Barren yards and planting grass

Hi all,
I bought a park last year which some of the yards have no grass, where generally there should be grass. It’s just dirt. Obviously the thing to do is to plant grass, but I’m wondering if this is something I should make the tenants do, as part of following the rules of the community, which state “the tenant is responsible for the landscaping maintenance of their respective space.” However, if the tenant moved into the community when the yard was barren, then is it their responsibility to now plant grass in that area. In the rules I do define a grass area “Grass areas shall be kept trimmed and edged. This includes the areas behind, beside, and under homes and against perimeter fences.”

Let me know what has worked best for you in your community.


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That is a difficult question. If there is presently no grass then the tenants have no personal pride in ownership regarding the appearance of their lot. You could enforce the rules and have them plant grass but the likely outcome is the grass will not be maintained and will not survive.
Rather than try to get the tenants to plant grass I would plant a contractor grade seed, probably with repeated top seeding, and hope over time it survives. The follow up is then enforcing the community rules regarding maintaining/cutting the grass. This would be my approach based on my belief that the tenants have zero pride regarding maintaining their lot.
Your rules should also be modified. They do not require the tenants to have grass it only requires them to maintain the grass they do have. It should state that tenants are required to have grass in defined lawn areas and that Grass areas shall be kept trimmed and edged. Further that “Management” shall determine “defined lawn areas” for each lot.

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Depending on how many lots, I would try to persuade the residents to plant. Maybe offer to pay for materials (a few yards of loam and bags of seed — few hundred bucks). Could help build pride of ownership.
If they’re not great tenants / don’t care / are in a high visibility area of the park, I’d probably just have it done professionally and enforce rules from there.
I like the new park rules suggestion too.

Not necessarily a grass issue, but we’ve taken this approach on similar situations. Sent out a letter saying “in 6 months we will start charging a monthly reoccurring fine for these issues. In the meantime we want to help you get into compliance by offering XYZ”

Maybe like others said, offer to supply some of the materials. That combined with a sufficient warning that fines will be charged soon may be enough to encourage the majority.

Just make sure your yes is yes and your no is no. Charge the monthly fine at the end of the grace period.

I would have a landscaper put topsoil down and hydroseed all the lots. I’d never leave this up to the tenants because it would not get done and even if they did try to plant grass it would not look uniform. Also 9 out of 10 times the tenant won’t be good if they don’t care that there’s no grass in their yard. I think planting grass in the park is 100% on the owner, not the tenant.

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Thanks for your responses. Leaning towards have a contractor plant the seeds and get it started, then holding the residents responsible for maintenance after.

It’s hard enough to keep sofas and tires out of the lots. Asking your tenants to plant and nurture grass sounds to me like it would be harder than forming a colony on Mars. If I owned the park and I wanted grass, then I would plant it.