APT FAQs

We require a pet deposit of $175 per pet.  This deposit is fully refundable unless we have to use it for issues related to your pet (ie pet smell, urine, fleas, etc)  There will inevitably be a flea treatment charge unless you provide a receipt from a professional company showing it was treated after you vacated.  We also charge a 2% increase in rent for pet rent.  This fee is not refundable.  You can find a list of the most common aggressive breeds dogs within our application packet, here, under “Statement of Breed”  The reason for this is insurance companies will not insure a property for an owner if an aggressive breed is present on the property.  If you do not have a pet at the start of your lease term but plan to get a pet at some point during your residency please make sure to notify us ahead of time.  If not you will be fined according to your lease terms.

As defined by Texas Property Code, an emergency is anything that is detrimental to your health or safety.  Typically this means backed up sewage into your unit, uncontrollable water pipe breaks (You should know where the water shut-off valve is located).   Your air condition or heating is not considered an emergency but we will address those situations as soon as possible.  If you smell a gas leak vacate your property immediately and contact the local gas company.  If there is a fire, call 911 to get the local fire department dispatched.  Lack of hot water is not an emergency but it will be addressed as soon as possible.  Any non-emergency maintenance requests must be in writing in order for us to dispatch our trades.

As per your lease agreement rent is due on the 1st of every month.  We provide a grace period to the 3rd but if rent is not received by before midnight on the 3rd you will incur late fees.  Thus, you are charged 5% of your rental rate starting on the 4th of the month and 2% every day after until rent is paid in full.  We do not accept partial payments so all rent, late fees and outstanding balances will have to be paid at the same time.  If  you still have not paid your rent by the 11th of the month we will file an eviction and notice to terminate your tenancy.  If you pay in full prior to the court date we can drop the eviction charge.  However, we only allow one time eviction dismissal.  If we have to file again at any point during your occupancy for late or non-payment of rent we will not accept it and will not dismiss the eviction hearing.

We understand that situations can arise where you must terminate your lease contract before the end of the term.  However, if you must break your lease there is a proper way to do so in order to preserve your credit and rental history.  In section 27B: DEFAULT you will find a list of tenant liabilities if the lease is in breach.  Please review these carefully before deciding to terminate your agreement.

The first step is to setup a formal meeting at our office.  If you do not have time for a meeting or live out of state we can discuss our solutions over the phone and answer any questions you may have for us.  During this time we will analyze comparable rentals in the area to determine the rates we believe are obtainable for your property.  If you decide you want to proceed after we talk, we will draft a TAR (Texas Association of Realtors) leasing and management agreement for your review and signature.

If the property that you are wanting to lease is vacant or is your current residence, we will schedule an onsite meeting with you.  At that time we will perform an initial inspection and collect important information about the dwelling as well as take leasing photos, if possible.  We can collect keys, any existing leases, security deposits and all correspondence between current tenant and landlord.  If the property is occupied with a tenant, we will post a change of management at the property and request you notify the tenant in writing that you have hired APT to manage the home.  We will then schedule with the tenant for an initial property manager walk through and provide an “Inventory & Condition” report about the property.

APT base’s their management fee on the condition of the property, location and rental amount.  Our rates typically average between 8-10% of the gross monthly rents collected.  Obviously discounts are provided for multiple properties and large apartment buildings.  Our leasing commission is 80% of the first month’s rent which we use to pay the tenants leasing agent.  We charge a flat fee of $150 for lease renewals.  We provide an on-staff maintenance technician at $40/hr for handyman work.  If the repairs require a “specialty” technician such as HVAC, electrical or plumbing repairs the invoice is passed to the owners at no additional mark-up.   APT charges an initial $40 service call fee to cover drive time and purchasing of materials.

Our management fee covers the tasks below:

  • Collecting rents
  • Complete monthly bookkeeping including year-end 1099 tax forms
  • Coordination of all maintenance issues with on-call 24/7 emergency service
  • Serving document to tenants for breaches of lease, vacate notices and other tenant related correspondence
  • filing evictions

Additional services we perform above our normal management services listed above are:

  • Court Appearances
  • Administration of specialty maintenance services
  • Multiple bids on repairs needed
  • Government Agency disputes
  • “For Sale” showings, inspections and other listing requirements unless its listed with APT.

APT offers our tenants several avenues for maintenance requests.  Through our website each tenant is given portal access, if they request it, which allows them to post maintenance needs.  In addition, they can email the request directly to us at info@austinpropertyteam.com or hand write the request and drop it off at our office.  Either way we require all non-emergency requests to be put in writing before we address the issue.  If the maintenance request is an emergency, tenants can call our main office line at (512) 686-5454 option 1 and leave a voicemail.  Someone will contact the tenant shortly thereafter.

