All posts by South Park

Severe Weather Preparedness and Other South Park News

Tuesday April 13, 2021

The South Park Post

Severe Weather Preparedness

As many of you have no doubt heard the past few weeks with the warning siren tests, we are officially getting back into spring. The good news is that means that the flowers are blooming, the weather is warming up and we can get some much needed outdoors time. The down side is that we are getting into severe weather season and we felt it would be a good time to pass along a few reminders.

The South Park areas for storm shelter are in the tunnel hallways. We strongly recommend that each of you develops a severe weather preparedness plan so that when severe weather strikes, you won’t be caught off guard.  For more information, including the difference between a watch and a warning, different types of severe thunderstorms, etc., please view the National Weather Service website here https://www.weather.gov/safety/thunderstorm.

Newsletters were sent out last week. Please note that the insert has some very important information in it regarding some community policy information, so please take a look at the newsletter!

Finally, availability as we head into the summer is extremely limited at South Park and across the Robert Hancock & Co. properties. If you are planning to move over the summer or as we head into the new school year in the fall, please remember to take advantage of our wait list so you have your new home reserved and ready! Enjoy your summer without the added stress of trying to find your next apartment home!

The Importance of Online Reviews

The South Park Post

March 23, 2021

Online reviews have become part of the vetting process for consumers whether they’re looking for a place to have dinner, where to buy a car or which apartment community they’re going to be calling home. To that point, we’d certainly appreciate you sharing your experiences with other prospective tenants. At all eleven of the apartment communities that Robert Hancock & Co. manages, we are committed to providing outstanding customer service, an enjoyable environment for you to call home and a clean, safe, well-maintained and reasonably priced community for you to live in.

If you feel that you’re getting the 5-star service that we strive to bring to you every day, we’d like to ask you to kindly leave a review for your apartment community online. Reviews on Google and Apartments.com are a great way for others to find out about our communities. If you feel that you’re not getting the kind of 5-star treatment you would like, please call your property manager so we can talk about how we can better match your expectations.

When filling out online reviews it’s very important to:

  • Provide useful and constructive feedback
  • Talk about a range of elements, including customer service
  • Be detailed, specific, and most of all honest.
  • Leave out links or other personal information.

We here at Robert Hancock & Co. appreciate you choosing our communities to call home and thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us and others who are looking for their new home!

For those of you looking for your next apartment home now, give us a call and schedule a tour so we can help you find the perfect place to call home! If you’re a few months away yet, that’s no problem! Our wait list option is perfect for you! We can show around and get you qualified today and reserve your apartment for when you’re moving and you only pay the application fee and $150 deposit, with the other $200 not due until you move in. Let us help you take the stress out of looking for your next home this spring or summer!

You can see all of our properties at roberthancockco.com! Please call or email your apartment community of interest’s Leasing Office today to find out more!

Paying Online and Other South Park Updates

Paying Online and Other South Park Updates

The South Park Post

March 10, 2021

Are you utilizing Rent Café yet? Rent Café is the free and easy way to pay your rent and YES Energy online! With Rent Café, you don’t have to remember if you paid rent yet or where you put your checkbook, you can have it setup to pay automatically on the 1st of every month! If you and your roommate are splitting rent, you can set up split payments quickly and easily as well. For more information, please contact the Leasing Office and we’ll be happy to help set that up for you.

Availability at South Park continues to be very limited. There will be one 1-bedroom and one 2-bedroom available in the middle of May and that’s it for right now. If you or someone you know is looking for their next apartment home this spring, have them call us right away! We’d love to have you as a part of this great community! Don’t forget about our waitlist either. It’s a great way to reserve your new home for the spring or summer now while there’s still availability. Take the stress away from finding your next home and join our waitlist today!

Daylight Savings Time begins this weekend, so don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour! We here in the office are looking very forward to that extra hour of daylight!

We look forward to seeing you all out and about more in the courtyard as the weather warms up. Please feel free to make use of the grills and tables outside while you’re enjoying these spring days. We just ask that you keep in mind that we are still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and ask that you continue to be courteous to your neighbors and practice social distancing.

You can reach the office at 402-558-5886 or at southpark@roberthancockco.com with any questions you may have. Thank you!

Spring Is Coming to South Park Apartments!

