Latest Blog From Apartment Living Locators in Houston

Noisy Neighbors?

How to deal with noisy apartment neighbors in Houston, TX

Does it sound like you are living underneath or above a herd of elephants, is it party central or just thin walls?

When it comes to renting apartments, its the luck of the draw hen it comes to neighbors, sometimes you have good luck but sometimes you can be stuck with the neighbor from hell.

It is a common occurrence, but how do you deal with it? And are there any noise laws in Texas that directly address this issue at your disposal?

The actual act confronting your neighbor can be more stressful than anticipated because you don’t know how they will react.

We are going to look at two possibilities that can help you with the noise at hand.

How to communicate with your noisy neighbors:

It seems like the simple and obvious solution right? Well not always, like we have already highlighted you cannot predict how your neighbor will respond to your complaint. Nine times out of ten you will have an empathetic and understanding neighbor, but occasionally you may have that neighbor who may take it the wrong way completely…which could be quite difficult, especially if you are in an apartment where you are bound to cross paths on a regular basis--Two completely different outcomes.

Before lashing out at your neighbors, even if the noise levels have been ridiculous, going in with a level-headed calm approach will guarantee a far better result than if you go in ‘hot’ headed…where you are more likely to receive the same unfriendly response in return, no matter how justified you may be.

So if you approach your neighbor in a calm and polite manner, you have a far better chance to get him/her to keep it quieter or at least work on a compromise.  

Speak to your Landlord

If speaking to your neighbors has crashed and failed, then the next option is going to your landlord/manager directly. He/she may speak to the noisy one on your behalf, because at the end of the day it’s the apartment responsibility to keep the peace between neighboring tenants, so it is in their interest to remedy the problem.

Also, you will find in most tenancy agreements in Texas there are certain noise limitations and restrictions, particularly in apartment complexes. Your landlord/manager should be well aware of state laws as well as their own bylaws at the specific complex and deal with the issue accordingly on your behalf.

However, whether you approach your neighbor directly or inform your landlord, you should make one or both aware of the problem. Too many times, renters tend to just let it slide” as to avoid being labeled the “complaining tenant/neighbor” but you pay good rent, work hard and more than deserve peace and quiet in your own home.

Doug Spector/broker

Posted by Doug Spector on May 10th, 2018 8:05 PM

Tips for Apartment Maintenance in Houston, TX

Although it’s usually your landlord’s job to look after their apartments when things go awry, there are some things you can do in order to prevent problems from occurring in your apartment in the first place. Renting an apartment in Houston, TX comes with challenges which may not exist in other cities, so it’s helpful to follow these tips and ensure that your apartment continues to run smoothly!

  1. Clean your floor regularly

    It can be easy to let your floor get dirty and dusty over time, but try not to allow this to happen! When dirt gets embedded into carpets and rugs, you can quickly begin to ruin the carpet itself. Wooden/laminate floors aren’t safe either, as dirt can easily cause scratches and discoloration in the wood, all of which tend to lend themselves to an unhappy landlord! Placing “welcome” mats around the entrance to your apartment may help to reduce dirt on your floors. Nevertheless, clean and vacuum your floors regularly, sweeping on a daily basis and mopping on a weekly basis.

  2. Look after your HVAC units

    When renting an apartment in a climate such as Houston, TX, you’re going to be encountering heat levels which might not be common in other parts of the country. As a result, it is imperative that you look after your heating and A/C units accordingly. The best way to do this, as a general rule, is to ensure that they are receiving proper airflow to all of their parts. Every now and then, it may be a good idea to vacuum your vents, as this prevents the air from getting dusty and unpleasant. If the filters need to be changed, don’t wait to do so! If you think that your HVAC units may need a professional clean/maintenance, don’t be afraid to contact your landlord.

  3. Keep your drains clear!

Keeping your drains clear of sticky debris is the easiest way to extend their lifecycle and avoid things such as leaks or blockages. Avoid pouring things into your pipes which could block them; they already have enough to deal with in terms of food debris and shower-hair! On that note, if your shower plug is clogged with hair, remove this hair before it makes its way down the drain completely. You should also ensure that your toilet is kept clear, using a plunger to remove any unsanitary clogs.


Keeping your Houston, TX apartment well-maintained is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you build a positive rapport with your landlord, so be sure to use these tips on a regular basis!


