Interior of a home, showing the kitchen and dining area

Austin Real Estate Tips: Renting In Austin

If you’re reading this, then chances are you’re already sold on moving into the amazing city that is Austin—and we think you’ve made a fabulous choice!

As you shop around for a place to rent, here’s some crucial information you’ll want to keep handy (or in the back of your mind) before you start signing any leases.

When To Start Looking

Things can change in the blink of an eye here in Austin, so the right time to look is when you (and any housemates) are ready to view available rentals and have the funds for a deposit and any fees. Looking for a home to rent in Austin is certainly an interesting endeavor, as there are many unique places available.

For apartments, you’ll want to start looking between 1-2 months prior to the earliest you’re willing to begin your rent. Whereas if you’re looking to rent a house, duplex, condo and townhome, you’ll want to start to look between 1-2 weeks prior.

How To Estimate The Price Range

As of the publication of this article, the price for a rental property in Austin is typically between .80¢ and $3.00 per square foot. This range varies based on location, amenities, age of the building, availability date and current market supply.

We recommend having a list of the amenities, location, and price range you have in mind before you start looking – the process will go more efficiently that way.

How Much To Budget For Move-In Costs

Before you even start to look for a place, you’ll want to budget for the following:

  • Application fees: This non-refundable fee can cost between $50 and $100 per person. It is used to verify your rental history, employment, and credit.
  • Security deposit: This can be anywhere between $200 to two months’ rent, depending on the property.
  • Pet deposit: Usually a pet deposit can be anywhere from $150 to $600 per pet. Some portion of the deposit may be non-refundable, so be sure to ask about this upfront.
  • Utilities: Telephone, electricity, gas, water/sewer, cable/Internet may have installation or activation fees or may require deposits based on usage history and credit. The cost per utility may run between $25 and $200.
  • Transaction fee: While these aren’t very common, you could still see a transaction fee show up during the rental process that will run anywhere between $25 and $200.

How To Meet The Qualification Requirements

Owners want to make sure they’re renting to qualified tenants who will be responsible for paying rent on time each month. To meet their qualification standards, you’ll want to have the following:

  • Proof of employment/income: Depending on what applies to your situation, you’ll need to provide the property owner with the following:
    • Local, verifiable employment information
    • Proof of gross monthly rental income that is at least  3.5 times the rent
    • Proof of student loans, grants, etc.
    • Proof of a trust fund, if applicable
  • Good credit scores: A favorable credit score could put you ahead of another potential tenant when it comes to leasing.
  • Proof of rental history: Most owners will ask for at least two years of verifiable, favorable rental history.

If there are deficiencies in any of the above, sometimes a parental guarantor will be considered.

What To Do With Fido

Here are some rules of thumb when it comes to renting an apartment with pets in Austin:

  • If pets are accepted, there is typically a two-pet limit
  • Often, there are restrictions based on age, weight, breed, and other factors
  • Aggressive breeds often aren’t accepted (Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Ridgebacks, Dobermans, German Shepherds, etc.)

Need more information on what to expect when renting in Austin? We’ve got you covered.