The South Park Post

February 23, 2021

Finally, spring is in the air… for now at least. As we continue to move into warmer weather and we’re all able to get out and enjoy the outdoors please keep these balcony tips in mind:

  • Please do not hang bird feeders from your balconies. Unfortunately, that can cause excess bird droppings for your neighbors and the property as well as potentially having nests on around balconies.
  • Patio furniture, plants and flowers are all wonderful and we love to see them. However, please be reminded that your balcony is not an extra storage area or a place for trash or other things. Please do not hang clothes or other laundry from your balcony.
  • Due to Nebraska state regulations, no hibachi, gas fired grills, charcoal grills or Treager Grills (electric grills that use wooden pellets to smoke meat) or similar devices can be used on balconies. Only fully electric grills are allowed on your balconies. There are several grills in the courtyard for you to use and we encourage you to take advantage of them!

This week’s warmer weather is helping to reduce the amount of snow on the property, but is also causing some slick spots! Please know that we are doing all we can to keep the grounds here treated as best we possibly can, but please use caution! We have salt and grit buckets available by the exits and cones marking the areas where we have the most water flow, but with the overnight temperatures dropping below freezing, the runoff from the melting snow is going to take some time to get caught up every day. We thank you for your understanding and watching your step when you’re out, especially in the early morning hours.

Lastly, but certainly not least, make sure you take advantage of our Wait List! The number of people looking for apartments across the Robert Hancock & Co. family of properties is way up in 2021, so don’t gamble on future availability. If you are looking to move later in the spring or summertime, take advantage of the Wait List so you’ve got your future home here at South Park or one of our other beautiful, professionally managed and maintained properties secured!

The 7 step method to applying for an apartment ( AND GETTING APPROVED!)

Image result for apartment process

1. Fill out a rental application

Let’s start with the basics: the apartment application itself. If you are interested in a property, the next step is to reach out to property management by filling out a rental application. If you have a co-signer ( for Robert Hancock & co you may only have a co signer if you are a full time student) or plan on having roommates, they will also need to do the same. Essentially, every person planning to move in needs to fill out a separate lease application form. Most properties have online application forms, but you can also apply in person.

Each form is different from the other, but expect a typical rental application to require the following information:

  • photo ID
  • name
  • address
  • phone number(s)
  • email
  • employment and any income information
  • previous address
  • pets (if applicable)
  • emergency contacts
  • background information
  • landlord references
  • social security number ( RHC requires this for our credit and background checks)

 

2. Pay the apartment application fee

The application fee funds the credit and background checks done on potential renters. It essentially covers the screening cost of the applicant.

The rent application fee itself differs depending on various factors, such as the area, the building, or even the landlord.

In some cases, the application fee may be accompanied by processing fees. Ask your future property manager about all the applicable fees associated with the application process for the property you’re interested in. You can begin by asking what fees are refundable in case they decide to go with someone else.

REMINDER: Robert Hancock & Co properties require you pay your application fee(s) and deposit at the time you turn in your application.

 

3. Expect credit and background checks

The application process means you will most likely be asked to agree to background and credit checks.

Apartment background checks may go as far back in the past as a landlord deems necessary and they will usually focus on criminal history. It’s better to report any relevant background information.

A rental application credit check accounts for how financially responsible a potential tenant is. Are they a reliable person who pays rent on time? The easiest way of doing this is to check credit scores. Make sure to mention if you have bad credit or if you are still working on paying off past due bills.

 

4. Prove you can pay rent

An important part of the rental application process is providing proof of employment or income. Most landlords will ask for copies of tax returns, recent pay stubs or other forms of receipts from an employer.

Depending on your job, you may also provide recent bank statements or copies of one or two W-2 forms if need be.

Employment and credit checks usually take the longest, which is why most applications can take up to 72 hours or longer. Rental application process time also varies depending on the property, so make sure to check with them for the best estimate.

 

5. Figure out if you need a co-signer

A co-signer is a person with good credit who acts as a willing guarantor. If you have bad credit or insufficient credit history, he or she takes the legal responsibility of paying your rent in case you won’t.

Co-signers or guarantors may step in when first-time renters have no way of accounting for rental history or commitment to monthly rent and bill payments. You might need one in case your monthly income is less than three times the rent. You may also look at a co-signer as a way to strengthen your application and improve your chances of approval. Think of it as an additional referral.

REMINDER: Robert Hancock & Co properties only accept co-signers if the applicant is a full time student and doesn’t have sufficient income to be approved for the apartment.

 

6. Show them that you are an agreeable renter

Usually, landlords want to know from previous landlords what type of tenant you are. Were you a bit on the noisy side? Did you abide by the pet policy? All this typically comes in the form of a letter from the former landlord.

Although typically not required, you might want to think about attaching a landlord reference to the application as another way to improve your chances of approval or simply to set yourself apart from the other applicants. For some properties, you might even find it mandatory to do so.

