Residential Benefits Program and Renters Insurance
Last month we briefly talked about the importance of Renter’s Insurance in the context of the Tornadoes that impacted quite a few people in the Central Texas area. The second round of storms spun up in the weeks since then that dropped more tornadoes northeast of Austin. This is just one example of things that might trigger a need for renter’s insurance to cover your cost of temporarily staying somewhere else while repairs are made.
When we recently introduced the Resident Benefits Program (RBP) we were also working on Renter’s Insurance options with the goal of setting up a simple and cost-effective insurance option for tenants. We’ve finally got that set up and by May 15th we will be rolling it out to be included with all new leases and lease renewals. By default, all new enrollments will include Renter’s Insurance in the cost with options to change some coverage, or provide proof of your own policy. If you’re already enrolled in the RBP the insurance piece will not be included until after your renewal, but if you’d like to explore getting renter’s insurance sooner than that let us know. We’re happy to provide more info on the coverage included with the default policy, and how to explore increasing coverage if you want to go ahead with the insurance portion of the RBP before your next renewal.
Please Check Your A/C Filter Size
Included in your Resident Benefits Package is the delivery of A/C filters to your home. If you have moved into your home with Stone Oak within the last 4 months and have not received your A/C filter delivery from Second Nature, we are likely missing this filter size information from you. Please contact your property manager! We will need all three dimensions on the filter size that can be found on the existing filter.
Touching Up the Property on Your Move-Out
At the end of your tenancy, we please ask that you do not try and paint and patch up the home. If the work is not done correctly you could be charged for repairing any unsightly areas that aren’t normal to the home. If there is damage to your home please contact your property manager or submit a maintenance request.
Real Estate Market and Its Effect on Renting
Undoubtedly you’ve heard of Austin’s crazy real estate market that kicked off in 2020. The values of homes have risen fast and with that so have their property taxes. These quick increases in value can come as sticker shock to most people, renters included. As the property taxes for homes rise for landlords, they typically try to offset these costs via market rent.
Please be aware that on your next renewal you may see a noticeable increase in the rental amount for your rental property.
Routine Maintenance Reminders
- Maintenance Requests: We still receive a lot of maintenance requests that state something vague like "washer" or "AC" without any other info about the actual issue. We cannot act on requests like this and will require that you provide more info, so any request like this will only delay a resolution to the issue. Make sure you provide as much info as possible in your request including pics if possible.
- Maintenance Portal: Please make a list of any items you want to submit, and then list all issues together as one request including as much info as possible and attach photos if applicable. We will then evaluate whether they should be split up or not.
- Smoke and CO Alarms: As a reminder don't ever unplug and remove smoke detectors because they are beeping. Change the batteries and if that doesn't work please notify us. We find a lot of tenants unplug them and bury them in a closet or drawer instead of replacing batteries.
- A/C Filters: Make sure to check and change every month or as required by the type of filter. If any HVAC systems in your home have a reusable filter you are still required to clean them periodically, so please make sure they are kept clean.
- Toilets: "Flushable" Wipes CANNOT be flushed. Do not put anything down the drains except water, human waste, and regular toilet paper. Food, toys, feminine products, wipes, towels, wrappers, condoms, and other objects do not break apart and go down the drain. Clogs of the plumbing system may be charged back to you, so it is best to avoid this by not putting anything down any of the drains aside from water and human waste.
- Disposal Systems: This includes using the sink disposal as a garbage chute. These appliances are not meant to dispose of large quantities of food and should only be used as a last resort after all food items are scraped off dishes into a compost bin or trash can.
- Drainage: Shower, bath, and sink drains can get clogged up over time with hair and other organic matter. Do not use Draino-type products as they are extremely acidic and will do more harm than good by damaging the pipes while usually failing to fix the drainage issue. The best way to address this is to use a disposable drain snake that can be obtained from any hardware store for a couple of dollars. Please note that if we send out a vendor for this and it turns out to be this very issue you may be charged back for the cost. Here is a video on how to use those - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOb4MJ6widg
- Emergency Maintenance: this extension should not be called unless you have an issue involving Flood, Blood, or Fire. Do not call the emergency line to follow up on existing work orders or submit a new request that is not an emergency. In case of an emergency call 911 if needed and then contact us after everyone is safe. Remember that we do not monitor emails after hours, so if you submit something considered an emergency online and do not call we may not know until the next business day.
Other Maintenance Notes:
If you'd like to inquire about, or update an existing request, submit the form at stoneoakmgmt.com/maintenance or call 512-617-6766 ext-5.
Maintenance time frames continue to be extended due to the pandemic. Please allow at least 5 business days before requesting an update from our team unless it is an emergency.
For basic DIY tips and tricks to solve some issues quickly, visit our DIY rental property maintenance page.
Your Tenant Portal & Electronic Statements
The system will generate a statement even if you're moving out, so there is no need to contact us if you receive this and are moving. All charges, including any prorated rent, will be adjusted as needed when the deposit is processed.
If you are not using the portal app that keeps you logged in please take a look at the linked flyer for more info. This can eliminate forgotten passwords, and help with easy updates/access to maintenance requests and all other account details.
AppFolio Tenant Portal Information