Pepper's Blog


Good start into the week

It´s monday again and most of the people have the monday blues still. Yet I have received two amazing feedbacks from two wonderful clients. I even was told that "the good chat, etc., is priceless". Well, that turned me to a very happy little fox. That is a great start into the week. 

Cheers to these amazing clients 🍻😻

Trip to Graz

Last Friday Pepper had an appointment at the immigration authority in Graz, Austria’s second-largest city. Much to his surprise, everything went very smoothly: there was almost no waiting time, friendly officials, no complications whatsoever. So our little fox decided to use the remaining time until the train ride back to Vienna to go for a short stroll through the city. Since the weather was nice, it seemed like a good idea to walk up the Schlossberg (Castle Hill), the hill dominating the old town of Graz, from the top of which you have a stunning view of the city and its surroundings.


There are various ways to get up including a funicular railway and a lift (the latter one being located inside the hill, making use of old tunnels), but Pepper opted for the so called „Kriegssteig“ (war path), a steep path on the southern flank of the hill with staircases built during the First World War, hence the name.

After a 15 minute walk you reach the top and can enjoy some very nice views of the city. Until the beginning of the 19th century the Schlossberg used to be an important fortification, which withstood various assault attempts during the Napoleonic Wars. Though under the Treaty of Schönbrunn in 1809 the victorious French demanded the demolition of the fortress. One of the few structures that could be saved was the Uhrturm (clock tower), one of the oldest buildings and the landmark of the city of Graz.

© Graz Tourismus - Harry Schiffer

The former fortress was then transformed into a public park and serves today as a popular recreation area in the heart of the city. Before starting back, Pepper made himself comfortable in one of the cafés and indulged in some delicious coffee and cake, already looking forward to his next trip to Graz :)


Raphael and Bruegel at the Albertina

For all interested in the fine arts there are currently two exhibitions to be recommended at the Albertina museum.

Porträt des Bindo Altoviti, ca. 1514-1515 - Raffael
Raphael stands alongside Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo as one of art history’s most important masters. In cooperation with the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the Albertina is mounting the first exhibition in Austria to present works from all of Raphael's creative periods.

Der Sommer, 1568 - Pieter Bruegel d. Ä.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder is the 16th century’s most important Netherlandish draughtsman. In his works he reflects upon social conditions in a way that is humorous, down-to-earth, perceptive, and deeply critical. The Albertina presents the entire spectrum of Bruegel’s drawn and printed oeuvre while also shedding light on his artistic origins.

For further information click here:
and here:

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES can finally be seen in Vienna again!

Stunning sets and ingenious video projections allow the audience to follow the chase into the snow-swept mountains of Transylvania and Count von Krolock’s creepy castle with its dusty library, spooky crypt and the sumptuous mirrored ballroom where–strangely–not everyone can see their own reflection.

Information and Tickets:

EC registration - new for Brazilians?

Registration certificate for EEA Citziens and Swiss Citizens


800px Anmeldebescheinigung Österreich

Have you heard about it so far?

Don’t worry it’s not new red tape.
t has already been introduced more than ten years ago.
Nonetheless, many E
U/EEA citizens
have not heard about it and don't know about it.

What is it and who needs this registration certificate?

This document certifies that citizens from European Economic Area (EEA) countries or Switzerland are eligible for a permanent residence. EEA and Swiss citizens, who intend to settle down permanently in Austria need to register with the responsible authority.

List of member states in the EU and EEA:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria,Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia,, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

In the light of current events at RANDOS

Brazil is not a member of EEA nor of the European UNION. Brazil is also not Switzerland…

riesenbrasilien big
Why someone smart as me is mentioning something like this?

Recently, a Brazilian client of us (his citizenship is Brazilian) received an EEA-registration certificate instead a permit for “rotational employees".

In theory a cool thing, because with this registration certificate he is granted the right to permanently reside in Austria.
However, as far as we are concerned, Brazil is not an EEA state yet, nor a member of the European Union. So we kindly needed to return this and collect the permit we originally applied for.

What is the EEA-registration for?
In Austria it was introduced on the 1st of January 2006 in order to document residents. Since 2006 citizens from European Economic Area ( EEA ) countries or Switzerland MUST register with the responsible authority in order to receive the EEA-registration. 

You came to Austria before January 1st 2006 and you are registered at the competent registry office and received a residential registration form?
Then this registration form is your EEA registration certificate.

You need to register WITHIN 4 months if you reside longer than three months in Austria.
You may be fined up to 250 Euro if you do not register accordingly.

How are you supposed to know that you are obliged to register?
The registry office (Meldeamt) should inform you about it. Unfortunately, we experienced that this is not always the case.

