Thursday, December 20, 2012
If you don't pay rent, there are several consequences your landlord can inflict on you by law. The Texas Apartment Association lays out what your landlord can do as a remedy if you don't pay rent.
First, your landlord will most likely inflict late charges onto your account, which will increase the amount you owe, as the late charges are in addition to your rent. Second, if your lease includes a clause giving your landlord permission, they can enter your apartment and take your belongings as collateral until you pay your rent. The items they can remove include items like televisions, stereos, sports equipment, etc. The items they take can even be sold to pay for rent if your landlord gives you notice as lined out in the statute.
If the landlord gives you notice as they are required by the Texas Property Code, you can be locked out of your apartment or house and will have to get in touch with the manager to re-enter your apartment. The landlord also has the right to file for eviction and report the fact you didn't pay rent to consumer reporting agencies. This can effect not only you being able to get credit, but renting another apartment will be very difficult if you have a non-payment on your record. Even potential employers may pull your credit report and red flags like rent non-payment can prevent you from getting a job.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Restrictive breeds are dogs that apartment complexes classify as aggressive breeds. Every property has their own list and it varies, but often includes dogs such as German Shepherds, Pit Bulls, Dobermans, and Chows. Some properties are also beginning to include large breed dogs that are not classified as aggressive, such as Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. This is because even if you move in with a puppy that is one of these larger breeds and it is under the weight limit, before your lease term is up, that dog is going to be over the weight limit.
What does this mean for you? It means it is very important that you tell your apartment locator not only what breed your dog is, but how much it weighs or, if it's a puppy, how much it is expected to weigh when fully grown. Weights are also important because some apartment complexes charge different deposits depending on your dog's weight. For example, if you have a dog that weighs under 30 pounds, you will have to pay a smaller pet deposit than someone with a dog that weighs over 30 pounds.
If you do have a dog on the restricted breeds list, every property has different documentation they require you to submit to consider making an exception. Many properties require documentation even if your dog is not on the list. Some ask for vet records, some require a puppy interview, and still others require a puppy interview, vet records, and a picture of your dog.
This may seem overwhelming, especially if you have a dog you suspect may be a restricted breed, but your apartment locator knows what breeds and weights each complex accepts, and what requirements they have for documentation and deposits. As long as you let us know your dog's breed and weight, we can work with you to find a great place for you and your four-legged friend.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
How can apartment locators work for free is a question we often get from our clients and potential clients. While our service is free to you, the potential renter, we get a finder's fee from the apartment complexes when you sign a lease with them. Apartment Complexes have to advertise to get potential renters. However, radio, television, internet and print adds are very expensive and they offer no guarantee that a potential renter who comes to them from these sources is qualified to lease an apartment in their community.
When we meet with you, we are not only vetting apartments for the client, but we are also vetting the client for the apartment complex. When you visit our office, we discuss what your needs in an apartment are. We also discuss any roadblocks, such as a low credit score or a past broken lease, that you may have and will only take you to complexes that will work with you on these limitations. When you walk into an apartment complex with an apartment locator, the leasing agent at the complex knows that you at least meet their minimum qualifying guidelines to lease an apartment. You have already seen pictures, know the amenities offered at the complex and basically you have narrowed this down to a stop on your list. So the leasing agent can focus on really showing you around, and showing the amenities of their community.
An apartment locator can narrow down the choices to what works for you and will only show you San Antonio apartments that have units that meet your criteria. If you want wood floors and a garden tub, you may waste two days worth of gas and time going to 15 apartment complexes that have wood floors, but they don't all have garden tubs. With an apartment locator, we can rule out complexes that don't fit your criteria right in our office and spend our time only visiting in person those complexes that have what you want. We also know which complexes have vacancies, so we won't waste your time showing you apartments where there's not an available unit that meets your needs.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Water on the hike and bike trail has been provided for years by running stores, such as RunTex and Rogue, but the City shut down the water stands 3 weeks ago after learning that permits were required by state law, Statesman.com reports.
Health Department Officials are concerned about the water being safe to drink, not being tampered with, and that the containers are being cleaned out properly. Otherwise, drinkers could get very sick. The Parks Department sees the water stands as a great trail amenity and is going to work with the stores putting out the water to pay for the approximately $400 worth of permits that are needed. The City is also going to make stations that keep the containers secure and the lids locked. Stations should begin coming back to the trail in mid-January.
