Cleaning up park

Iam buying a park that consist of mostly older owner owned trailers which is fine.My intentions are to clean up the park.There is not any major problems with tenants a couple have problems paying rent and are months behind and I will inforce no pay no stay rules.My main concern is that some of the trailers need some clean up it may be paint ,fix the porch, skirting and one that has put up different color siding along with parking where ever they want.{in front,in back,sideways,backways,in road,out of road,halfway in road my pet pee is parking in the parking spots lol} I can handle the parking and yard cleanup issues but what about the trailer issues paint,siding, skirting,porchs. I asked the owner about this and he believes that several might have a problem with coming up with the money to fix them.Cleaning up these older trailers is a must in order to atract new leases.Any advice on getting tenants to fix trailers ?

Getting those tenants to fix up their trailers is like trying to nail jello to a wall. The only way to pull this off is to do the work yourself and then either a) charge the tenant for it spread over 12 months or b) just pay it yourself and don’t get the money back. I would send a letter to all the tenants telling them that the minimum requirements for each trailer are 1) it must be sightly and painted 2) yard free of debris 3) no fence higher than 4’ and see-through 4) no non-running cars. Then you give them a week or so to get this done (which won’t happen). Then you send them a follow-up letter letting them know that if they don’t have it done in two weeks, you’re going to do it yourself and bill it back to them (still, nothing happens). Then you go out and fix everything you need done (and take complete photos of before/after of everything you do). Be sure and run this scenario by your state MHA and/or a competent attorney to make sure it’s legal where you are. Most people won’t complain about you making their property better. Those who want the status quo of living in a dump need to go, anyway. Whether or not you bill it back is up to you. We normally don’t even bother – we budget for those improvements when we buy the park.

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Thanks Frank I thought I might have to go this route but what about the non running cars.I was thinking if they are not taged and inspected they have to go.This park is in the city so I have the code inforcer that can help me I guess.Not sure about the laws the city has in place.I see cars on blocks in the driveways of some pretty nice homes that had been there a long time so the city might not be of any help.What route do you go with towing a car off the property?

Hire a towing company. Have them post notices on the cars. Then they tow them away. However, make sure they don’t get overzealous – make sure that you have to approve every car they tow. They will want to take away the nice cars that have a minor tag a day late, because those they can hold for ransom. You’ll end up getting sued and lose customers. Only tow the cars that are clearly junk.

Frank

Ok thanks again!

In regards to bylaw enforcement.

The reason junk cars sit for extended periods of time is because the municipality has not received a complaint.

Bylaws are enforced based solely on complaints…

Parking of vehicles is also one of my pet peeves. I had a tenant that regularly parked on her front lawn and had her quests do the same. I gave her a couple of warnings then served her with an eviction notice. End of problem.

Assuming you have park rules you must enforce them otherwise there is no point in having them. Just make sure when you make rules that they are enforceable and realistic. Remember many “park” residents may not have the same social standards as you.

Greg thanks for the information.I believe I have landed a good park and with the advice this forum has given me and will continue to give I think I am on my way to a very successful park.Thanks to all that give advice to all us newbes!!

We also encountered the car problem in our park. One of the Code Enforcement officers said all we had to do is file a complaint and they’d tag the car and after 48 hours, they tow it. We just discovered this (while working closely with Code on the new home setup), so we haven’t tried it yet. It might be worth speaking with you local Code Enforcement officers. We’ve found them to be a great help as long as you follow the rules and you’re trying to ‘do the right thing’ and improve the community.

As far as home improvements, we’re in the same situation. In our case, Code can/will cite them for many issues (skirting, steps/rails in disrepair, debris on the lots, etc). Code just condemned 3 homes in our park and we’re having them demo’d right now. I think that’s getting some people’s attention more effectively than my notices. Of course, you’d have to lose some homes, which is tough.

For good tenants (paid up on rent), I’d offer to fund the repairs and have them done yourself.

I don’t have any issues with forcing tenants to improve their properties and do the work myself if they do not comply. I do however have a problem with not billing them for the work.

First once you do this you will never get any tenant to comply with rules again as they will expect you to do the work and foot the bill for everything and second once word gets around that you do improvements on residents homes for free every tenant will expect you to improve their homes for free as well.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Greg I can defintly see that happening.My intentions are to get rent up to the going rate which is about double 100 up to 200.After that see what tenants are going to stay.This park has lots of potentional once i clean it up.This park is in a great location.Theres a great demand for a nice park.The problem is no decent people want to live there in the shape its in.I have my work cut out for me!

But please come to the next Bootcamp and buy Frank & Dave’s books. You have a lot to learn. Their materials are expensive, but well worth it.

Welcome to the business,

-jl-

Note: I receive no compensation from anything sold on this site. … Unfortunately!

Define the necessary appearance in the park rules, distribute the new rules, wait the necessary time to make them active, then start bugging folks to take action. Also consider buying the materials and have them do the labor. Advertise a contest for $250 for the best-looking mobile. Offer to buy the materials, and have them sign an agreement that they’ll repay the cost over time.

I’ve used all these ideas, with success.

Improving the quality of a community always pays dividends if there is a demand for it in the area. My community is surrounded by 6 other “parks” and bar none mine is the highest quality. As a result I never have issues finding top quality residents and have continually pushed up the resale prices on homes and the lot rents. Additionally, as a business owner, I have a higher pride of ownership in the community as well.

The most valuable benefit (aside from higher income) is the fact that my time in regards to tenant maintenance is extremely low. Over the past 3 years I have managed to “move out” all of the lower end tenants that originally came with the property and now only have socially responsible residents.

Keep in mind this is not the only way to operate your business. I have many “parks” around mine that operate a hands off, every one is welcome as long as you pay, policy that also makes good profits. The park owners make a good return on investment but the residents are disadvantaged by lower and depreciating home resale values. They are all family parks, mine is adult only, which is a major contributing factor to the park owners practices. It is more difficult to raise standards where young families are involved.

Greg how did you manage to get to an all adults park?

My park was all adult when I bought it 5 years ago and was one of the primary reasons I bought it. The quality of “family” parks in the area made them not worth even considering buying one. Adult only parks are allowed and are very common here in Canada.

It was originally a family community until a previous owner announced to all residents in 1994 that only adults would be permitted in the future. It was added to the park rules. Families in the park at the time were grandfathered but fell under much stricter rules for upkeep of their lots

I don’t think “adult” communities are allowed in the US but it is possible to selectively screen if your criteria for acceptance of applicants is adjusted slightly. This along with very tight lot upkeep rules makes it unattractive for families to apply. Not strictly legal to discriminate against “families” but from my experience there are legal ways around everything. As an example requiring a higher minimum credit score of applicants can screen out many young families.

We also do not have or allow any homes with more than two bedrooms into the park.

Selectively moving away from family to adult is a long process but can be accomplished if you are determined but you need to establish and maintain very high standards to attract only the right applicants. It is more about attracting who you want as tenants as opposed to openly discriminating against any specific type of applicant.

Once you reach a certain point in transition families get the message and don’t apply.

Interesting, Iam in the process of closing on a park and Iam contaplating which direction I want to go with the park.As far as adult only parks in the US I believe you can but it has to be at least 80% adult and fall under certian rules .I would like to good the route that will fill up the park.This town has any large population of retires.I just need to talk to some local city officals and see if the route of adult only would work for this park.