" Why can't a contract with an Internet provider, be terminated by phone or e - mail, but only by notice in writing ?"

The requirement, that the notice must be in writing has its meaning. First, the consumer must prove, that he has introduced  the notice himself. Submitting a notice through E-mail or Fax can create problems. In addition, the sender of an E-mail, unless you have an electronic signature is not necessarily proved. A hacker could, for example under your address announce cancellations or/and buy products without your knowledge. Therefore is, among other reasons, necessary to submit a termination with the handwritten signature. Second, it is possible that e-mails do not reach the receiver and you get no communication about it. In effect, this means that the company can deny that they have ever received the E-mail.




























"I want to travel around the world for half a year. It would seem useful to complete a medical repatriation. What do you recommend? "

You can obtain health insurance for that period with an insurer. This is particularly recommended if you are staying longer in countries where medical treatment is very expensive. A travel insurance is also available through the credit card. An accident insurance coverage is always advisable. Here, the costs of recovering and disability costs are insured by accident.

There is no special "repatriation" for diseases. For international travel health insurance, the retrieval is done by ambulance only in accordance with medical necessity. Or the insurance pays for home transfer at the request after being hospitalized for three days, but not in the ambulance jet.




"I want to terminate a contract with a company, but they have only a post office box number in Austria. Can I send it to a mailbox as a registered letter?"

Yes. We asked for you at the Austrian Post AG: A registered mail can also be sent to a PO box number. The notification receives the receiver to his mailbox, goes to the switch and receives the letter, if he is able to identify himself and is therewith entitled to take over the letter. If the recipient claims he did not receive the letter, the sender with a certificate of mailing can apply for an investigation at any branch six months after the letter was sent out. It costs 4 € and the sender will be notified of the name of the beneficiary or transferee



















"In the Ökobox Tetra packs are collected. Are there any studies on the usefulness of this? Can Tetra packs be recycled at all?"

In the Ökobox little more than a third of the packaging is made of laminated cardboard back. The paper that accounts for 75 to 80 percent is made into cardboard. The polyethylene and the relatively small amount of aluminum is a so-called "Reject". This is burned in the cement industry about the costs thereof and utilized energy (thermal recycling). According to collecting statistics about one-third of the yellow bin / the yellow bag is withdrawn and recovered thermally. The rest of the composite cartons will waste incinerators, making use of waste heat, burned in the regular trash. The German Federal Environment Office has found in a large study that composite boards are evaluated from an environmental point of no worse than returnable bottles. In this study, it was assumed that something less than two-thirds of the composite cartons are recycled. Must therefore be paid in Germany for laminated cartons no pledges for less environmentally friendly disposable beverage containers such as cans or plastic bottles does. Austria joins the environmental consulting cartons ecologically reusable packaging when it is recovered by separate collection.


Co-ownership of property and Austrian Condominium Act (Wohnungseigentumsgesetz)

When ownership of an apartment/Reihenhaus is shared between two people (whether spouses, domestic partners or any other persons) and one of the co-owners dies, the surviving co-owner has right to ownership of the other 50 per cent of the property (i.e. becomes the sole owner of the apartment/Reihenhaus) under certain conditions, as set out below.

The surviving co-owner of the apartment/Reihenhaus must pay 50 per cent of the value of the property to the heirs of the deceased partner unless the following conditions are met:

EITHER the surviving co-owner is a "forced heir" (=Pflichtteilsberechtigter) i.e. spouse or child AND

  • has an urgent need to live in that apartment (= dringender Wohnbedarf)
  • there are no other forced heirs (otherwise the surviving co-owner must pay them 25 per cent of the value of the property)
  • the deceased co-owner had no debts (otherwise the surviving co-owner  must pay 25 per cent of the value of the property)

OR the deceased co-owner leaves a will designating the surviving co-owner as the beneficiary and releasing him/her of any payment obligations. There is no exemption from debts, of course and also, children cannot be disinherited under Austrian law.

In cases where the two co-owners have signed a notarized agreement that, following the death of one of the co-owners, his/her property goes to another beneficiary, the beneficiary has to pay 50 per cent of the value of the property to the surviving co-owner unless the same conditions as above are met.


The lawyer who has provided advice to the Staff Council strongly recommends that co-owners of apartments /Reihenhauser who are parents of a child who is a minor prepare a will designating that child as the beneficiary rather than each other (i.e. the surviving spouse or partner). Since a minor ALWAYS has an urgent need to reside in the apartment /Reihenhaus, he/she would automatically become the owner of half the property and would not be required to pay anything.

If you need any further legal advice on this matter, contact the Staff Union's office.

See relevant excerpts (in German) from the Austrian law here.
























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