Austin Property Management Blog

July 2021 Resident Update | Stone Oak Property Management

Grant Williams - Friday, June 25, 2021

Winter Storm Landscape Maintenance

Four plus months after the storm the issue of dead landscaping still lingers and we’re seeing HOA violations continue to come in.  If you have dead/damaged landscaping in your yard and your lease requires you to maintain the yard then it is in your best interest to address this as soon as possible.  Most HOAs require the dead plants to be replaced with similar or identical plants that will need watering and maintenance until they are established.  Some HOAs have lists of acceptable landscape plants that you can contact them about directly to determine what will get the property into compliance.

Lease Renewals

If your lease is coming up for renewal or you'd like to discuss that in advance please email renewal@stoneoakpm.com. The sooner we can get these processed the better; even if your lease doesn't come up for several months.

Your A/C & the Rising Temperatures

We have received several requests about A/C's not cooling to desired temps and wanted to send out a letter to help manage expectations.

There is a limit to how much your A/C can realistically cool when comparing temperature differences between inside and outside air. The systems will not cool your house to more than about 18-20 degrees below the outside temperature; especially when it is 100+ degrees outside. This is true with new systems as well as older ones because there are many factors involved such as insulation values, number of stories, shade around the unit, location of the inside unit, etc.

An A/C works by capturing the heat from inside and releasing it outside. When the air around the unit outside is unusually hot it cannot release the heat efficiently, so it will not cool as much as you want it to.  If the system is working at night and all except the hottest part of the day then it is working as well as it can. There is simply a limit to the amount of heat that can be displaced when the outside temps are extreme.

If this applies to you please do not submit a maintenance request since there is nothing that can be done. If we end up sending someone out and it turns out the system is working fine we will have to pass the cost of that visit on to you. We don't like doing that, so this email is to prevent that from occurring and to help you understand why it cannot be 70 degrees inside when it is 100+ outside.

A/C calls are not considered emergencies per the standard lease, however, we understand and try to get someone out as quickly as possible. Our A/C vendor is generally available the same day or the next day, which is determined by their call load when the request comes in.

If the office determines the need we can arrange to temporarily provide a portable unit so at least one room can be kept cool until the repair can be made. This is something we do as a courtesy and is limited by the number of units available at any given time. We do not deliver the portable units, rather we'll arrange for pick up when necessary.  Please note that the portable will be required to be brought back within 2 days of your regular A/C repair being completed.

For A/C service requests please CALL our office (512) 617-6766 immediately and put in a work order request online. We kindly ask that you do this as soon as the issue is apparent. If after hours, you can engage the emergency line so they put things in motion, however, there is no guarantee you will get service the same day.

If your A/C is blowing warm air, not cooling down, or not turning on at all, please shut off the entire unit and notify the office immediately. The technicians can NOT work on units that are frozen, so the longer it is thawing out the better.

Here are some A/C tips and reminders to keep in mind:

  • A/C filters need to be changed regularly
  • Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Each degree lower increases your energy use by 6% to 8%.

  • Set your A/C to 85 degrees while you are away from your home for more than two hours. Turning your A/C completely off will delay your home cooling down when you return and put more stress on the system.

  • Leave all interior doors open to promote circulation throughout the cooled space. Do not close vents in unused rooms. This could increase pressure and cause duct leaks.

  • Your thermostat has two different settings. One is for the Air Conditioning/Heat. The other is for the fan with the option of Auto or On. Please leave the fan on Auto position, not On position. 

  • Fans are a great help in circulating air to cool your home. Be sure to utilize the ceiling fans where available, and be sure your fan is set in the option to blow air down, not up. If your ceiling fan is not blowing the air down, please turn off your fan, and after the blades stop spinning move the switch on the ceiling fan base to make the blades rotate in the other direction.

  • Fans are only useful when someone is there to benefit from it. They can make the air feel about 4 degrees cooler, but if no one is near it then they should be left off since the motors produce heat and increase utility bills.

Finally, please note that the standard lease requires all maintenance to go through management.  Hiring anyone to work on the A/C or other maintenance items is explicitly prohibited by the lease authorized in writing by management.

We appreciate your cooperation and hope you are staying cool during this hot summer.

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

Thank you for being a resident of a Stone Oak rental property! Please don't hesitate to contact our staff if we can help with anything.

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Contact Us

Stone Oak Property Management
13497 N Highway 183, Ste. 700
Austin, TX 78750

Phone: 512.617.6766
New Accounts: 512.615.7737
Toll Free: 888.892.7940
Fax: 512.994.2300

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