 

We use lease agreements provided and promulgated by the Texas Real Estate Commission and the Texas Association of Realtor (TAR).  It adequately protects both the landlord and tenants from misconduct or abuse of the rental property.  In addition, we include a 6 page lease addendum to cover those areas that are not clearly defined in the TAR lease agreement.

APT provides extensive screening of criminal, credit and rental history of tenants through Appfolio and Transunion.  We also do employment verification with the applicants current employer and rental verification with their current landlord or management company. If you would like to review our qualification criteria prior to applying you can find it within our lease application packet, here.

APT is comprised of licensed Realtors and with that comes access to the multi-listing system (MLS).  This database is a valuable resource when determining rental rates in a certain area.  The MLS provides a true outlook on market consumption and not an estimated number determine by one of the popular search sites such as Zillow.   After we determine a starting point based on the recent leased properties in your area we add or subtract based on condition of the property (ie carpet, paint, exterior,etc)

It is our professional opinion that pricing a rental at a slightly below market value is a better option than over pricing the market and losing rental income on a daily basis.  Of course, the current state of the rental market in Austin Texas will determine that.  The longer a property sits the more money an investor loses or doesn’t keep in his pocket.

We provide extensive marketing through online rental sites and drive-by technology signage.  We are members of several online rental sites as well.  A few examples include rentalhomepros.com, hotpads.com, oodle.com, rentalhomesplus.com, apartments.com, etc.

We manage properties in Central Austin as far West as Lake Travis area, North to Round Rock, South to slaughter and East of Austin.  If your address is within the Austin city limits we can handle it.

APT handles all types of rentals from Single Family Homes, to duplexes, fourplexes and apartment complexes.  We are selective with the properties we take on and understand that our processes may not be the right fit for every investor.

No.  Below are a couple reasons why:

  1. Liability (judges have awarded tenants and fined management companies even though they never held the deposits)
  2. At move-out we need to be able to distribute the funds accordingly and must comply with time frame of 30 days per Texas Property Code.
  3. It is our responsibility to hold deposits in a separate trust account that is not co-mingled with our standard operational account.

No. we ask that our owners have absolutely no communication with their tenants.  Below are several reasons why:

  • Tenants will go directly to owner and not Management Company for issues but owner expects management company to fix them.
  • Loose creditability with tenants because they communicate directly with owner and our guidelines are not followed.
  • Rents should be deposited through us directly so ledger reflects appropriate balances when/if eviction trial is necessary
  • Correspondence between tenant and owner can be used in court and it’s possible we won’t have all the correspondence from the owner prior to court.
  • If rent is deposited directly to owner we can not take out maintenance costs related to previous month and then have to try and collect from owner.
  • If rent is not collect by management then late charges cannot be collected either.  If tenant refuses to pay late charged management can allocate portion of rent towards late fees and evict based on non-payment of rent.  Evictions cannot be made on late fees or utilities balances.

Our firm believes in regular communication with our owners.  We want our investors to be provided with as much information about their property as possible.  By providing this information to our owners we save them and us time on phone calls and monthly emails back and forth.  Therefore, we include several reports with our month end statements.  These reports point out and summarize important happenings during that period.   In addition, through our website is a portal that owners can login to see their monthly statements, work orders and receipts associated with their property.   We work really hard to collect and distribute this information to our owners on a monthly basis and encourage them to take the time to review this material carefully.  We anticipate the information we provide is specific and detailed enough for our owners to get a really clear picture of their investment each month.  However, we understand that questions or mistakes may arise during this process and we welcome our investors to call or email to discuss any questions they might need answered.

APT is a member of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) and the Austin Board of Realtors (ABOR).  We are also members of the Austin Apartment Association and Texas Apartment Association.  By being part of these organization, we are held to a standard of ethical obligation to our clients.  Our clients are reassured that we are honest and committed to making our relationship a success and keeping their best interest at hand.

APT consists of husband and wife, Susan & Brent Bockholt, a full time property manager, a maintenance coordinator, an office assistant, a maintenance technician and a group of well equipment and knowledgeable contractors.  We are not a large firm with 1000′s of properties in our portfolio.  We intentionally keep a manageable portfolio which allows us to pay closer attention to our owner’s investments.  Our processes and procedures are streamlined and efficient which saves time and ultimately money for our clients.

APT has been in business since early 2009.  Husband and wife, Brent & Susan Bockholt have managed their own investments for over 10 years.  Their experience in property management in Austin and surrounding areas and their integrity and honesty toward their clients makes them an asset to any investor’s portfolio.  They have both been licensed realtors since 2005 and lived in Austin for 40+ years.

A property manager is an asset to any investor’s team. Our team handles those unwanted headaches that can arise from difficult tenants, frequent turnovers, maintenance calls and year end and monthly accounting tasks.  We contract with trusted and insured vendors to handle your properties maintenance needs. And our team keeps up with the state and local laws relating to the Texas Property Code and tenant/landlord rights. The minimal cost of hiring us is well worth the time saved.