Resident FAQ

What do you consider in the Qualifying Process?

Residence History

How have you treated your past landlords or mortgage companies?

We look at your last 2 years of residency for positive, verifiable, history. No evictions or judgements in the last 5 years.  We ask your landlords about late payments, NSF checks, warrants, complaints, unauthorized pets or occupants and condition of the property when you left. We also verify that notice has been given and that you did not leave with a balance due or collection account. If any history comes back in a negative way, you can be declined or we may have you pay an additional security deposit if other positive factors are considered.

Have you owned a home and paid a mortgage?

The payment history will be on your credit report and we will not have to call the lender.


Do you have verifiable income of three (3) or more times the monthly rent?

We will contact your employer to verify your position, income and length of time with the company.  Since many employers will not verify your income over the phone, you can show 2 recent original pay stubs to quicken this process and we will photocopy them for the application. If your recent employment is a new job, you can show an original offer letter on letterhead to verify income and we will photocopy it for the application.

What if I am self-employed?

If you are self –employed, instead of pay stubs you can provide the following: (1) 2 banking statements showing deposits and monthly balances for each month, (2) a copy of a most current year’s tax return with an accountant’s signature, or (3) 1 or more 1099’s showing income for contract work.

What if I need a guarantor?

A Lease Guarantor Agreement from a qualified guarantor may be acceptable if applicant is classified as a student, is not at least 18 years of age or has no verifiable prior rental or home ownership history. We do not accept guarantors unless they reside in Texas, meet all rental qualifying criteria and can prove income of at least six (6) times the monthly rent.

What if have other sources of verifiable income?

Social Security, retirement or pension, trust funds, disability payments, substantial savings accounts, spousal or child support, and second jobs may be considered acceptable sources of income when written verification is available. Tips or cash paid income can only be counted toward the gross income with verification from the employer in writing.

Credit Report:

How you have paid your past obligations?

Payment history, the amount of debt and amount of credit available is generally revealed in your credit report. We pull the credit reports and credit scores of all adults 18 years of age and over who will occupy the home. Applicants with credit scores above 600 that meet income and residency requirements generally are approved with security deposits of one month’s rent. Applicants that have weak credit scores, recent bankruptcies, collections or slow payment history generally can be approved, but may be required to pay higher security deposits after evaluation of income and residency. If you know you have bad credit, be prepared… you may need to pay a deposit in the amount of 2 months’ rent or more to offset the risk to the owner.

Criminal Background Report:

Are criminal background checks done?

A criminal history check will be obtained to verify the information you provide on the Lease Application.  The decision to lease the property to you may be influenced by the information contained in the report.  We abide by principles of equal opportunity, and welcome all responsible renters into our homes.  Upon receipt of the rental applications and screening fee, landlord will conduct a search of public records to determine whether the applicant or any proposed tenant has been convicted of, or pled guilty to or no-contest to, any crime.  Criminal history which indicates that an applicant’s tenancy would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose tenancy could result in substantial physical damage to the property of the owner or others will result in rejection of the application.  Our service also checks the terrorist watch list. 

Other Requirements:

  • Valid photo identification, either a state driver’s license or state photo identification card is required with the application.
  • Valid Social Security Card, or Resident Alien Card, Work Visa or Passport is required to show legality in the United States.
  • All adults (18 and over) are required to be on the application and the lease with the above identification provided. Children, ages 17 and under do not have to provide social security numbers on the application, but we do require the names and birth dates if they are to occupy the premises.

Failure to provide accurate information:

Your failure to accurately provide complete and verifiable information will be considered when making the decision to lease the property.  Providing false or misleading information will be grounds for immediate disqualification.

At Time of Application:

  • Non-Refundable Application Fee is charged for each adult applicant payable by credit card, money order or cashier’s check.
  • Upon approval of your application, the rental deposit is required to take the property off the market.  This rental deposit is usually equal to one month’s rent and this deposit will be converted to security deposit at move-in.

