Austin Property Management Blog

Preparing Your Rental for Lease

System - Tuesday, April 24, 2018

As we quickly approach the summer season, we are also approaching the best time to lease your property all year. The majority of leases are signed during the summer and mainly run for 12 months so there is a perpetual need for housing that rises during the summer. If you’re the owner of a rental property in Austin, here are some quick tips to get your home rent-ready for an influx of tenants this summer.

Replace old fixtures and appliances

Cleaning will only take you so far. After a while, it’s better to replace something that’s years old instead of continuing to clean and repair. Stoves, fridges, laundry, dishwashers are good replacements to make when the currents become bogged down with problems. If you are a landlord that provides a furnished rental, be sure to replace the furniture as needed.

Window Blinds

We might as well call these things dust catchers. Sometimes your tenant does their best and cleans these, but they can do so with disregard to damaging the blinds. Blinds easily break and cleaning them can be delicate. You could consider hiring a blind cleaning company and utilizing their special equipment for the job. They may seem easy, but damaging your blinds and having to replace them can dent your bank account.

Clean those forgotten areas

You could provide your tenants with a rigorous check list for cleaning, but there would still be parts of the home that need more love. Tenants will miss a few things here and there, and why wouldn’t they? It’s not like they own the home. If they miss a few spots here and there you need to be sure to hit those areas as they vacate. Grime will build up over time and make your property less attractive to potential renters. Everyone is more thorough on their arrival then on their exit, so keep that in mind.

Spruce up the outside

Curb appeal is important. It’s the first part of the home you or anyone sees. If you’re rental isn’t inviting from the outside, you’ll be hard pressed to get anyone to want to view the inside. Having a spare pressure washer you can use to clean up the outside can help the appeal of your property a lot. Be sure to keep your gutters clean and any unnecessary  junk or items out of view.

Your carpets and paint

Painting or cleaning the carpets after each tenant vacates isn’t necessary, but can help you with the longevity of your property and new tenants will very much appreciate it. These make great marketing points when finding new tenants for your property.

Magic Erasers

These things can work miracles for your property! You can visit the property after a tenant has vacated and provide a thorough clean in no time with a handful of magic erasers. As the owner of a property, stocking up on extra cleaning supplies may provide a bulk discount and have your back in the future!

Consider these tips as you prepare to clean and market your Austin rental property for lease. The more presentable your property is the more interest you will have from renters. In the long run, this can cut down on down time and help insure you have consistent cash flow coming from your rental property.

[Video] 1807 Pecan Street | Austin Homes For Rent

System - Monday, April 16, 2018

924 SF | 2 Bed | 1 Bath

Austin Home for Rent: 6803 Side Saddle St

System - Tuesday, April 10, 2018

6803 Side Saddle Street, Austin, TX 78745

1,434 SF | 3 Bed | 2 bath

View this and other great homes for rent in Austin, Texas!

City of Austin Releases New Affordable Housing Map

System - Thursday, April 5, 2018

The City of Austin, Texas has just released a new 'user-friendly' affordable housing map. The map serves as a resource for low- and middle-income residents of greater Austin, Texas. 

The map shows various income-restricted housing units that are subsidized or incentivized by the city of Austin. This information has always been readily available to the public but was hidden behind a clunky user interface that was hard to navigate. The updated version provides details on developments and describes properties and housing type. 

The city says the map will be updated regularly and more information will be added as they continue to develop this new tool.

New City of Austin Regulations on Carbon Monoxide Detectors

System - Monday, April 2, 2018

You can read more about these new regulations via Austin's KVUE News

Security Deposits: Facts for Austin, Texas Landlords

System - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Unlike most states, Texas doesn’t have laws specifying the amount of deposit you can charge new tenants but we do have laws protecting this money for both the landlord and the tenant. If you  

Limits on Security Deposits

Owning a rental home is no small feat and you should be proud. However, not everyone considers your rental home the precious asset that it is to you. The good news is that Texas is one of the most landlord friendly states in the Union. Currently, there is no limit on what a landlord can charge for a security deposit. With that said, it’s popular to charge up to one or one and a half month’s rent. Going above this can hurt your property when trying to find excellent tenants. You may be the best landlord in the Austin metro area but if you charge too much for entry into your property then finding quality tenants on time will be harder. Keep in mind there is no shortage of rental options in a city like Austin.