Experts, as the RANDOS Team, inform you as well – we are happy to support you in this matter



fragender pepper

What's the STATUS QUO?

Recently, I have spent quite a bit of time at the authority MA 35.  Now I am excited to share some special moments with you.

What does it look like there? See it for yourself!

First of all, what is MA 35? If you are a citizen from a third-country and want to take up residence in Vienna, you are likely to get in touch with the Municipal Department 35 - responsible for immigration and citizenship. 

As you can see many people like to relocate to Vienna.
The capital of Austria is a great place to live and according to Mercer the top city in the world for overall quality of living. 

Behörden 2017
On crowded days it looks like this…many people with nice shoes waiting until the number they have drawn finally appears on the screen.

At "rush hour" some people even have to stand, as the amount of seats is limited.

And then all the sudden your number is called up!

Blaue Karte N

Natalya happy after receiving her Blue Card. 

Before this happy moment she made two attempts in order to collect her card.
First, the card needed to be re-issued due to a mistake. mega angry pepper
Then all the sudden the fingerprints disappeared and had to be taken again.

However, at the end Natalya got her card and things turned out well.

blinking pepper

Lohnsteuerausgleich – Arbeitnehmerveranlagung – Tax declaration

Lohnsteuerausgleich – Arbeitnehmerveranlagung –

Tax declaration

pepper Redtape

Today Renate was presenting important facts about AUSTRIA and I learned about tax declaration in Austria. I have to admit that all the forms that have to be filled in (in German) are definitely NOT MY CUP OF TEA!

To all my comrades in suffering: 2017 is a great year for you, as your tax declaration is done AUTOMATICALLY by the financial authority without application (under certain circumstances). You don't believe it? Read more!

Annual tax assessment

Along with social insurance contributions, income tax is deducted from employees’ wages or salaries at source and is transferred to the competent authority by the employer.

Income tax on employment is also called earnings tax (Lohnsteuer). The tax withheld is a prepayment on the annual tax due, which is only finally settled with the annual tax assessment (Arbeitnehmerveranlagung, previously Lohnsteuerausgleich) corresponding to the taxpayer’s declaration.

Various expenses can be offset against income tax, and lump sums, allowances and special expenses are tax-deductible. For example:

  • sole breadwinner’s allowance
  • single parent’s allowance
  • children’s allowance
  • flat-rate allowance for commuters
  • professional expenses (e.g. business travel expenses)
  • two households necessitated by work
  • extraordinary expenses (e.g. hospital charges)
  • from 2009: support costs for children (e.g. afternoon care outside school)
!!!NEW in 2017!!!:

The financial authority carries your annual tax assessment out AUTOMATICALLY at the second half of 2017,
  • if you have already submitted an application for annual tax assessment in 2016 and your data is still valid (e.g. no increase in child support/alimonies)
  • if you haven’t carried it out until end of June 2017,
  • if the employee’s entire income is liable to income tax.
  • if a tax credit is to be expected and
  • if various expenses are not offset against income tax.
Please note: The income tax declaration must be submitted, the annual tax assessment may be carried out. In many cases, as a result of the annual tax assessment, part of the tax paid will be refunded

Responsible authority: financial office of your district

Link to form for online application for annual tax assessment

Sounds confusing! And we know that not everyone is into filling out application forms in German. Good news: RANDOS is happy to support you! Filling in forms is our cup of tea!

Apartment-hunting: Real estate agents vs. private renting

Apartment-hunting: Real estate agents vs. private renting

Looking for an apartment in the top city in the world for overall quality of living can be tough.

Living in Vienna has never been more attractive. This has led to a boom on the Viennese real estate market. The percentage of people moving out of Vienna has only gone up slightly, which can be seen in the development of prices.

However, let's give it a try!

Or maybe it's not that tough, because within minutes I found this promising offer: 

Are you looking for an apartment in Vienna? ....Yes!

"We offer an all-round service on your way to find your dream property. Just get in touch with one of our highly qualified estate agents and get advice on the latest price developments, trends and offers around the Viennese property market. We are with you every step of the way on your search for the right property. We will provide information to the properties of your choice and we will carefully consult you with our industry expertise." 


BUT, please consider real estate agents are mainly „Doppelmakler“ in Austria – that means they have 2 clients. The owner/landlord and the tenant. Although the agent must take both interests into consideration he is in permanent business relation with the landlord.

The agent is looking for a suitable client for the properties he is taking care of, whereas a relocation agent is looking for the most suitable property for his clients.

This is a completely different situation:The relocation agent is always protecting the rights of his clients and looking for the best and most cost-efficient solutions. We are independent and make all our decisions solely in the interests of our customers.

