How do I prevent tall grass violations on section 8 rental home?

27 Replies

Your lease should include a statement that the tenant is responsible for lawncare. If they fail to maintain it, you can hire someone to maintain it and charge the tenant for it.

When the rental is in an HOA, you should include a clause that states the tenant is responsible for adhering to the rules of the HOA and that any violations or fines are their responsibility. You should also provide a copy of the rules at move-in so the tenant can't claim ignorance.

Another option is to hire a landscaper and then bump the rent to cover the costs.

@Noureen A S.

Had a SFH rental since 1985. First 15 years, had tenants do it, resulting in trouble with neighbors, the town, hassles with tenants. After that, I had a landscaper for $100/month, now $125/month, with markets rents of $2,900, not only does he keep the lawn in pristine shape, but when vacancies occur, I ask him to shovel snow in the winter, or go by to pick stuff off the lawn.

Landscapers mow, using mowers, but also do edging using a edge trimmer. Otherwise, grass on the edges and weeds grow sideways. Once I complained to a tenant the lawns not edged, and all nearby owner occupied properties do that, he looked shocked, and said "I have to get an edger also"? And neighbors would look at my lawn and say under their breath, " these absentee owners ruin the neighborhood".

I finally gave up on tenants doing when I had constant issues with one of them when neighbors complained to me, then to the town, the town send inspectors. Call the tenant up and he tells me his mower broke, deciding on whether to buy a new one or get a fixed. A week later, with the grass taller, said he got a kid on the block to do it. Another week goes by, got more complaints said the kids mower conked out while doing my lawn , and the kids dad wouldn't let his son continue since the tall messy grass ruined their mower. Later that summer went out to see what's going on and found that he's suffering a recurring battle with depression, didn't shave or got a haircut or showered for at least six months. Doing my lawn wasn't the only problem. So I have to decide, have him look for a landscaper or should I look for one. With good luck, a landscaper was doing a neighboring lawn, and had him do mine. Didn't get into arguments with the tenant over charging him for mowing as I evicted him for non payment of rent shortly after.

This property is in the NYC suburbs, great appreciation, so paying $125/month from March to November is no big deal with the peace and quiet. Had a pest problem once, and the exterminators told me to clear the grass close to the house and look for holes to fill, and had the same landscaper do it for me which he did. 

Bottom line, when I have blue collar type tenants, they have no issues fixing, mowing and generally take care of the place. With higher paid professionals, better income, better credit, the condition of the property is secondary to them, so a good landscaper fills that void.