 

 

7. Sign the lease

You’ve passed the application process, inspected the premises, checked for parking space, made a quick note of the neighbors, and went through your checklist of things you need to do before you commit to a new apartment. It’s time to sign the lease!

This is when you discuss upfront costs like your pro-rated rent and any additional fees such as pet deposit’s.  This is also the time for any last-minute questions you might have, such as how soon can you get the keys to the place? Should you bring your own microwave? etc.

It goes without saying that reading the lease agreement carefully is essential. You might be blinded by the floor plan and storage space your new place has, but make sure you take your time to understand the details in your lease before planning your move-in date, such as what would happen if you were to break your lease in case of unexpected circumstances.

Meanwhile, if you’re eager to apply, but still on the lookout for that perfect apartment, take a look at Robert Hancock & Co.’s available listings at https://roberthancockco.com/

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Keep your apartment warm and cozy during these brutal cold temps this season!

  1. Get a humidifier

You don’t have to spend a lot to keep your space warm. Humid air makes your apartment feel warmer without cranking up the heat. Add plants for more moisture; as a bonus, some varieties help purify the air.

  1. Limit exhaust fan use

Sometimes you just have to cut odors in the kitchen or bathroom. Just be sure to shut fans off as quickly as possible to avoid pulling large amounts of warm air out of your apartment.

  1. Use windows to your advantage

Open your curtains during the daytime to let the sun warm your apartment. Consider hanging thermal curtains; close them at night to hold heat in.

  1. Keep the bathroom door open when you shower

This trick releases warm, damp air into the rest of your apartment.

  1. Warm your bed with a hot water bottle

This old-school cold-weather solution really keeps your feet warm when placed under the blanket at the end of the bed. See if Grandma has any extras, or find one online.

  1. Cozy up your apartment with winter-friendly textiles

Creating a warm, inviting atmosphere is easy when you load your couch with snuggly blankets and throw pillows, cover floors with thick area rugs and change out your usual sheets for flannel.

  1. Pop dinner in the oven

Put less stress on both your heating and food budgets by skipping dinner out. Whether you whip up a restaurant-worthy creation or heat up frozen lasagna, keep the oven door open when you finish cooking for a blast of warmth.

  1. Keep drafts at bay

Even in buildings with energy-efficient windows, cold winter air sometimes makes its way in. Place draft stoppers on sills, and consider applying a window film kit. Contact your building manager or landlord for approval before applying adhesive materials to windows.

From opening your oven door to turning on a humidifier, these hacks will keep your apartment warm without destroying your utility budget.

National Fire Protection Month!

HOME FIRE DRILLS

KNOW WHERE TO GO

  • Come up with a couple different routes and choose a designated spot to meet

each other near your home that is a safe distance away from the building

TEST YOUR SMOKE ALARMS

  • Test your smoke alarm at least every 6 months. It is a good idea to have a combined

smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. ( We already have a combined alarm installed in every apartment)

PRACTICE THE FIRE DRILL

  • You’ll want to make sure you can get out within 120 seconds (2 mins) or less! Show any children in the apartment

how to crawl if there is smoke, and how to feel a closed door for heat and how to unlatch a door.

FYI you can do fire drill games with your family just visit homefiredrillday.makesafehappen.com

 

 

FALL in love with your clean apartment

A Fall checklist for all your cleaning needs before winter hits!

KITCHEN AND BATHROOM

  • Clean your kitchen and bathroom grout
  • Clean your refrigerator coils
  •  Clean under and behind your refrigerator
  • Clean inside your dishwasher
  • Clean your kitchen and bathroom cabinets
  • Clean your oven
  • Disinfect your garbage cans
  • Disinfect your kitchen and bathroom counters

BEDROOM AND CLOSET

  • wash bedding that isn’t regularly washed ( comforters, pillows, and bed skirts)
  • Vacuum and flip your mattress
  • Put your cold weather linens on your bed
  • Put away summer clothes and take out your fall/winter clothes

 

LIVING ROOM

  • Vacuum furniture
  • Vacuum under your furniture
  • Polish anything wood
  • Dust your plants
  • Wipe down all screens in your home (TV, computer, tablet etc.)
  • Disinfect all remotes and keyboards

 

THE WHOLE APARTMENT

  • Wash your walls
  • Wash your windows and window sills
  • Disinfect your doorknobs, doors and light switches
  • Vacuum under EVERYTHING ( bed, couches, any furniture in your home)
  • Dust your fans, doors, and door frames
  • Spot clean your carpet and wash your rugs
  • Clean the floor underneath your rugs
  • Wash your curtains
  • Rinse your window screens
  • Wash your vacuum cleaner filters ( if they are washable)
  • Clean all baseboards

 

 

 

