Rules and wording for tidy yard


What rules and standards do you have for clean and tidy yards? What items do you allow? I looked at a small park for sale, and it was immaculate. Most homes just had a garbage can outside, and a few a BBQ pit. It seems impossible to write all the things that can and can’t be had in a yard. Of course no boats,atvs, uninsured vehicles, chlothes lines etc.

I have a rule about all items when not in use should be stored neatly against the home. But what about a tenant that has 2 lawn mowers, or excess table and chairs, or 3-4 ice chests, or an old washing machine, or too many toys. The scenarios are endless, and can tow the line between OK and not OK. Maybe two bikes are OK, but three is not? Do you just talk to the tenant on a one on one basis?


Very good question. I’m wondering the same thing. I think you just leave it open for management discretion maybe…?


My rules state that no outside storage of items is permitted. They are allowed to install a small shed with prior management approval as to type, size and placement. If they have items outside on the patio other than a patio set or BBQ type items and I notice it there for more than a day or so… I give them notice to clean it up. You do have to stay on top of it because there is always that ONE someone. LOL. I think whatever you put into your rules has to be clear and enforced on everyone at all times.


My rules and enforcement is identical to Jsmith. Tenants are not permitted to leave anything outside on the lot except patio furniture and BBQ. Everything else, including garbage pails, must be stored in a shed or inside the home.
I have evicted several tenants that refuse to comply. Training new tenants will be mandatory. When you set standards you must be committed to enforcement. Over time you end up with a community of residents that share your standards and polices itself.


Thank y’all! That is very clear, and seems like a tight ship, exactly the environment I’m looking to create. And having tenants with aligned views and habits even if having to evict some resonates with me.

Would you be specific about how the patio set is maintained? One tenant had the plastic wrap still hanging from the chairs he bought, and hadn’t cleaned the table, and the glass was green. He also had what seemed to have an excessive number of chairs.


@Chadclement1… Yes I would ask him to remove the plastic and clean it up. Excessive chairs? Like… does he have eight when his patio set is only for six? I would let that go. If it looks like he’s setting up for a lawn party… yes I might ask that some of them be stored in a shed if he had one. Maybe suggest benches be built so he has seating without a mess. I guess the number of chairs would depend on how bad it looked and what the chairs looked like. In general I require them to keep it neat. I have one tenant who has what I think is too much lawn decoration… but I let her go because I am glad to see her make herself at home and enjoying her space… use good judgement… you don’t want to be a lawn general… but you need to maintain the appearance of the park overall.


Use your personal judgement. If the lot looks cluttered tell the tenant to put some in storage. You will also need to control lawn decorations. Keep in mind some people simply have zero social conscience. One may believe a garden gnome is fine another may want a hundred gnomes and a bath tub for a garden plot. You must be the one to decide.
Put wording in your rules that allows you ultimate control “at managements discretion”.
Keep in mind no good deed ever goes unpunished. Being strict with enforcement is far easier than being flexible.


“It’s much easier to be strict than flexible” that’s gold. So how do y’all inforce it? Formal letter,5-10 days to fix? Any fees per incedence or is it just threatening eviction?


I will verbally “suggest” by reminding them of the rules. If it is not done asap, if I get any push back or there is a repeat offence I will send a letter. The letter will make reference to all actions up to and including possible eviction.
Eviction is the last resort in the case of a tenant that is intentionally violating the rules. If you get push back when you make a request you know you will likely end up going down the eviction path. I prefer to move quickly then move on.


@Greg is right… I say that “No good deed goes unpunished” saying all the time… LOL. Yes, you do have to have final say over the lot appearance and if it gets out of hand I have warning door hangers that I had printed from one of the property management catalogs. It gives a copy for the office and one for the tenant. It has check boxes for the violation and a write-in section for any additional comments. It serves as a written warning of any rules violation. I make sure it’s dated and I snap a photo of it on the door so there’s a definitive record that it was given out.