Tips for Renters from the Austin Tenants' Council
According to this article by the Austin Tenants Council, "Finding a good place to live requires a lot of effort and legwork."
Even more may be required from a prospective tenant who lacks a good rental or credit history. The landlord may ask for an extra deposit, advance payment of the last month’s rent, or a co-signer on the lease. Generally a co-signer needs to be someone who has good credit and a good rental history. Warning: The co-signer, or guarantor, may be liable if the tenant breaks the lease or breaches the terms of the lease. See Sections 92.021(c) and (d) of the Texas Property Code.
The Austin Tenants Council recommends that prospective tenants ask potential landlords questions like these before signing a lease or paying a deposit.
- Are any utilities included in the rent?
- Do the units come with A/C, central heat, and/or ceiling fans?
- Are the appliances electric or gas?
- What are the average utility bills in the summer and the winter?
- Are there complex rules?
- Are there regulations for the parking lot?
- How long is the lease term?
- How and when must the rent be paid?
- How much are late fees?
See Tips for Renters.