When renting an apartment offered by a real estate agent you have to consider the following costs:

  • Real estate commission fee (single payment):
    Term of lease up to 3 years: 1 gross monthly rent + VAT (HARDLY AVAILABLE)
    Term of lease over 3 years: 2 gross monthly rents + VAT
  • Fee for rental contract to the financial office 1% of 36 gross rents (single payment)
  • Deposit usually 3 gross rents (bank guarantee or transfer to the rental account)
  • Sometimes handling charge for the contract about 300 Euro (single payment to the property management)

Private renting is initially cheaper, as no commission is charged. However, in order to rent an apartment without a real estate agent you need to be very flexible and as quick as possible because an increasing demand is opposed by a limited supply. Be prepared with a kind of “application” which should include a copy of your ID and salary statements.

The reason why in Vienna only few private offers are available is, that owners mostly don’t pay commission fee for the service of the agent. The agent profits from the permanent business relation with the owner.

megahappy pepper

YES, finding a suitable apartment can be challenging!

Those who are supported by RANDOS are lucky!

No rental apartment for Pepper?

No rental apartment for Pepper?

It's raining cats and dogs, so I am definitely not going outside today. Let's stay in the nice RANDOS office.trauriger pepperFrom time to time I am thinking about moving into a new apartment. However, there is one tiny little issue -  I am not an usual tenant. I am not a John Doe, on the contrary, I am a smart fox.

How about four-legged companions in rental apartments?

In Austria, no special statutory rules exist for the keeping of animals in dwellings. The Supreme Court has ruled on the one hand that the landlord cannot prohibit the tenant from keeping small animals like goldfish, hamsters or turtles that live in cages, aquariums or terrariums at all.

But how about foxes, cats and dogs?

The landlord can prohibit the keeping of middle-sized and large animals like cats and dogs in the tenancy agreement.

In case it is laid down in the tenancy agreement that keeping animals needs the consent of the landlord, he cannot disallow the keeping arbitrarily.

Keeping dangerous or wild animals like crocodiles, poisonous snakes or lions without explicit consent of the landlord is in any case unlawful.

Bad news, but let's not burry one's head in the sand. The keeping cannot be disallowed arbitrarily - any arguments against Pepper the fox? No chance!

My first appointment without Renate

My first appointment without Renate

megahappy pepper 1

Today I went to my first appointment without Renate! The honourable mission: Return a modem at the Internet service provider's shop. And as I enjoyed it so much and I did not wait long at all -  I will definitely go there again soon...

....because the client forgot that he had a TV receiver from the same company as well.

Tip: Be as cunning as a fox (as I am) and check before your move out, which devices you rented from your internet company. Return the devices with all your cabels and prevent cable clutter at your new home. Usually you can not use these devices any more as soon as you cancel the contract. Also keep in mind that  you will be charged for unreturned devices.


What I have learned so far...

What I have learned so far

blinking pepper

You definitely find out how good your relocation professional is when everything is planned very well, but then all the sudden you are faced to an unexpected problem.

My first job with Renate was very exciting - departure service with a mover. The removal of the personal belongings went well until that time as they went to the cellar compartment. It was locked, but the key we had did not fit the lock.mega angry pepper

That was terrible and Renate tried to get another key from the tenant, who was not present but at work. He had no other key and assumed that the key is the right one, but the lock was probably broken. So we should break the lock and open the door. Good idea, but the mover did not want to break the lock as he was afraid that if a neighbor realizes this action they will call the police. Finally, Renate prepared an authorization for the mover, sent that to the tenant, he signed it and sent it back striaght away. Then we could also remove the sports equipment from the basement storage - All went well.

Renate told me, “whatever you plan, expect the unexpected”

Hey, I am Pepper - Pepper the fox!

Hey, I am Pepper - Pepper the fox!

megahappy pepper 1

From now on I am the mascot of RANDOS. I was chosen as I am clever, dynamic and smart. And I fit to our corporate identity and the RANDOS logo :)

Within the next couple of weeks I will learn many things about immigration, housing, change of driving license, car import, schooling, etc. I am very excited as I will support the team energetically at any appointment.

My first case is departure service: Tomorrow already, I will meet the moving company and afterwards painter and cleaner. Renate planned everything - I just try to make myself useful. 

Did you know that painting is no more required according to law? You only need to repaint in case you changed the color of the wall or you leave the walls with a lot of holes and dirt which is a condition beyond normal wear and tear. 

I can tell you more after my first appointment – let´s cross the fingers that I am not like a bull in a china shop tomorrow. can start ;)