713-783-1441

Posted by Doug Spector on May 2nd, 2018 11:15 AM

 4 Tips for Personalizing Your Rental Apartment in Houston, TX

Although some landlords are strict with their policies, others allow you to personalize your apartment to a certain degree, as long as you don’t make any major changes to their furniture and amenities. When you rent an apartment in Houston, TX, you need to make sure what your landlord’s rules are before you make any modifications. However, with that said, here are some tips for making your rental apartment in Houston, TX, feel a little more personal and homely! 

1. Buy practical items

Some apartments in Houston can be small, especially if you’re renting a studio apartment. In this case, you should consider buying some furniture which has dual purposes. For example, if you’re looking for more storage space and also require a coffee table, why not buy a coffee table which has built-in storage space included? Many European furniture makers, such as IKEA, sell furniture and items which have built-in storage space and smart designs which could be helpful in smaller apartments. At least in Houston, you probably don’t need to store any bulky winter coats or blankets!

2. Put mirrors up

Mirrors can help to make a small rental apartment look much bigger than it actually is, and this is a trick which is frequently used by interior designers and decorators. Having a lot of mirrors on your walls in Houston also encourages more light to enter your apartment, meaning that the sunlight streaming through your windows illuminates your apartment more easily. 

3. Keep things tidy

It’s no secret that some Houston rental apartments can be small, so its best to organize your belongings and keep your apartment from getting cluttered. If you don’t need something, then throw it away! If you don’t wear an item of clothing for more than 1 year, throw it away! When you have limited apartment space, you can’t afford to be a hoarder. Keeping things tidy also makes your apartment appear larger!

4. Use light colors

Although you may not be able to repaint a rental apartment in Houston, try your best to find one which embraces a color scheme with lighter colors! There’s a reason that so many Spanish and Italian towns are covered in white paint – it helps to reflect heat and keep you cool. Although Houston isn’t the Italian Riviera, it no doubt receives just as much heat, if not more.

Doug Spector/broker

ApartmentLivingLocators.Com

Posted by Doug Spector on April 25th, 2018 11:41 AM

Tips When Applying For An Apartment in Houston

  Doug Spector/broker

After asking numerous Houston apartment managers what advice they might have for anyone wanting to rent an apartment at their complex, the number one answer they gave was that the applicant be "upfront and honest."

Chances are, in this "information age", that there's a great chance that any falsified information given either verbally or written on the application, will be caught anyway. 
And if that happens, the person applying will most likely lose their application fee, admin fee and many times even their deposit.

Most managers are helpful when the applicant is upfront about any previous rental or credit problems.  They can usually tell the person right away whether their past issue(s) would prevent them from being approved at their place, thus saving time and money.  Also, managers can possibly assist by referring them to another property they might know that would work with them or refer a good reputable Houston apartment locator.

Something else potential renters should  do when applying for an apartment, is to fill-out the application as thoroughly as possible, leaving little to none of the questions blank.

" Leaving a lot of blanks sets off red flags," says Charles Bruce, manager at Tanglewood Place Apartments.  Another manager at the Whittfield Apartments, strongly advises to fill out the entire application, both current and previous information that is requested.  "We have a point system and sometimes you need the previous info to have enough points [to qualify]; having to keep calling to get info holds up the application."

Manager Charles Bruce also suggests to be "neat" on the application.  By "neat" he means, try not make mistakes when entering information... this may come back as a negative result which could delay the application approval.

He also says it's a good idea to bring 2-3 recent check stubs or financial information and current ID .  Obviously, this not only speeds up the whole process but it also impresses the leasing and property manager staff as it shows the applicant is a serious candidate and deserves quick service in return.

When the applicant tours the property and later fills-out the application to rent, whether on the same day or not, it never hurts to dress nicely.  You know...first impressions!  Applying for an apartment should be taken almost as serious as applying for a job...both could be viewed as "selling yourself."

Posted by Doug Spector on April 18th, 2018 4:12 PM

SPRING & SUMMER 2018 HOUSTON APARTMENT SPECIALS 

 

If you're in the market right now to find a Houston Apartment, you couldn't have picked a better time!  Here at Aparment Living Locators, we haven't seen so many great specials like these at any given time and we've been around since 1971.

 

Here are just some of the specials in and around Houston currently running:

 

* Free Rent- Anywhere from 1-3 months FREE (unbelievable!) At least one month free is practically commonplace right now, many are giving 2 months free. Some are pro-rated and others right upfront.

