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. Our office will answer your request and, in case we can accommodate you, design your paperwork (contract of use, house rules, dorm statutes, direct debit mandate). We will also provide more detailed information on how to proceed via email.

If you want to complete your reservation, sign and return the documents and transfer the advance payment of € 700,00 (650 deposit + 50 processing fee). Our staff will sign and return the legally binding documents as well, completing your reservation and providing you with proof of accommodation for further use.

All our legal documents are german. We provide an informational translation of the most consequential document (contract of use). Regarding the debit mandate: in case you don’t have a bank account within the SEPA region already, you’ll have to get one shortly after moving in. You’ll be able to sign the debit mandate afterwards.

2. Moving in

We are a small dormitory without permanent reception, so making appointments is necessary. Before moving in, you will inform the management about your approximate time of arrival so that we can manage our schedule (or maybe tell us what public transport you will use, so we can check for delays ourselves). You will receive a contact number from a staff member and about 30 to 60 minutes before your arrival please give us a call so that we can make sure to be nearby and ready to welcome you. For detailed information on how to find us, visit Contact & Directions.

When moving in, we will do a tour around the dorm. Your key, the signed registration form (for the local authorities) and a deficiency list (to document the state of your room) will be handed to you. You have to register within 3 working days (you also have to deregister when moving out again). The nearest registration office is at 8010 Graz, Tummelplatz 9. For more detailed information and making appointments, visit the registration office website.

The deficiency list is supposed to be filled out within a few days, providing you with an opportunity to document the initial room condition and providing us information in case something needs to be repaired. This way, you will not be held responsible for damages that were already there when you moved in.

3. Bed Covers

The dormitory provides a mattress (format: 90 x 200 cm), as well as a blanket and a pillow. The bed covers will not be provided by the dormitory, so you are supposed to bring them with you. However, borrowing clean bed covers is possible for a one-off fee (mattress cover or sheet cover € 10 each, pillow cover € 5).

4. Cleaning service

The cleaning service takes care of all shared areas. If you want to tidy up your own room, you can use some of the tools in the cleaning room on the 2nd floor, which are available to everyone. Return the equipment as soon as you are done, so others can use it too. Consumable goods, like detergent or trash bags, will not be supplied (but you can make arrangements with your neighbors). Also, don’t forget to empty the vacuum cleaner when you’re done.

Even though the cleaning service will do its work, the state of the shared areas in between the cleaning days will depend on your behavior. Be aware of how you leave the kitchen and use all common facilities like a responsible adult, then your dormmates will enjoy your presence.

5. Kitchen

What has been stated about common facilities is especially true for the kitchen. The kitchen rules were designed for the kitchen to be clean and orderly for you. Personal responsibility is a must.

To each his own: Personal property must be respected, but also stored within the personal cupboard designated to the respective rooms. Taking dishes from someone elses cupboard without permission is a violation of our house rules (and theft) and may result in being moved out of the dormitory.

The tenants are welcome to share their kitchenware as they see fit, which is quite common, but requires initial agreement. The more you engage in your community, the more you can collaborate and maybe share dishes. The dormitory does not provide kitchenware, so you either have to get your own or borrow it from someone.

Personal items left outside of the personal storage space are considered ownerless, so you can use them as you see fit. If left in an inappropriate manner (dirty, using up workspace), they can also be disposed of or put into the “black box”, just like the cleaning service will do – freeing up space for cleanliness! If the kitchen is too often untidy, we reserve the right to dispose of the contents of the black box. Simply put: dishes should be washed and put away as soon as possible after use!

The drain strainer (sink strainer) should always be emptied into the waste bin after kitchen sink use, so that it remains free of food and odors. Always put it back into the sink, so that the sink drain doesn’t get clogged. The extractor hood should be switched off after cooking. Our waste management system is in the kitchen as well: plastic, paper, metal, glass and residual waste.

6. Shower rooms

Shower rooms are part of the common area and are therefore cleaned by the cleaning service. While not in use, they are empty, as each resident must keep towels and hygiene products in their own room, for which the private rooms are properly equipped with towel racks. Every shower is to be individually locked of course.

Regarding our environment, we installed domestic water heat pumps in 2023 in to reduce our CO2 emissions. Our target is to optimize the settings: the lower the water storage temperature, the more energy we save. But it can’t be too low, since we don’t want to run out of hot water. If you run out of hot water, even once, please let us know so that we can optimize the settings to prevent that from happening again. This way, we’ll find the happy medium between caring about our environment and providing comfort to our residents.

7. Toilets

There are three toilets on each floor: one for women only, one for men only and one for everyone. Close the door when leaving the toilet and please take a seat.

The toilets are part of the common area and are therefore cleaned by the cleaning service. They should be left as they were found (hopefully clean!). Anyone who receives guests in the dormitory should remind them of this as well. If the water is constantly running out of the cistern, let us know and we will fix it. A quick remedy is to gently shake the flush button.

Toilet culture varies around the world, so we want to clear up some possible misunderstandings. Our toilets are equipped with a separate seat in addition to the toilet bowl, enabling the toilet user to 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.

8. 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.

9. Laundry

We provide one laundry machine per floor. Using the laundry machine requires € 0,50 coins (at least 2 coins). 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 and reduce the amount of detergent required for your washload.

Using the electric dryer is free. Cleaning the dryer’s wool filter 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 it, a staff member will show you how to. Drying laundry in the room by hanging it up using a conventional drying rack isn’t prohibited, but we want to point out that this would humidify the room, necessating higher frequented room ventilation. Significantly increased humidity increases the risk of mold, so we advise to simply use the electric dryer.

10. 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. Also, if you open the window, the heating will be turned off automatically and turnen on again as soon as the window is closed.

If you plan on leaving for a few days or weeks, the staff can activate the “vacation mode” to turn the heating off for that period and have it automatically reactivate a few hours before you come back to ready the room for you.

In the cold season, we recommend regular fresh air exchange by fully opening the window for a few minutes for maximal comfort. It should be done before going to bed, after waking up and whenever the room is steamy (e.g. due to food or hot drinks). 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 to five hours. Also, you should take a break now and then anyway. 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, or you will spread its spores. It has to be treated and killed off with a special substance first.)

11. Internet connection

Each 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.

12. Door locks

We have an electronic key system. If the lock on your room flashes green when opening, everything is okay. If it first flashes 4x red and then 1x green, no need to panic. It will still work for a few weeks, but the battery will be empty soon. Just let us know and we will replace the battery.

Don’t lose the key, a new one costs € 20. If you happen to lock yourself out and a staff member has to get to the dormitory to let you in, it costs € 25 during the day (double that for the night and on weekends / holidays).