2023 Holiday Season Closures
We hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Our updated holiday closing schedule is available at this link. We wish you a happy holiday season.
Holiday Cooking and Drains
When preparing the meals we all enjoy during the holidays we generate a lot of food waste. We just want to remind everyone that nothing should be put down the drains or it could result in plumbing charges to you if things get clogged up. Here is a short article about the issue, and keep in mind that while this discusses food waste you should also never flush things down the toilet other than human waste and toilet paper. Manufacturers of wipes claim they are flushable, but they are absolutely not flushable and should never be put down drains.
As the seasons are changing and winter approaches, it's essential to prepare your rented space for the colder months ahead. While certain maintenance duties fall under the landlord's responsibility, there are a few proactive steps you, as a tenant, can take to ensure a comfortable and safe winter.
Clarify responsibilities: Familiarize yourself with your lease to understand the division of responsibilities. Determine who's accountable for weatherizing features of the home, changing filters, and cleaning ducts and discuss acceptable methods to prevent damage to your belongings and the home itself.
Replace smoke/carbon monoxide alarm batteries: The National Fire Protection Association suggests replacing your smoke and CO alarm batteries twice a year. Test the ceiling smoke detectors and power outlet-mounted carbon monoxide detectors every 2-3 months by pressing and holding the test button till it beeps; if it continues to beep periodically after the test, the battery needs to be replaced.
Heat check: Although maintaining the heating system is the landlord's duty, you should test the heat at your rental property early to ensure proper functionality. Discovering and addressing issues beforehand is preferable to dealing with heating problems during freezing temperatures. Early detection will keep you and your loved ones warm, comfortable and happy.
Pest prevention: With colder weather, pests seek warmth from the indoors. Minimize attracting unwanted guests by storing food in sealed containers, promptly disposing of food-related trash, and keeping countertops clean to deter pests.
Avoid frozen pipes: Adhere to your landlord's instructions to prevent frozen or burst pipes. This is a costly mistake for everyone and can be easily avoided with small actions. Before leaving for an extended period, take proper precautions for potential freezing weather and have a neighbor, friend, or family member check on the home periodically. Outdoor water spigots for hoses are also at risk of freezing. Remove any connected hoses and install a hardware store’s foam faucet cover to easily solve this concern.
Optimize warmth and savings: Manage heating/electricity costs by lowering the thermostat while away or sleeping, potentially saving up to 10% annually on your bill. You can even utilize ceiling fans set to clockwise rotation to distribute warmth most effectively.
Prepare for emergencies: If your area frequently experiences power outages or freezing during winter storms, sign up for local weather and emergency alerts. Stay indoors during severe weather and postpone any travel until safe conditions prevail. Store non-perishable foods, water and flashlights to have on hand for riding out worse storms.
Timely issue reporting: Promptly notify your landlord/property management about any winter-related problems like frozen pipes, water leaks, broken appliances or heating issues to prevent escalation and ensure swift resolution.
By communicating with your landlords/property management company about responsibilities, testing heating systems, preventing pest infestations, and taking measures to avoid frozen pipes, you as a tenant can ensure a smoother winter experience. Being vigilant about reporting any issues promptly allows for timely resolutions, ensuring a comfortable and secure living environment throughout the winter months. Collaborative efforts between tenants and landlords lay the foundation for a hassle-free and enjoyable winter season in your rental property. Stay warm and safe out there.
Austin Holiday Fun
The Holiday Season is upon us and with that comes tons of activities and shopping for the whole family! From the Trail of Lights to the Blue Genie Bazaar, you are sure to find something for everyone.
Trail of Lights - The trail of lights in Zilker Park (downtown area) is a beautiful, festive mile-long walk through a dazzling light display. With the cold weather, grab a cup of hot chocolate and gather friends and family for lights and lots of family fun.
Austin Creative Reuse Holiday Market - There is a lot of benefit to reducing and reusing materials when it comes to taking care of our environment. This article talks about this event taking place on the upcoming weekend with food trucks and many local vendors making unique items that would be great for the holiday season. They are open this weekend on Saturday, 12/2 and again on Sunday, 12/3 with the dates linked to the event page on their website for each day.
Luminations at the Wildflower Center - Gardens and trails are filled with thousands of luminaries and twinkling lights! Here you can stroll around and see all the beautiful sights. You can also expect live music, food and more!
Peppermint Parkway - The Circuit of the Americas is a really fun drive-through experience for people of all ages. Purchase advance tickets to drive through some fun displays such as Twinkle Tunnel, Candy Cane Lane, Gingerbread Alley, The Enchanted Forest, Frozen Land, The North Pole, and Peppermint Plaza! They even have some go-karting and holiday ziplining!
Santa’s Ranch - Just a short drive south of Austin you’ll find Santa’s Ranch in New Braunfels. Santa’s Ranch features another pretty sensational light show you can enjoy from the comfort of your own car! With over 100 displays and animations, this light trail is over 1 mile long!
Blue Genie Bazaar - The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is a fixture of the Austin holiday season. With in-person and virtual shopping alternatives, shoppers can browse thousands of original works ranging from serious art to fun and kitschy items. A great way to buy hassle-free holiday gifts and support local artists.
Cooler Weather and Your Fireplace
A cold front is at our doorstep! Please be sure to follow your lease when it comes to fireplace usage and safety.
Why does my heater smell like it's burning?
As cooler weather approaches and you first turn on your heater for the season, you will likely get a smell of something burning. This smell is usually the result of accumulated dust on burners, air ducts or other furnace parts, and it should burn off quickly. If the odor lingers, switch the air filter. If the smell still doesn't go away, contact us to have a professional inspect your unit.
Solar Eclipse Last Month & One Still to Take Place
This past Saturday an Annular Solar Eclipse took place and passed just South of San Antonio. Below you can see an image captured of the eclipse through the clouds. Stone Oak passed out solar eclipse glasses to tenants as part of their move-in welcome gift and made them available for pickup to help prepare for viewing this event.
There is still another eclipse scheduled to take place in the upcoming months. In April 2024 there will be a full solar eclipse, and here is a link to the event info and path. If you’re going to try to watch then we strongly suggest going to a location as close to the center of the path as possible to enjoy the best, and longest view. Make sure to track the weather around that time to see where the best place to go will be for clear skies. Here is another link to some info about these events, and there is a lot of info out there as Central Texas gears up for the next major eclipse. Our understanding is that after April 2024 the next full eclipse visible in the US is in 20 years, so you don’t want to miss this if possible!
If you’re interested in getting some glasses for the next solar eclipse in April 2024, please check in with your property manager so we can arrange for you to pick some up.
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.
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 drain 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