At Time of Move-In:

  • Rent Payment: Payable at move-in.
  • Security Deposit: Any additional security deposit is payable at move-in.
  • Pet Deposit:  Any deposit required for pets is payable at move-in.

Why should I rent from your company?

Bigham & Associates, LLC has supplied quality homes to tenants in the Austin Area since 1987.  We have served hundreds of residents with good properties and a great maintenance response system. We know the landlord/ tenant laws and know how to protect both your rights and the landlord’s interest in a rental situation.

Working directly with owners can be risky.  Their conduct is not under the scrutiny of regulatory agencies the way real estate brokers are and how they manage your security deposit is anyone’s guess. There may not be escrow accounts safely holding your deposit and getting it back is often a hassle. Many owners are looking out for their own interests and cannot be unemotional about managing their property.  Protecting your rights is seldom their priority as it is with a licensed broker. 

Bigham & Associates, LLC is a licensed real estate broker specializing in residential property management and subject to all the requirements of the Texas Real Estate Commission.  We are members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers® and subscribe to a strict code of ethics. We are also members of the National Association of Realtors®, the Texas Association of Realtors®, and Austin Board of Realtors® and we must protect and promote our clients’ interests while treating all parties honestly. 

When you rent from Bigham & Associates, LLC:

  • You will be offered a clean, well maintained property to call your home.
  • You will be treated as a valued customer.
  • You receive a written lease so there will be no surprises or misunderstandings.
  • An initial condition report is completed prior to your move in.
  • You are provide a detailed Move-in and Move-out Inventory form for you to document your home’s condition at move in to avoid security deposit misunderstandings at move out.
  • Your management team is available to answer your questions.
  • We offer 24-hour emergency maintenance service.
  • You can request maintenance/repairs through your tenant portal on our website.
  • Your maintenance requests are handled promptly by qualified service personnel to ensure that work is done right.  
  • You can pay your rent online through your tenant portal at our website.
  • As a Texas licensed real estate broker specializing in professional property management, we are regulated by the state to assure you will be provided with fair and proper treatment.
  • All members of our management team are Texas licensed real estate professionals.
  • Your deposit is handled fairly and lawfully.
  • We are happy to act as a reference for you when you apply for loans.

Are pets allowed?

Although we are pet friendly in most properties, we do not accept any dangerous pets, exotic pets or aggressive breeds of dogs.  Also excluded is any pet with a prior history of biting and/or causing bodily injury or property damage.  Applicants with pets should attach color pictures and veterinarian’s statement documenting dog’s breed and records from pet’s veterinarian showing that shots are current and if the animal is spayed or neutered.  A pet deposit will be charged for each acceptable pet and for each aquarium 5 gal. or larger (deposit based on size of aquarium).  

Am I a client or customer?

The Texas Real Estate Commission requires every Texas Real Estate Licensee to disclose Information About Brokerage Services to prospective clients or customers during the first conversation of substance or first face to face meeting.  The TREC IABS 1-0 information form explains the fiduciary obligations the licensee has to a client or a customer.  A client is someone that has signed a Buyer/Tenant Representation Agreement, Property Management Agreement or Sale/Lease Listing Agreement with the Broker and the Broker is then working in the best interests of the client.  If there is no representation agreement, the prospect is a Customer, but is still to be treated honestly by the Agent or Broker.

Does a property manager need a real estate license in the state of Texas?

Texas Real Estate Commission requires real estate license for property management

Remember, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) requires a person to be licensed, if that person, on behalf of another:

  • Leases,
  • Offers to lease,
  • Negotiates or attempts to negotiate the lease of real estate,
  • Lists or offers to list real estate for lease,
  • Aids or attempts to aid in locating or obtaining real estate for lease,
  • Procures or assists in procuring a prospect to effect the lease of real estate,
  • Procures or assists in procuring property to effect the lease of real estate, or
  • Controls the acceptance or deposit of rent from a resident of a single-family residential real property unit.