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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are apartment locators free?

Yes, apartment locators offer a free service.  Locators are paid a commission at the property you choose when you write their company name on the guest card and the lease as the referral source.

Are apartment locators licensed?

Yes, apartment locators are licensed in their state in which they do business.  Apartment locators are licensed realtors who are subjected to ongoing continuing education courses in order to keep their licenses active.

Is Houston a good place to live?

Houston Is a diverse international city offering a low cost of living compared to other large cities in the US. Houston has the largest medical center in the world, and the job market has historically been very strong due to its diversity in Energy, Aerospace, Manufacturing, Distribution and Life Science/Medical industries.  The quality of life is heightened by the Houston Food Scene, the Arts, world class shopping, professional sports and a climate that allows you enjoy the outdoors year round.

1 bedroom vs. Studio  

A one bedroom apartment will have a defined sleeping area. Meaning it has a door that separates it from the living and kitchen areas of the apartment.  A studio apartment is more of an open space with no separation between rooms excluding the bathroom.

Are studio apartments and efficiency apartments the same thing?

Yes, typically studio and efficiency apartments are smaller in size and have no defined sleeping area.  Studio and Efficiency apartments are open spaces.

What is the average rent in Houston TX?

Location is going to dictate the average apartment rent in Houston.  Apartments located closer to the city are going to be more expensive than apartments in the suburbs.  Also, the age of the apartment is going to dictate the cost of monthly rent.  Using an apartment locator can help determine your needs and match you with the apartment that fits your budget.

Why do apartments ask for a security deposit?

A security deposit is collected by an apartment to ensure that a tenant will abide by the lease terms as well as cover costs in regards to any damages that are uncovered at time of move out. Most security deposits are fully refundable if you leave the apartment in good clean condition and have no outstanding balances with the property.

What credit score do I need to rent and apartment? 

Credit Score is only one factor that goes into approving a rental application.  Your employment history, monthly income and past rental history will be utilized in conjunction with your credit score for approval.  Each of these components carries a different weight in the process, but rule of thumb, the higher the credit score the better.

Why do I have to pay an application fee for an apartment?

Credit bureaus charge a fee for an apartment community to run your credit.  Also, there other costs associated with apartment personnel to gather the information needed to process the application.

How do I get internet in my new apartment?

Most apartments are prewired for internet. Your property manager will provide local utility companies that you can contact to connect these services. 

Why do apartments have dog breed restrictions?

Certain do breeds are prohibited at apartment communities. Always let the community know at time of application what kind of dog you have just in case it is on the list of restricted breeds.  Breed restrictions are In place to limit liability and damages to the property. Read our blog on Renting with a Pet to answer any other questions that you might have.

What should I do before moving into my new apartment?

You will need to have renters insurance as well as your utilities (electricity, gas, cable and internet) set up to be connected. If your apartment community has a freight elevator, you will want to make sure you have it reserved for your move in date. 

How do you prepare to move out of an apartment?

Be sure you have given your required notice to vacate (refer to your lease for this information). Most landlords are going to want you to return the apartment in a “good clean” condition.  So you will want to make sure that all personal belongings are removed, all food and trash are removed and the apartment has been cleaned.  Be sure to disconnect all utilities and provide a forwarding address to the property as well as utility companies so that your deposit(s) if applicable can be returned to your new address.

What is considered normal wear and tear for an apartment lease?

The Texas Property Code defines wear and tear as “deterioration that results from the intended use of a dwelling, including… breakage or malfunction due to age or deteriorated condition.” Normal wear and tear  for an apartment should not be offset by your security deposit.  Chipped paint, loose door handles, cracks in walls, microwave not working are considered normal wear and tear.  Stains on the carpet, holes in the walls (other than small nail holes), broken blinds are considered damages and the cost of repair will be deducted from your security deposit.

What is an inventory condition report?

At time of move in you will be given an Inventory and Condition report from the leasing office.  You will need to fill this out within 48 hours of  your move in date.  It is a detailed form that allows you to note any preexisting damages to your apartment (scuffs on the appliances, stains on the carpet, etc).  It is important that you fill this out so that there is a record on file of those damages so that you are not charged for them at the time of your move out.

What is a notice to vacate?

it is a written notice to your property manager or landlord of your intent to vacate the property on a certain date.  Most properties require a 30 to 60 day notice to vacate.  Most importantly, you must always give a notice to vacate even if your lease is ending on a certain date.  For example – If you lease is ending on December 31st you must give your written notice to the property on or before December 1st

What is pet rent?

Pet rent is fairly new to the apartment industry. This is a monthly fee that is an additional fee attached to your rent payment for allowing a pet to live on the property.  Pet Rent can range from $15 to $50 per month.  This fee is in addition to any pet deposits you are required to pay.

Is a pool view worth the extra money?

Depends on what you want your view to be as well as your tolerance for noise. As lovely as a pool view may sound, you have to remember that the pool will be utilized by your neighbors which means it could get noisy from time to time.  Also, if you are on the first floor, you may lose a little privacy with the activity outside your windows.