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11 Responses to Ask Your Questions

  1. Linda McCaleb says:

    We are under a lease renewal dated march 10m, 2011. Our 4th renewal. Now the property has left a notice on our door that effective June 1, 2011 we have to pay electronically, no more payments at the rent office. Must we comply?

    • Chip Parker says:

      Since this is more of legal question, for an accurate answer you will probably need to consult an attorney. If you are in Austin, you can also consult with the Austin Tenants Council for legal issues regarding leasing as well. My guess is that it will depend on what is stated in your lease agreement. Good luck!

  2. Pete Aversa says:

    What is the maximum increase one an apartment lease is up? DFW

    • Lisa Garza says:

      Legally there is no maximum for the amount a property owner can increase rent upon renewal. Typically it is based on the current apartment market and the occupancy in your particular building. Larger apartment management companies often use a very sophisticated software to determine rent based on those factors. Smaller complexes have a more informal process where they make a judgment based on their current occupancy and the occupancy of the properties near them.

      Here in Austin, 5-10% rental increases per renewal are common, but we also have the highest occupancy rate in the state. If you are still the market for a new place, having a locator can help you determine if you can get a better deal. I recommend Dallas Apartment Finders, we have worked with them in the past.

  3. Vic says:

    My son and I leased a Duplex in Austin so he could attend school. His girlfriend and 2 boys moved in with him. They are listed on the lease as others living there but are not leasees or financially responsible to the landlord for the rent. The relationship has deteriorated and he has asked her to leave. She refuses to vacate. What are the options if any?

    • Chip Parker says:

      Our understanding is that your son should be able to have the duplex manager remove the girlfriend as an occupant from the lease agreement since she is not a lease holder. At that point, if she does not leave it could be a matter for the police. However since this is a legal question and we are not attorneys we would encourage you to get expert legal advice from an attorney before taking any action. Since the duplex is in Austin, you might want to call the Austin Tenants Council for free legal advice at 512-474-1961.

  4. Trey Sullivan says:

    We received our final move-out bill reflecting a big surprise of carpet replacement for the entire unit. The final walk thru reflected a few stains in the living room which were agreed upon. After the fact, the complex took it upon themselves to replace the entire unit stating two different stories, three different times. Initially we asked for the photos/evidence of the other damaged areas since they were not initially agreed upon or spoken about. The complex has none. I’ve heard several stories of this from other renters and they just pay it. Are we falling victim to this? I’m not interested in paying for the general overhead of the complex, especially when the final walk thru did not reflect the stains they are claiming without any evidence. Can you please advise in which direction we should go from here? I appreciate your time.
    -Trey Sullivan

    • Chip Parker says:

      Hi Trey,

      We are not qualified to give legal advice so we always recommend that you contact an attorney.

      That out of the way, my laymen opinion is this, most contracts read that “normal wear and tear” is allowed. If there is other damage outside of this, they may be within their right to deduct the damage from your deposit. However patching is usually performed if possible and is not very expensive. Most management companies are professional and business like and not dishonest. So if it were me, I would challenge the charges with them. Make them negotiate it down if possible. If not, small claims court might be a possibility, in which case it would be smart to contact an attorney.

      You can also try calling the telephone counseling line at the Austin Tenant’s Council – 474-1961. They might be able to advise you better on your rights regarding your specific situation. Best of luck!

  5. Michael says:

    I recently moved out of a leased home. Prior to moving in one of the stipulations I told the landlord was that the tile in the kitchen and bathroom needs to be cleaned professionally as well as the chimney swept as we had a newborn son and I was concerned for carbon monoxide possibilities as well as using the fireplace and causing a fire from a backup in the venting. Now upon move out our landlord is stating that we should pay back the money they spent on those two services. On top of 75$ for a door installation (54$ on top of that for the door itself) and 100$ to paint the door that was damaged. Seriously? 100 dollars to paint a door? Are they just telling some local guy to jack up the pricing and then cut it back to them? It does not state in the lease that I have to repay their initial cleaning costs. Also, I actually had Molly Maids do the actual initial cleaning as they had not cleaned the house when we moved in. Help.

    • Chip Parker says:

      Unfortunately this is more of a legal situation, and it sounds like you would need to consult an attorney to see if the landlord can legally charge you these fees without that being stipulated in the contract. Unlike apartment complexes that are run by reputable management companies, individual home owners are not always aware of what their legal obligations are, and what your legal obligations are as the tenant.

      You can also try the Austin Tenants Council. They have free telephone counseling at 474-1961. It sounds like a frustrating situation. We wish you the best of luck getting it resolved!

      Chip Parker
      Manager, Apartment Experts

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