 

* No Application Fees, No Admin Fees

 

* Little or Zero Deposit

 

* Free Gift Cards (up to $1,000)

 

* Two Complexes are giving away a free cruise for 2 out of Galveston

 

* Free Astros Tickets

 

* Reduced Rent

 

Some of the above specials are actually a combination of 2 or more. Many are dependent on your having good rental history, good credit and other criteria but most likely you'll qualify for some type of special with even mediocre scores.

 

To learn which Houston apartment complexes are offering which specials, contact a reputable and state licensed Houston apartment locating company.  Most are free services to potential renters and will gladly find you not only a super move-in special but also match your needs,budget and location with the right place(s).

 

Doug Spector/broker
   

 

Posted by Doug Spector on April 12th, 2018 11:43 PM
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HOUSTON APARTMENT LOCATOR INDUSTRY


Most of the Apartment Locating Companies in Houston don't charge any fees to their clients (people looking to rent).  However, usually they do get a referral fee or commission from the apartment complex where they send their clients who end-up renting there. This is how most apartment locators in Houston earn or supplement their living...much like the travel agent industry.

A very important thing to keep in mind is that the apartment's rental price remains the same whether renters are referred by a locator or not, so clients should never feel they could get a better "deal" going at it alone.  On the contrary, many times locators know which complexes are offering "specials" and even in some cases can in fact negotiate better prices on rent, deposits, application and/or admin fees for their clients. 

So if you're looking for an apartment in Houston, there's no reason to not take advantage of the truly great FREE service offered by a legitimate apartment locating company that is well established, licensed by the State of Texas and keeps up to date with the ever changing rental data.  A good locator will save you a ton of time, energy, money and frustration at no charge!

Also note that some good locators will (at your request) escort you to the properties, tour them with you, assist in filling-out "properly" the application and even celebrate your securing your new home by treating you to lunch like Apartment Living Locators!

Doug Spector/broker
Posted by Doug Spector on March 3rd, 2018 4:37 PM
It’s amazing how much time, work and effort people put into creating something fabulous...like a Houston lux apt for instance and then in seconds it can be swept away, effortlessly, by a hurricane. Hurricane Harvey to be exact. Leave it to Houston to bounce back better than before, although my complex flooded doesn’t mean all the other ones did. I guess having a great apartment locator to back me up in my time of need was just as important as Houston redoing its bayou system for the next hurricane. Houston has a better plan for hurricanes and for my next move I plan on using Apartment Living Locators again.

Samantha Fernandes
Happy Customer
Posted by Doug Spector on February 6th, 2018 11:01 PM

Tips When Applying For An Apartment in Houston

 
Doug Spector

After asking numerous Houston apartment managers what advice they might have for anyone wanting to rent an apartment at their complex, the number one answer they gave was that the applicant be "upfront and honest."

Chances are, in this "information age", that there's a great chance that any falsified information given either verbally or written on the application, will be caught anyway.
And if that happens, the person applying will most likely lose their application fee, admin fee and many times even their deposit.

Most managers are helpful when the applicant is upfront about any previous rental or credit problems.  They can usually tell the person right away whether their past issue(s) would prevent them from being approved at their place, thus saving time and money.  Also, managers can possibly assist by referring them to another property they might know that would work with them or refer a good reputable Houston apartment locator.

Something else potential renters should  do when applying for an apartment, is to fill-out the application as thoroughly as possible, leaving little to none of the questions blank.

" Leaving a lot of blanks sets off red flags," says Charles Bruce, manager at Tanglewood Place Apartments.  Another manager at the Whittfield Apartments, strongly advises to fill out the entire application, both current and previous information that is requested.  "We have a point system and sometimes you need the previous info to have enough points [to qualify]; having to keep calling to get info holds up the application."

Manager Charles Bruce also suggests to be "neat" on the application.  By "neat" he means, try not make mistakes when entering information... this may come back as a negative result which could delay the application approval.

He also says it's a good idea to bring 2-3 recent check stubs or financial information and current ID .  Obviously, this not only speeds up the whole process but it also impresses the leasing and property manager staff as it shows the applicant is a serious candidate and deserves quick service in return.

