Leasing in the Austin Area-The Facts

Sorry it’s been so long guys–10 days is not a normal lapse for me–but the busy season is picking up at the office–especially in the form of leases!

Not everyone is ready to commit to buying–whether that be waiting on a job contract, or working on your credit, or perhaps your just not ready to commit to home ownership as a whole.  Hey, I get it–and the thing is, not everyone buys a house–plain and simple.


Since the leasing market is just as crazy as the buyer/seller’s market out there in Austin today, I thought I would quickly touch on the facts of leasing-and what you need for your application.   That way, just like in my buyer’s guide–you’re ready to submit an application when you’ve decided on the home you love.

Might I add, without sounding like a skeevy insurance salesman—if you’re looking at rental homes–call a Realtor.  You don’t pay us to find you a home–your new landlord does–and we can help and represent you along the way.  I am honestly here to help. 🙂


1) You’ll need a lease application!

Typically here in Texas, it’s the this application here:

TAR Lease App

You will need an application for each person over the age of 18 living in the leased home.  Of course, some agencies/property management/landlords have their own applications they’ve made.  Talk to your Realtor and double-check what the property you’re interested in requires.

2)Copies of your ID/Driver’s License

Again, a copy of an ID for everyone over the age of 18 that will live in the home.  Get these copied and to your Realtor ahead of time, and we can hold onto them until you’re ready to send in an application.

3)Sources of income

So, yes, you need income to rent a home–go figure!  The best thing to do ahead of time is have some paycheck stubs ready.  Generally, two months worth–though some companies are fine with one-again, check with your Realtor about the property you are interested in.

If you SELF EMPLOYED-get a copy of your most recent tax return ready to go.  Usually with Turbo Tax you can download a PDF version of it-and hold onto it and email to your Realtor when ready.

For a lot of folks, you’re new to the Austin area–and maybe even haven’t received a check yet.  Usually, you can get a letter from your new employer stating what your wages will be.

4) Application Fees

The fee is going to vary from property to property-and generally the application fee is non-refundable–always a bummer.  The application fee with apply to each person over the age of 18.  So, if the fee is $50/person, and you’ve got three folks in their 20s–that’s $150 you need to submit with the applications and IDs.  Generally, a Money Order/Cashier’s Check is the best way to do this–and they can be done at your bank or even the customer service desk at HEB or Randall’s.   These checks are certified, and guaranteed payable–which is why property managers/landlord request them.

Sometimes the security deposit will also be due at the time of application.  In this case a second cashier’s check/money order should be submitted with the applications for (almost always) one month’s amount of rent.  Again-this varies property to property–so double-check with your Realtor.

5)Submit application and wait!

Once you’ve decided on a home, filled out your applications, have your IDs copied and all your checks ready–get your Realtor to submit everything.  From here, things tend to move a lot faster then the home-buying process I spoke about weeks ago–but some similar things happen.

-They’ll pull your credit and look at your credit history

-They’ll look at your rental history–check landlord references and looking into any past evictions.

-Check the income–generally most landlords/property managers like to see 3x the months rent–so if the rent is $1000/month, you should be making about $3000/monthly.

-They’ll also check your background–look into any criminal convictions–obviously, if you have a record and you feel you need to explain what happened–you can submit a letter of explanation along with the applications.  Minor offenses with some time behind them may be overlooked.



Usually applications are approved in about 3 days–give or take a holiday or weekend.  Your awesome Realtor should call you can give you the news and set up times to get your actual lease signed-get your security deposits and first month’s rent checks(depending on the landlord/property manager) to the landlord/property manager, and get your keys!




Questions about renting in the Austin/Round Rock and surrounding areas–shoot me an email/call/text–I’d be happy to help you out.  I’m helping a few different awesome families get into lease homes currently–and would love to be there for you.








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