Austin Property Management Blog

Stone Oak Client Update | May 2024

Grant Williams - Friday, May 17, 2024

Corporate Transparency Act

In 2021 Congress passed the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) that went into effect on January 1, 2024. This new law may apply to some of our clients, so we want to help spread awareness.  If you own your investment(s), or anything else, in an entity such as an LLC or Corp, you may need to file information with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN).  There is a summary of this new law available on the FINCEN brochure and additional information and resources on their website.

There are exemptions to this law, but it is strongly recommended that you speak to your legal advisor or accountant to discuss the requirements and compliance deadlines. There are many articles that have been published after the law’s passing, and quite a few since the end of 2023.  More information can be found on this article, using the official links above, or doing a search for the CTA to start your learning journey.

Liability Insurance Policy and Landlord Protection Program

There are some changes coming to how we handle the liability insurance requirement of the management agreement, and the Optional Assurances program that many of you are participating in.   On or before May 31st we’ll be sending a Broker Update email to all of our clients, which will be followed by an additional email to those participating in the Optional Assurances program.  These emails will have important information so please keep an eye out for that correspondence.

Summer Leasing Season

The busiest time of year is upon us.  We are working vigilantly to get lease renewals done, and if a property is vacant we want to get it leased as quickly as possible.  With the leasing market slowing down now is a good time to talk to your property manager and discuss the best options to get things done well in advance of a renewal or vacancy.  Renewals in particular are good to secure as early as possible since the market continually shifts with each passing day.

We’ve mentioned in the past that incentives are back in the leasing market, so considering some kind of offer proactively to attract a tenant to a vacant property or keeping them at lease renewal should be discussed with your property manager.  Incentives can be offered to both new and renewing tenants. A reduced or free period of rent on a new lease is very common right now.   With lease renewals some tenants may ask for something like cleaning the AC ducts or providing a mid-lease carpet cleaning for example, which is a small expense relative to a turnover.  The act of simply not, or minimally, raising the rent when offering renewal terms is also a good way to keep a tenant who doesn’t want the expense and hassle of moving.  While you don’t have to offer anything we want everyone to be aware about the increasingly competitive nature of the lease market.

AT&T Breach and Scams

It was recently announced that AT&T was breached, possibly in 2021, and was not confirmed until the end of March 2024.  There are a lot of articles about it right now, so definitely do a quick search if you’re interested in more details.  The data is from over 70 million current and former customers.  This includes names, emails, phone numbers, date of birth, social security numbers, and other AT&T account related data.  In the context of being a client of Stone Oak we want to mention this because a lot of this data can be used in social engineering and phishing attacks, which could  involve your data being used by someone who poses as your property manager or other contact as part of a scam.

That being said, we want to remind you that we will never call you to ask to confirm or provide your bank info, social security number, or other personal information on the phone or by email.  We will also never ask you to pay for anything with gift cards, cryptocurrency, etc. All of our emails will come from our domain,, or through our software as a long string of letters/numbers from the domain Our property management software includes a texting service that will not match our office number, but if you try to call that number it will go directly to our main office phone line.  

Here is some helpful information about Caller ID Spoofing, and other common scams.  Here is a recent posting from Chase Bank about other common scams that are good to be aware of.

Please stay vigilant, maintain a healthy amount of skepticism, and contact us directly with the number on our website or our direct emails if anything looks questionable.

Thank you for being a client of Stone Oak Property Management. Please don't hesitate to contact your property manager should you need anything at this time.  


Holiday Hours

We have updated our company holiday calendar in an effort to give everyone here at Stone Oak more time off with their families and friends.  You can find our updated holiday closing schedule at this link.

Maintenance Approval Process Changes

In addition to the info below about funding repairs we want to notify all owners that we are modifying our escalation process when we can’t reach our clients in order to make sure we are complying with property code requirements.  In bonafide emergencies we are acting within our authority to mitigate damages, however after it has been contained or in non-emergency situations we reach out to our clients for work authorization that is required above the limit set in the management agreement.  In those cases we now have a strict process going into effect that will have a time-based escalation if we cannot reach you.  The time frame will be that if we can’t reach you by the 3rd day from when we first reached out we will then reach out to your emergency contact who can aid us in getting authorization or contacting you.  If you’d like to update your emergency contact we have on file please contact your property manager.  Keep in mind that this contact should be someone outside of your immediate household who you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you cannot be reached by them or us.

Funding Make-Readies & Maintenance for Your Property

Please note that it is Stone Oak's policy that the owner has reserve funding on hand with Stone Oak to help us commence work faster when it comes to make-readies and maintenance on your property. Stone Oak cannot perform maintenance without first receiving authorization and funding, which can slow down the turn-around times of our vendors and their availability in this market. This can also potentially create a negative experience that tenants will remember when it comes time to renew, and we always want to avoid turning over the tenants.  Any time we request authorization for work on your property, the best practice is to immediately fund your account when you provide written authorization to move forward.  This is as simple as going into your owner portal and using ACH for a free transfer, or if you prefer a credit card the processor charges a fee as part of the transaction.

Keep in mind that tenant charges on your account are not considered an offset to this amount as we keep a strict accounting system for both our and our client's benefits. Any tenant chargeable items will be posted to their account, and once they are paid it is immediately credited to your account. If you have any questions about this reserve amount held with Stone Oak please contact your property manager.

HOA Compliance Notices

Did you know your HOA can send important notices and compliance letters directly to Stone Oak to enforce? Yes! We can take care of that for you! Please be sure to provide your HOA with Stone Oaks direct contact information so we can ensure timely delivery of notices. 

Please contact your PM for more information. 

Contact Us

Stone Oak Property Management
14050 Summit Drive #113B
Austin, TX 78728

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

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