Office Closures for 2022
We will be answering phone calls for emergencies only on the following dates:
November 23rd-24th, 2022 | We will be closed for Thanksgiving.
November 25th, 2022 | We will be open with a skeleton crew working remotely.
December 26th, 2022 | We will be closed for the holiday.
HVAC Units & The Approaching Colder Weather
As cooler weather approaches you will need to turn on your heaters for the first time in several months. Please be aware that when you turn on your heater for the first time, it is not uncommon to smell burning dust. As dust can settle on the heating components during the warm months of the year, it is inevitable that it is going to burn off when the unit heats up. This is normal. It is advisable to test your heater a few days before a strong cold snap moves in, just in case repairs are needed.
We recommend you open a window or two in anticipation of this "burn off" to get rid of the smell, and to avoid smoke detectors going off. If the smell persists for more than a few hours, consider changing your filters. If there is an actual fire or smoke coming from the system, turn it off right away, and call 911.
If any other issues present themselves, please submit a maintenance request to your online portal and we will address it promptly.
Residential Benefits Program Update
We’re always looking at ways to improve the tenant experience since we’ve been there, or are currently tenants ourselves. We recently attended a property management conference, and as part of that we discussed ways to add more value to this program among other things. We’re currently in the process of exploring what we can implement without any impact on you and we appreciate the feedback you've provided regarding this program.
Payment Options Update
Paying rent online via E-Check has always been the preferred method of payment for a large majority of tenants. In some cases, we get requests for alternate payment methods when that doesn’t work for whatever reason. The next best option isn’t free like E-Checks, but it is convenient and ties directly to your tenant account. That option is paying with cash using an Electronic Cash Payslip (ECP). This reusable barcode is specific to your account and can be used nationwide at many Ace Cash Express, 7-11, CVS, Walgreens, and other retail locations. The fee, charged by the retail location, is $3.99 per transaction up to $2.000 (or $1,500 at 7-11 and Walgreens). You can make multiple payments if needed using the same ECP barcode at any time. When a payment is made using this method it will post to your tenant account automatically within 30-60 minutes, the cashier will provide you with a receipt as proof of payment, and if you have an email or phone number on file with us the system will send you a confirmation.
The ECP is available in your tenant portal under the payments tab along with a “Find Store” link to search for nearby locations. If you don’t use the portal or need us to send you a copy let us know and we’ll send it to the email on file.
Locations where ECP can be used can be found at this link.
Mosquito Season in Central Texas
With the changing seasons come little, blood-sucking pests that nobody likes. Here are some tips to help minimize their impact on you:
Eliminate Standing Water - Mosquitoes breed and lay their eggs in water, so avoiding this means nowhere for them to nest. Remove any empty flower pots, buckets, clogged gutters or drains, puddles, tires that catch water, and other places that could end up being filled with rainwater.
Avoid Overwatering Your Yard - Make sure you are only watering your lawn and plants as much as is necessary. Too much water will leave puddles and damp areas where mosquitoes will remain near at all times.
Maintain Proper Distances for Tiki Torches & Bug Zappers - Tiki torches can be effective as long as they are within a close distance to your location. (Ensure they aren’t placed under or near anything that could catch fire.) If you decide to use a bug zapper, keep it as far away from your home as possible since it is made to attract flying pests like mosquitoes.
Wear Long Sleeves & Pants - Whenever possible, wear long sleeves and pants when you’re outside to avoid getting bitten by these annoying pests.
Hide Your Scent - Find ways to hide your scent with smells mosquitoes don’t like such as garlic, basil, peppermint, lemongrass, neem, or even deet found in products.
Avoiding Rental Scams
There has been an uptick in real estate scams over the last few years, so we want to make sure you’re aware of whether you’re staying in your property or eventually looking for a new place. There are a lot of articles available with a quick search, so we’re not going to rehash the details. Rather, we want to make sure that if you experience any strange circumstances you report them to us. Specifically, if someone shows up at your door claiming to have set up a viewing of the property with no communication from us it may be a scam in progress. On the other side of this, be very careful if you’re in the market to lease or purchase a home to make sure you are dealing with a legitimate company or landlord.
We will never ask anyone to provide, nor do we accept payment using cash, gift cards, Paypal, Venmo, or cryptocurrency.
The only exception to this is when paying rent using the ECP voucher, obtained through us or from within your tenant portal as discussed above.
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