When the applicant tours the property and later fills-out the application to rent, whether on the same day or not, it never hurts to dress nicely.  You know...first impressions!  Applying for an apartment should be taken almost as serious as applying for a job...both could be viewed as "selling yourself."

Posted by Doug Spector on April 13th, 2017 7:41 PM
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Doug Spector

If you're looking for Houston apartments to rent, one of the things you might want to consider is the security of the apartment complex.  While there is no such thing as a crime-free apartment, there are certain things you can do while pursuing your Houston apartment hunt that could possibly help you be more aware of your surroundings and try to get the most secure place for the money. 
 
Recently, The Houston Police Department has instituted the "Blue Star Multi- Housing Program" which is a joint effort between the police and Houston apartment managers and residents to help lower the crime rate in apartment complexes.  
 
The police train the managers in a class in various ways to make the complex more secure and the complex has to have a survey of the property to qualify which takes into effect such things as lighting, onsite security and other such necessities.
You can see which complexes have been certified by visiting their website online: https://www.haaonline.org/BlueStar/ and to also learn more about this three phase program.
 
 
Online apartment rating web sites can be helpful too. You can check Houston crime data including crime rates by neighborhood online with Neighborhood Scout https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/tx/houston/crime
 
Another website is Spot Crime https://spotcrime.com/tx/houston
which has an interactive map showing what crimes have been reported via Google Map. 
 
You can also call the local library and have their research staff help you with finding out how accurate the information is on these web sites.
 
Once you've narrowed your search to a handful of places, you can also check with the police for the crime rate on that apartment complex itself.  You might do a walk of the community yourself, looking at the same kinds of things the Blue Star survey does. 

If it's a gated community, check the statistics of the gate, as to how often it's been repaired.  That could be a sign of a potential crime issue. 
 
Also many apartment complexes now run criminal background checks on incoming residents.  Check too, if the apartment has the "Blue Star Lease Addendum" which cites specific actions that will be taken by management if a resident or someone under the resident's control is involved in illegal or dangerous activity on or near the rental property. 
 
Once you find an apartment, you might consider getting renter's insurance, just in case.  It's usually not very expensive for the amount of coverage it offers. 
As always, remember, if you need assistance in finding an apartment in Houston, contact a good reputable apartment locator.


Posted by Doug Spector on April 5th, 2017 8:36 PM



Doug Spector
Apartment Living Locators

"ALL BILLS PAID" ARE YOU SERIOUS? 

Back in the 60’s & early 70’s, seeing apartments in Houston with signs and banners advertising their rental prices along with the words “All Bills Paid” (ABP) or “Utilities Included” was commonplace.  These days however, apartments that still boast of such deals are few and far between. 

If I had to guess as to why the change, I’d suppose the main reason probably was it just started getting too expensive for apartment owners. They saw electric prices steadily soar from only $.02-$.04 cents per kilowatt hour from the 60’s thru the early 80’s up to $.12 cents and higher in the following three decades. 

Also, it’s a fact that most tenants knowing that their electric and water are “on the house,” they tend not to be too concerned about conserving energy…you know like letting the a/c run all day and not turning off lights when not needed.

I remember as a kid growing up in my parents’ house that it was 'law' to turn off the lights and if I ever forgot, I’d get the same lecture that always started with, “do you know how much money it cost to run the lights… It’s not free little man”

With this in mind, i
n 1973 the Texas legislature passed a law that there could be no more "All Bills Paid" apartments. This was because of the oil embargo and energy crisis that was going on. Some properties that were already ABP were grandfathered so they could stay ABP. This is why you never find ABP properties built after 1973.

Also in the early 2000's the legislature mandated that properties had to charge for water and that's why most apartments charge for water now.

With all that said, believe it or not, there are still a few apartments in the Houston and surrounding areas that include all utilities.  My recent count that include both water and electric is 24 complexes (three of which are in the Galleria area) and 9 others with the free electric but not the free water. 


Their rent prices vary depending on location but many are actually very reasonable.  For example, the three above mentioned complexes in the Galleria area start at only $705 for 1bd, $925 for 2bd, $1,225 for 3bd & $1,685 for 4 bd.
 

 

For a list of these rare Houston apartments still offering No Electric Bills, some with No Water Bills also, contact a good reputable Houston Apartment Locator who knows about these and other great apartment deals in general.



Posted by Doug Spector on March 15th, 2017 11:34 PM