RunTex says it costs them approximately $3,000 monthly for the water, ice and cups and pay staff to put out the water. The owner is in the process of securing permits so he can keep putting out water and plans to put out jugs that cannot be tampered with in January. He sees the permits as a benefit because they will demonstrate that RunTex is "complying with health standards." He also says now is the best time to deal with this because people are much less likely to suffer from heat exhaustion in the cooler winter weather.
Rogue Running, in contrast, says they will not pay for permits, seeing their free service as something that benefits the community and shouldn't incur additional expense.
Park officials would prefer more water fountains over water coolers along the trail, but fountains that are currently on the trail often don't work and the city turns them off when the temperature is below freezing to prevent frozen pipes. For now, the city and RunTex advise people to stay hydrated by bringing along their own water.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Trading funds between streetcars and 1604 could help both projects get on track quicker, My San Antonio.comreports. The San Antonio Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization Board met on the proposed change Monday, and will make a final vote at the end of January.
The proposal involves three main changes: swapping the money allocated for the streetcar project and a Loop 1604 plan to add express lanes between Bandera and Potranco roads, changing what the parts of the Loop 1604 plan are, and swapping the funding between Loop 1604 and US 281, which is also scheduled for more lanes.
The change would eliminate federal money from the Loop 1604 project, thereby getting rid of the need for federal environmental studies that can take years, but would still have to be approved by the Federal Highway Administration. The U.S. 281 project would still see some federal funding, but a federal environmental study has already began on that area.
While money is often moved around in this fashion, it is unusual to have money sources switched up between transit and road projects. Under the new plan, $92 million allocated for the streetcar lines from Bexar County's advanced transportation district revenue (ATD) would go to the Loop 1604 project. That money would then be replaced by $92 million in state funds that had been allocated to Loop 1604.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Holiday lights can be a big hassle: to buy, to put up, to figure out which bulb is causing the entire string to go dead. It's enough to make you throw your hands up in the air and say Bah Humbug! Luckily, Apartment Therapy shares some dos and don'ts to help you get out of your Scrooge mood.
Buy the exact amount of lights you need. If you have floorplans or blueprints of your apartment or house, use them to get the measurements for how many light strings you'll need. On your Christmas tree indoors, you'll need 100-150 lights per linear foot. Also, be sure to be a good neighbor if you cover your house in lights, ala Clark Griswold. These rules will help you respect your neighbors.
When you unpack last year's lights, be on the lookout for broken bulbs and put new ones in right away. You don't want holiday decorating to turn into a trip to the emergency room or get blood all over your tinsel. Also, be sure to turn your light string into something one-of-a-kind by adding ping pong balls or cupcake liners to look like flowers.
Make sure you have enough outdoor rated extension cords, and don't risk fire or tripped breakers by putting more than five strings of light into one extension cord. Also, be aware that lights will increase your electricity bill and plan accordingly. Better yet, go for LED lights, which are more durable, give off more light, and aren't energy hogs like traditional lights. For even more energy savings, put your lights on a timer.
After the holidays, take your lights down in a timely manner or else the elements may ruin them more quickly than you would like. Also, you should store your lights untangled in a dark cool place after the holidays. Merry Lighting!
Monday, December 3, 2012
The Mill Street Townhomes have been torn down so that construction can begin on a new student apartment complex called Wildwood, The University Star reports. The new complex is expected to open August 15, 2013.
The Dovetail Companies, a developer from Atlanta Georgia, purchased the townhomes from their owner Tim Olwell in July. The eight lots will be added to the area behind the townhomes which Dovetail already purchased. The property's convenient location, close to campus and on the Bobcat Tram bus route, made it highly desirable for students.
Olwell said most residents just let their leases run out, but he did have to buy a couple of renters out of their leases. Residents were not penalized if they moved out early and if they didn't owe any back rent, they got their full deposit back. He tried to help people who had to move out before July 1st by giving them extra funds to help them find a new apartment.
The two bedroom, one bath townhomes were popular with young unmarried people with children and retired people, but no Texas State students lived there. The owner says he tried to be as fair as possible with his tenants as they left.