Dos and Don’ts of Apartment Living

Apartment living has its perks as well as it’s downfalls. You don’t have to be the one to deal with or pay for maintenance when the hot water goes out or the refrigerator decides to stop working, and it’s a lot easier to break a lease than sell a house if you decide you want to make a spontaneous move. Finding a balance between the good and the bad of apartment living is all about attitude and doing your own part to keep the situation as positive as possible. Here are the dos and don’ts all renters should be following:

DO inspect your apartment carefully when you move in-

You should always have the opportunity to note any flaws or damages in your apartment. Make sure your outlets and appliances are working correctly. While you probably just want to get to it and start unpacking it is extremely important to inspect everything carefully being sure to snap pictures of anything that you find so that you are not responsible for them when/if you decide to move out.

DON’T be a bad neighbor-

Be the person you’d want to live next door to. Being a good neighbor is more then just giving a smile when you pass someone in the hallway. It is about residing in your home in a way that doesn’t disturb anyone else. Keep your music and television at a reasonable level, do not throw any crazy parties, and be mindful of doing your part to keep the common area clean.

DOconsider getting a roommate-

The national average for a one bedroom apartment is $950/mo! With costs that high it makes sense to get a roommate who you can split all of your bills with. Just be sure to take your roommate search VERY seriously. Watch out for red flags and ask questions to make sure they will be a compatible person to live with.

DONT wait to report your maintenance issues-

Issues such as water, electricity, heating/cooling and pests will only get worse the longer you wait to report them. It’s best to report any issue as soon as you discover it because you may not know how long it will take to get a professional out to work on it for you. The longer you wait can make a huge difference between an easy fix and something that causes extensive damage to your apartment as well as other apartments around you.

DO clean regularly-

Ultimately, you are responsible for keeping your apartment clean. ( It says so in your lease!) Otherwise you may have to pay the price if you don’t. Its fine to skip making your bed before work in the morning or leaving a couple of dishes in the sink once in awhile, but this is a habit you will want to commit to early on to prevent your apartment from getting nasty. Once a week, vacuum and mop the floors and always take your garbage out as soon as it fills up, and wipe down counters around your house especially in your kitchen and bathrooms. ( Disinfectant wipes are your BESTFRIEND) If you cannot bring yourself to do these things consider hiring a cleaning service to do it for you.

DONT forget to SAVE SAVE SAVE!-

It can be extremely hard to save money when you have bills on bills eating up your paycheck every month. Consider staying on a budget especially when apartment hunting to make sure you aren’t stretching yourself too far. You never know when an emergency might come up and it is always a good idea to have some money set aside in case something happens, because you just never know what’s in store for you next.

If you put in the extra effort while hunting for a new place to live it really can make a huge difference between the apartment you cant wait to get out of versus the apartment you love coming home to. One day you’ll own a home where you’ll wish things like maintenance weren’t your problem to deal with.

How to Bloom This Spring

At long last, the third and final installment of a blog series on happiness from Andy Cope, happiness expert and co-author of The Little Book of Emotional Intelligence: How to Flourish in a Crazy World. (Check out the first part of our series here and the second part of our series here.) When this series started it was the dead of Winter. Now Spring is budding. Don’t rely on the good weather to do all your heavy emotional lifting. Take charge and put these tips into practice!

15 | Most people have an internal voice that is very critical. Challenge it. When your inner voice is telling you you’re an idiot, firmly disagree. Find a positive inner voice.
16 | Spend less time on electronic friends and more time with real flesh and blood ones.
17 | Practice the 4-minute rule; that is, be your best self for the first 4 minutes of arriving at work, being in a meeting, getting home, etc. Your brilliance is infectious.
18 | Lose the word “try”. Instead of setting a resolution of “I’m going to try and lose some weight” or “I’m going to try and get a bit fitter”, go with “I’m going to lose some weight” or “I’m going to get fitter”. Yoda was spot on when he said, “Do or do not, there is no ‘try’.”
19 | Appreciate that your happiness is bigger than you. It has a ripple effect and infects people 3 degrees removed from you.
20 | Read a bedtime story to your kids like it was the most exciting book in the world.
21 | Reframe situations. For example, a leaking gutter means you have a house; paying tax means you have some income; your teenage son spending hours on his X-Box means he’s not wandering the streets, etc.
22 | Be genuinely interested in other people. Ask loads of questions about them. In a bizarre twist of quantum psychology, people will find you insanely interesting.
23 | Make sure that you use more positive than negative language. The ratio needs to be about 5 positives for every negative, so catch people doing things well and tell them.

Check out artofbrilliance.co.uk for more information on Andy’s work!