11573 Jollyville Rd.
Austin, TX 78759
PO Box 202344
Austin, TX 78720
Estate Services to Buyers and Sellers
of State Property Management Company Referrals
and Make Ready Services for our Owners and Referring Agents
Ebert, REALTOR®, RMP®
512.794.8171 X 211
512.794.8171 X 216
512.794.8171 X 220
Your Insurance: Events can happen - flood, extreme
heat, earthquakes, fire, and more! It is important to check your
insurance to obtain the best coverage possible and ensure that it is current.Review now with your insurance agent before a
an Emergency Occurs: Please be patient and
avoid tying up critical phone lines and our time. Our first priority
during any emergency is to handle the situation, taking any necessary
measures for the safety of your property and your tenants. Then, we will
contact you as soon as we are able.
- ALPS staff has been
working extremely hard this summer to get all our vacancies made
ready and leased.
- The average days on the market for vacant properties is 20.
- According to the Real
Estate Center, Texas' 2.8% job growth outpaces the national rate of
- Unemployment rate fell to
4.2% as of March.
- Austin/Roundrock are in the
top 10 best cities in U.S. for job creation.
- Texas was 2nd in economic
growth last year only trailing South Dakota.
Find more news & updates on the ALPS blog
Pest Control and
Pests can be a problem any time during the year and are a
common occurrence in the rental industry. If you check the dictionary,
there are varying definitions for pests; here are three common ones.
- An insect or other small
animal that harms or destroys garden plants, trees, etc.
- An annoying or
troublesome person, animal, or thing; nuisance
- A deadly epidemic
disease, especially a plague; pestilence
It may surprise you to know all three definitions can apply
when it comes to rental property. There are common problems with ants,
spiders of all kinds, bees, wasps, mosquitoes, bed bugs, etc. Annoying
animals can be various mice, rats, voles, moles, gophers, snakes, and
more. It may seem that the third definition is not applicable but a
problem such as the West Nile Virus, caused by a certain type of mosquito
causes severe illness or even death.
Who is responsible for handling the
infestation, the property owner or the tenant?
When it comes to pest control maintenance, many owners think this topic
is cut and dried and should simply be a tenant problem. However,
investors should always take pest control seriously and minimize their
The more common pest problems are ants, mice, spiders, etc.
Requiring tenants to do minimal maintenance can often solve these
problems and most residents accept this responsibility. We find the most
practical approach is to counsel them on how to use preventative
maintenance to avoid problems in the first place. This includes basic
housekeeping such as immediately cleaning up food, removing pet food in
areas that attract pests, keeping garbage receptacles clean, and other
However, pests can be a major problem and liability. For
example, if a tenant calls reporting they have rats or a major
infestation of ants or wasps, this is no longer a simple pest control problem.
It is now time to contact a pest control professional to evaluate and
treat the situation.
When pests affect the health and
welfare of tenants, it becomes an owner responsibility and becomes a
habitability issue. The URLTA, the Uniform
Residential Landlord Tenant Act, places the burden of habitability on the
property owner. There have been settlements awarded tenants because
property owners ignored necessary pest control measures.
Using the right service is important There are times when a qualified
pest control company must be used to eradicate pests. A good example of
this is bedbugs. This can happen to anyone. Because of the ban on certain
pesticides, bedbugs have returned and can be picked up anywhere and by
anyone. You can bring them home by sitting in a public place, using
public transportation, or staying in a hotel. The problem is they are
difficult to control and eradicate. Many pest control companies are not
familiar with the proper procedures so picking the right service is important.
What is the best way for investors to
approach pest control?
- Keep all problem areas
free of potential pest problems. For example, resolve plumbing and
drainage where water collects and attract mosquitoes, etc.; clear
out areas that might encourage pests to set up a habitat on the
property, such as rats or snakes.
- Consider a quarterly or
semi-annual pest control service if the rental property is prone to
certain pests. This can reduce major infestations and save
difficulties with tenants in the future.
- If a pest control
situation occurs, listen to your property management professionals
and allow use of professional pest control services to remove the
problem as quickly and effectively as possible.
- Don't ignore tenant
complaints and don't think of this as unnecessary expense. Weigh the
costs of professional pest control services against losing good
tenants (and rent) or incurring a costly legal problem. Remember,
pest control expenses are legitimate tax deductions.
As your property management company, we will work to
minimize the problems, counsel your tenants, and when necessary, advise
you of the best way to handle any pest occurrence. A practical common
sense approach to pest control is another way to protect your investment.