The End of Travis County’s Eviction Moratorium
In October, Travis County will lift their eviction ban and Austin’s local Justice of the Peace courts will resume hearing cases related to non-payment of rent. We are continuing to work with Rent Assistance programs, but there will be some relief on the horizon for landlords with tenants refusing to pay rent.
While we believe the moratoriums are coming to an end there is nothing preventing local authorities from extending their orders further. The City of Austin moratorium is expected to end on October 15th unless that or any others are amended or extended.
Eviction & Tenant Data for Landlords Post COVID Policies
As most are well aware, 2020 was an unprecedented year for landlords. The Federal CARES Act, CDC eviction moratoriums as well as our local moratoriums here in Travis and the surrounding counties have all prevented landlords from processing and reporting evictions that meet certain circumstances and criteria. These policies have also prevented the reporting or consideration of certain eviction data in connection with credit history and background screens.
We have been notified by one screening provider, and expect others to follow suit in omitting data related to these instances for the duration spanning March 1, 2020 through August 31, 2021.
What does this mean? Property Managers and landlords will need to be more diligent in their screening processes going forward and may need to extend their screening efforts into pre-2020 data for some time going forward. Stone Oak and our partners have made preparations to ensure all approved tenants meet our criteria to live in one of our managed properties.
What did Stone Oak do? We have reviewed our tenant screening criteria and updated them with higher credit score requirements, and increased the qualifications for scenarios where a guarantor/co-signer is required including a higher income requirement. The higher stringency on our requirements will put better tenants in your properties along with more security for you as we will require additional security deposits and/or guarantor/cosigners when necessary.
Implementing a Multi-Department Inspection Process For Our Properties
Going forward, Stone Oak’s policy is that all of our properties must be walked by a member of our property management team in conjunction with an inspection from a member of our maintenance team. While both departments have a common goal, we find that both parties may look for different things when initially assessing a property. By ensuring both teams touch all properties going forward, our level of detail offered to owners should benefit and, in turn, the service we can offer for your properties should benefit as well.
What To Expect When Your Property Has a Turn Over
It is common to incur a cost to turn your property between tenants, which is why we do our best to keep tenants in place as long as possible. All of our suggestions are highly recommended to get your property inline with comparable homes on the market, bringing you top dollar for your property and ultimately putting more money in your pocket! The items we suggest are what the majority of renters expected in the highly competitive Austin Rental Market. Please also note that completing property maintenance during periods of vacancy will save you money in the long run and will always be suggested in order to properly maintain your investment.
Please contact your property manager with any questions should you have any.
The Growth of Stone Oak & Our Appreciation
Stone Oak would like to announce the addition of several new team members.
Please welcome Oby Egbuna to our property management team! Oby has been working with our team for a few weeks now as some of you may know after speaking with him. With a background operating in the leasing industry here in Austin, Oby is a great addition to our team as we continue to grow.
Please also welcome the newest members of our field operations team - Jacorey Warrick and Mikah Gloude. Jacorey and Mikah will be working closely with the property management team and will be out in the field coordinating projects on your property.
We are excited to have both Oby, Jacorey & Mikah as a part of the Stone Oak family!
As Stone Oak continues to grow we want to be sure to thank you, our clients, for trusting us with your properties and real estate portfolios. We love being your Austin property management company! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have.