Rentals in Austin>Question Details

jkim_325, Renter in Houston, TX

What is the process for renting a home in the Austin area? How good does your credit need to be?

Asked by jkim_325, Houston, TX Fri Aug 2, 2013

Looking for rental home in 78749 area, zoned to a good elementary school.

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Steven Van Orden’s answer
While each management company or landlord may set specific qualification criteria, some of the basic factors in qualifying for a rental are:
Salary of at least 3 times the rent.
Verifiable and good rental history.
Credit score above 600.
No evictions or judgements.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 8, 2013
Each home is owned by an individual so depending on your credit you may or may not have an issues. An issue with one potential landlord may not be an issue with another. If you have had problems I suggest writing a sincere and thorough letter of explanation on what happened and the steps you have hopefully taken to ensure that this does not happen again in the future. That will help a possible landlord understand your circumstances and make a better informed decision with more potential to accept your application.

Hope this helps.

Don Groff | REALTOR® & Mortgage Broker
Austin Real Estate Pros & 360 Lending Group
o 512.669.5599 | m 512.633.4157 |
websites: |

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 2, 2013
The process is relatively simple once you find a suitable property. Typically the Landlord has predefined their acceptance criteria in terms of tenant credit, employment and criminal backgrounds and you need to ask up front for that information before wasting time and money on an application. You CAN get your application fee back if the landlord rejects you but there are stipulations on that. Contact me directly and I can explain more.

Anyway, back to the process. Fill out the application and any other info they require, provide payment for the application fee and, if they insist, provide a check to cover the deposit. The credit eligibility requirements can have a wide range so it is tough to say what is too low. If your application is accepted you will be asked to sign a Lease Agreement. You may also need to pay the first months full rent up front even if your lease begins mid month. (Can be negotiable).

Hope that helps. If you are new to the area, use an agent. They know the area and the ropes and you won't get a better deal without one, regardless of what the listing agent tries to convince you of.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 2, 2013
Hi Jkim,
Almost all homes in the Austin area are leased through a Real Estate or Property Management Company. Here is what they require: Texas Residential Lease Application (on all persons 18 years or older), An App Fee (ranges from $30-$60 and it's to process the application), The deposit up front (if you are not approved you will receive this back - but not your app fees), 3 years of positive rental history that can be verified, A source of income locally that can be verified and show that you make 3x the monthly rental amount, and fairly good credit. The credit part depends on how a leasing company runs your credit check (some use a scoring system). They are looking to see if you have recent credit issues. If you work with an experienced Real Estate Agent (REALTOR) they will assist on "talking you up" and may even ask you to write a letter if there are major credit issues. Additional funds toward the deposit or a larger up front rental amount could be requested to compensate for a credit issue. The best way to look at it over all is - A person owns the home and they want to make sure someone rents it that will cover there payment and take good care of the home. Be honest with whomever you ask to assist you in your search and let them know if you have any credit or criminal history - If they know, they can help or advise. Best wishes to you!! Central Texas is a wonderful place to be and you are welcome to come on down!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 2, 2013
Your credit needs to be decent, but more important are income, previous job and rental history. income has to be at least 3 or 4 times the rent. If your credit score is low because of evictions, you would have a problem getting approved. When are you planning to relocate? What is your price point for a lease in a rather high priced area (78749)? Do you have pets and if yes, what kind and how many? Contact me and I will give you more details and help you with finding a home in Austin.

Vivianne Dordea, Realtor
Sierra Homes Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 2, 2013
We are looking to relocate due to a potential job offer for my husband. Our credit is average, income will be at least 3X the rent (price point: $1200-$1500/mth), no evictions, and no pets. However, we have no rental history that can be verified for the past 3 years since we've been helping to pay my parent's mortgage for the last 5 years. Prior to that, there was significant rental history that remained good. Our main concern is finding a 3/2 updated rental home that is zoned to an exemplary elementary school for our son, like Baranoff or Mills. Thanks for your help!
Flag Fri Aug 2, 2013
As always, the best way is to hire a Realtor to help you. That way you'll have someone who can answer questions for you as well as helping you through the process. Our market is extraordinarly active right now, and people who have good representation get there earliest and have the best opportunity to accomplish their goals. If you don't already have an agent, I'd be quite happy to assist you.

Ron Cullinan
Avalar Austin
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 2, 2013
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