Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Military Transfer

What happens to your apartment lease if you receive a military transfer?  The paragraph below is from the Texas Apartment Association website.

Under paragraph 23 of the TAA Lease Contract, the owner is required to allow you to move out early under certain circumstances. You may terminate your lease contract if you enlist or are drafted or commissioned into active service in the U.S. Armed Forces or are a member of the Armed Forces or reserves called to active duty AND are either:
(i) given change-of-station orders to permanently depart the local area;
(ii) deployed with a military unit or as an individual in support of a military unit for 90 days or more; or
(iii) relieved or released from active duty.
When a member of the Armed Forces terminates a lease under paragraph 23, the termination automatically terminates the lease for any spouse or dependent who may have signed it.
If, at the time of signing a lease, you already knew about the change of duty station or retirement or knew that your term of enlistment would expire prior to the end of your lease term and if you failed to inform the owner of such facts prior to signing, you are liable to the owner for liquidated damages in the amount of all rent losses that the owner may incur during the remainder of the original lease term'even though you have terminated the lease under paragraph 23.
A landlord and resident may agree in writing that the lease cannot be terminated in order for the resident and dependents to move into base housing or other housing within 30 miles of the property, unless that property is owned or rented by the resident's family or the resident has experienced a significant financial loss, which is defined by law.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Security Deposit Deductions

We all hope to get the majority of our security deposit back after renting. But what can an apartment complex deduct? The answer can be found on the Texas Apartment Association website.

  • Any charge specified in the lease or any charge resulting from your breaking the lease.
  • Charges for damages, wear and tear resulting from negligence, carelessness, accident or abuse on your part. "Normal wear and tear" items cannot be deducted.
  • Unpaid rent and other unpaid charges listed in your lease, such as those for late rent payment, returned checks, missing furniture or fixtures, keys you don't return to the management, etc.
  • The reasonable cost of cleaning if you fail to properly clean before you leave. Many rental properties have written cleaning instructions for you to follow.
Any deduction must be listed in a written description and itemization mailed to you on or before 30 days after you leave. However, there is no obligation that you be furnished this information if you have not paid all of your rent or if you have not given your forwarding address in writing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Large Dogs

Apartments usually view any dog that weighs over 35 lbs as a ‘large dog’.  Apartments that do not accept ‘large dogs’ will probably abide by that standard.  Other apartments will cap the acceptable weight of your dog at 70lbs and a rare few apartments actually have no weight limits on dogs.
The good news is, if your dogs weight is within the apartments standards, then typically your pet rent will be the same as if you had what was consider a ‘regular’ sized dog. It should also not affect the availability of particular units, meaning you can live on the 3rd floor if you want to.  Finally, leash rules, restricted areas, etc. will most likely be the same for all dogs, small, regular or large.
On the flip side, it’s important to consider your dog’s happiness as well.  Some apartments offer a small yard with a few of their first floor units.  Others have dog parks or are close to Austin’s dog-friendly areas, like the greenbelts, trails and city dog parks.  The happier your dog is, the better behaved it will be, making for happy management :-).
No matter the size of your dog, but especially with a large dog,  it’s important to be prepared when you are applying at apartments.  Most Austin apartments will require your vet records or a letter from your vet stating that the animal is up-to-date on their shots and  the breed of the animal.
If you need help finding an apartment that will accept your large dog, give us call!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Finding a Special on Apartments

Finding the right apartment for a great deal makes for a happy renter. Our website has a listing of current specials, and by contacting us you can stay on top of even more specials that come along. What a great reason to use A Plus!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lease Contract

The Texas Apartment Association came up with six important points to read carefully in a lease. Here they are:

1. Check to see how much advance notice you must give before moving at the end of your lease term. (A 30-day written notice is most common when rent is paid monthly. However, some properties may require more notice.)

2.  Look for security deposit refund restrictions.

3.  Look for your rental housing owner’s obligation to make needed repairs. (A requirement for diligence is common.)

4.  Be sure to read any cleaning instructions. (Cleaning costs usually can be deducted from your security deposit if you fail to follow instructions.)

5.  Check on prohibitions against subletting or keeping animals. (Written permission is usually required. Also, there is usually an extra deposit for animals.)

6.  Ask the manager to write in and initial any oral agreements or changes in the lease that are agreed to by you and the owner’s representative.