Mowing a mobile home park is much more than a cosmetic chore; it's an essential part of park maintenance that, when done properly, can enhance the community's aesthetic and keep residents happy. Unlike desert parks where the landscape takes care of itself, most parks require regular grooming. As we delve into the grassy expanse of mobile home park maintenance, let's mow down the details.

Know Your Turf

The greenery that requires your attention is typically the common areas and vacant lots – the welcoming strip alongside your entry road, playful playgrounds, and any unrented expanses. This extends to vacant lots as well. However, it's not just about what you mow but also managing the expectation for tenant-maintained yards. To avoid the mowing business, incentivize your residents with gentle reminders and enforce with violation notices, if necessary, encouraging self-care of their spaces.

Frequency and Finesse

The rhythm of your mowing beat is set by the grass growth rate and the level of manicured elegance you desire for your park. While some parks strive for the pristine look of Pebble Beach, others are content with a more natural, lived-in look. Adjust your mowing schedule accordingly – perhaps every week or extending it to a bi-weekly task. Remember, perfection is not the goal; consistency is.

Height Matters

A common ground rule is to set a maximum grass height – 10 inches might be the norm in some areas. Exceed this, and it's time to mow, sending the bill to the respective tenant if necessary. It's about fairness and maintaining a standard that keeps the community looking tidy and prevents one unkempt yard from becoming the norm.

Choosing Your Mowers

Deciding who wields the mower is a choice between hiring a professional service, an enthusiastic park resident, or tasking your park manager. Cost efficiency is key, but never at the expense of safety and insurance coverage. Before anyone revs up the mower, ensure they're insured to protect against the liabilities of flying debris and potential injuries.

Oversight and Action

Stay vigilant in ensuring that mowing is done as promised. If discrepancies arise – say, a resident reports overgrown grass – seek proof, or better yet, make an impromptu visit. Accountability is crucial, and if standards are not met, be prepared to find a more reliable solution.

Embrace the Chore

While mowing may not be the highlight of park management, it's a far cry from the daunting task of replacing a roof. It's seasonal, relatively inexpensive, and with winter's respite on the horizon, there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

In conclusion, your park's mowing strategy is a significant facet of your operational responsibilities. Done right, it can contribute positively to the overall quality and value of your mobile home community. Keep the lawnmowers humming and the grass at bay, and your park will not only please the eye but also stand as a testament to well-rounded, proactive management.

By Frank Rolfe

Frank Rolfe has been an investor in mobile home parks for almost 30 years, and has owned and operated hundreds of mobile home parks during that time. He is currently ranked, with his partner Dave Reynolds, as the 5th largest mobile home park owner in the U.S., with around 20,000 lots spread out over 25 states. Along the way, Frank began writing about the industry, and his books, coupled with those of his partner Dave Reynolds, evolved into a course and boot camp on mobile home park investing that has become the leader in this niche of commercial real estate.