is to be emptied into the trash bin to keep the sink free of food and bad smell.

There are garbage baskets for Plastic (Plastik), Paper (Papier), Metal (Metall), Glass (Glas), Organic (Bio) and leftover waste in the kitchen. Waste separation is required. The gabage baskets will be emptied by staff members.

5. Shower rooms

The shower rooms are empty per default, which means that each tenant has to store personal hygiene products and towels in their respective sleeping rooms, which have towel rails next to the room sink for that purpose. The shower users take their belongings with them when they enter and when they leave. In combination with the regular cleaning service, this enables everybody to enjoy a clean and orderly shower room.

6. Toilets

Please leave it the way you found it. If you receive guests, please make them aware of that rule too.

In some cultures, toilet users apparently aren’t supposed to sit on the toilet seat and instead “hover” above to prevent direct contact with the toilet bowl. This method can result in bad aim. In Austria, toilets are equipped with a seat that keeps the toilet user away from the toilet bowl. So please make yourself comfortable and sit down. Moreover, our sewage system is built to also take toilet paper, so there’s no need to put it into a garbage can. You can just flush it down. What you must not flush down is stuff that’s not made out of paper or things that take up huge amounts of water, like tampons or sanitary napkins. Those actually need to go into the garbage can.

And please close the door when you leave. Also – gentlemen – if you must stand, please don’t forget to put the seat down afterwards.

7. Mailbox

The mailbox is emptied by one of our staff members, who will deliver the mail directly to your room, once a week. If you expect urgent mail, you can check on the mailbox yourself more frequently. How to open the mailbox will be shown to you when you move in.

8. Laundry

We provide one laundry machine per floor. Using the laundry machine requires € 0,50 coins (at least 2 pieces). Each coin supplies the machine with electricity for 50 minutes. Choose your laundry program on the washing machine accordingly, since the laundry will be stuck in the machine if the electricity is shut off while the program isn’t finished yet. Since the water of Graz is very rich in minerals, always add one water softener tab (which will be provided by the dorm) per load, to extend the machines life.

Using the electric drying machine is free. Cleaning the wool filter of the drying machine before and after using it is mandatory. It takes 15 seconds and will speed up the efficiency of the machine. If you don’t know how to clean the wool filter, a staff member will show you how to do it.

9. Winter season: heating and air management

If you are not used to living in a country that has cold winters, you might learn a thing or two about heating and air management. Heating is included in the rent. Our heating system is controlled automatically, which allows for temperature regulation according to your wishes. You can decide on the schedules regarding temperature over time and day of week. A staff member will adjust the timetable according to your wishes. After that, you don’t have to bother anymore and only get in touch with management if you want your settings to be changed or adjusted. For instance, most people decide to cool the room a little bit during the night to improve sleep quality and also when they go to the university for saving energy. Also, if you open the window, the heating will be turned off automatically and turnen on again as soon as the window is closed.

Also, if you plan on leaving for a longer period of time, the staff will happily activate “vacation mode” to turn the heating off for that period of time and having it automatically reactivate before you come back to ready the room for you.

In the cold season, we recommend, we recommend to fully open the window for at least 5 minutes a time for maximal comfort. It should be done before going to bed, after waking up and whenever there are steamy things in the room (maybe food, drinks, or a person that just took a shower). The importance of airing rises with the number of people present in the room, but even with only one person, it would be good to let in fresh air every four hours. Humid, used up air is not only bad for your health and wellbeing, but also increases the risk of mold – a topic to be aware of in a cold country such as Austria in the winter.

If you notice mold anyway, inform one of our staff members immediately. The sooner we can get rid of it, the easier it is. (Don’t try to just wipe it away yourself, it has to be treated and killed off with a special substance first.)

10. Internet connection

Every tenant has access to a broadband wifi internet connection, which is included in the rent. Upon moving in, you will receive an email with your login data from the “Virtual Campus Graz”, whereby you have to change your automatically generated password within 24 hours. The new password has to consist of least 8 digits, at least one of which has to be a number and another one a special sign (only the following: $%/#!_?&). Then, you can log on to the wifi network “VCGraz”. If you would like to establish a very fast connection – maybe for gaming – you can also connect via ethernet cable. Some smartphones need do download and install a certificate to use the wifi – you can find more detailed information regarding the wifi connection on the VCG website.