Old houses and funky remodels sit next
to sleek, modern developments. Southeast
Austin is home to a lot of University of
Texas students, likely because of the large
numbers of apartments and other rental
properties in the area.
HOW TO FIND AN APARTMENT
With such a competitive market, and the
variety of neighborhoods in an ever more
eclectic Austin, how do you find a great
Austin apartment? Like anywhere in the
U.S., there is always Craigslist and newspaper listings. If you already live in Austin,
you could also drive around the part of
town you think you might want to live in.
With demand so high, many apartment
managers just put up signs in front of the
building. If you live across the country,
however, finding a great Austin apartment
can be more difficult.
There are a lot of things that can complicate
an apartment hunt, like a limited budget or
having pets. Austin is a very pet-friendly city.
For example, there are over 200 restaurants
in Austin that allow leashed dogs in their
outdoor or patio seating areas. That’s not to
say, however, that every apartment complex
will allow pets. Pets often mean more
liability for a landlord, and some complex-
owners choose to avoid problems by simply
not allowing pets. Overall, however, quite a
few places in Austin are pet-friendly. Some
places have restrictions on species, size, and
breed. Breeds that are considered aggres-
sive, like pit bulls, for example, are restricted
from many otherwise pet-friendly buildings.
If you come across an apartment that does
not allow pets, try offering to get pet liability
insurance. The landlord may change his or
Having a restricted budget can also make
an apartment search difficult, particularly in
a market with as much demand as Austin.
You may be tempted to rush into a commitment to secure a great deal before someone
else snatches it up. As anyone who has surfed
Craigslist apartment listings in any city will
know, deals that are too good to be true,
usually are. The fastest, easiest, and safest way
to find the perfect apartment in your budget is
to get help from a local — and Austin has a
lot of apartment locating resources.
Many apartment hunters from other cities
don’t think they need an apartment locator
to help them find a great place. The Austin
market is a very different beast, however.
While new apartment buildings seem to
pop up daily, there’s also a lot of demand
for them. Somewhere between 94% and
98% of Austin apartments are occupied at
any given time, so finding an open place is
tough. “What you look at today will prob-
ably be gone within 24 hours,” says Reeh.
AND TENANT RIGHTS
While finding an apartment in Austin may
be difficult, actually securing it can be even
harder. Once you’ve found the perfect
apartment, you’ll want to snatch it up. It’s
a renter’s market, here in Austin, so taking
a lot of time to haggle over price or look at
renter’s insurance before signing a contract
might be a huge mistake. Be prepared
to take the next step by understanding
Austin’s housing regulations, renters insurance options, and your rights as a tenant
— before your hunt for the perfect apartment even starts.
Renter’s Insurance: All landlords are
required by the city of Austin to have
insurance for their building. This won’t
however, protect your personal items in
the event that they are stolen or damaged.
In Austin, housing laws allow landlords to
require tenants to get renters insurance, and
a landlord can specify a minimum limit for
your policy. It’s a good idea to speak with
an insurance agent before even beginning
apartment hunting, to speed up the renting
process. Create a list of what you own and
each item’s value, and make sure you buy
enough to cover it all.
Photo courtesy of The Davis SoCo Photo courtesy of AMLI on 2nd