Returning the Security Deposit

The deadline to return a security deposit to your tenant upon move-out is 30 days. There are a few stipulations that allow you to keep the security deposit regardless of this. They are as follows:

  •     If your lease requires a 30-day notice for move-out and the tenant doesn’t abide by this then you are eligible to keep this deposit in full.
  •     Damages to the property grant you the right to apply that deposit to repairs. It’s required for the landlord to have these charges on record and to itemize them for the tenant(s) so that they know exactly why they aren’t receiving their deposit back. If the tenant still owes rent at the end of their lease term it is not required to provide this list as long as there is no discrepancy regarding the amount of rent owed.

Wrongful Withholding of the Tenant’s Deposit

If you, as an Austin landlord, chose to wrongfully withhold your tenant’s security deposit from your tenant’s you can face some hefty fines. You can be found responsible to owe your previous tenant three times (3x) the amount of the deposit plus attorney’s fees racked up by the tenant in trying to pursue money that is rightfully theirs. We at Stone Oak Property Management advise against being a slumlord and playing with other’s money. Once you are on the receiving end of a non-paying tenant or something along those lines you’ll appreciate those who keep their end of the bargain and you’ll attract better tenants as a better landlord!

Security Deposits and the Sale of Your Property

If you own a rental that is occupied and you are in the process of selling the property you are required and responsible for transferring the deposit to the new owner. You are held liable for these deposits until the new owner has provided a written statement to the tenants stating they are now in possession of the deposit and funds. Once this notice is received you are no longer liable for these amounts!

Are you curious about the actual Texas property code and what it states regarding security deposits? You can read the Texas property code about security deposits here. If you have any questions about security deposits pertaining to your Austin rental home then don’t hesitate to contact our experienced Austin property management team!

[Featured] 5514 Delwood Drive | Austin Homes For Rent

System - Monday, March 26, 2018

1,463 SF | 3 Bed | 2 Bath

[Video] 11606 Crosstimber Drive, Austin

System - Wednesday, March 21, 2018

1,833 SF | 4 bed | 2 Bath

Tax Write Offs For Your Austin Rental Property

System - Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Owning a rental property has always offered great benefits to the owner. Almost all of their expenses can be deducted come tax season due to owning properties being treated similar to owning a business.

Tax season is approaching and many of you may be preparing close out your fiscal year with as many helpful deductions as possible. Here are a few tax deductions to keep in mind for your Austin, Texas rental home in 2018.

You Can Write Off Interest

Most property owners already know that they are able to write off the interest they pay on their mortgage for their investment property. This is typically the largest write-off of the year for any owner, however, there are several other types of interest one can write off for their property. Be sure to write off any interest paid on credit cards, lines for credit, and any other loan used to acquire, maintain, or improve your Austin rental.

Don’t Forget About Depreciation

In a city like Austin, you might not expect to be able to write of depreciation for your property. After all, hasn’t most of Austin real estate experienced huge appreciation the past several years? According to the IRS, a building’s “useful life” is 27.5 years. Every year at tax time this allows you to write off 1/27th of that property. However, in order to do so you must separate the value of the property from the value of the land. An appraisal can give you this information and you can also check your tax assessor’s database.

You’ve Been All Over the Place

Any and all travel associated with your Austin rental property can be written off at tax time. Travelling to Home Depot to get new appliances for the home? Be sure to track your mileage and expenses associated with that trip. It is even possible to write of the travel spent looking for properties here in Austin, Texas.

Your Employees & Contractors

Every time you pay someone to perform services related to your Austin rental home, you can deduct their wages/fees/expenses as a business expense for you. Be sure to keep your receipts and all records of such. Maybe the neighbor kid mows the lawn for you every Thursday so be sure to write off that $40!

Marketing Your Property

Your Austin rental property won’t do to well if there is no one renting it from you. Marketing runs any business and yours is no different. Maybe you paid for this brilliant website to feature your property, you’ve purchased signs to market your listing, or any other type of outreach for your rental home. Just keep in mind that any expense that occurs when doing so can be written off at tax time. Be sure to keep track of any and all ads you pay for.

Want to learn all of the new tax laws and how they impact your Austin rental property? You can read the full article here. If you struggle with tracking expenses and keeping everything organizes for tax season is may be time to hire an Austin property manager. As an Austin property management company, Stone Oak also assists landlords with protesting their property taxes every year. If you’re a landlord in Greater Austin and would like more information, please contact us.

Austin Homes For Rent: 8309 Horton Trail

System - Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Showing 61- 70 of 125

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13497 N Highway 183, Ste. 700
Austin, TX 78750

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