Privacy Fencing

Hello! One of my tenants wants me to put up (and finance for him over 12 months) a fence around his home. He’d prefer a 6’-high privacy fence, but would settle for a regular chain-link fence. He is renting the home from me, but says he wants to buy it.

My concerns are:

  1. He may leave the community in 6 months, not having fully paid for the fence (although it is an asset and might not be such a loss even if he did skip).

  2. If I put up the privacy fence, it might be an eyesore (or hide bad behavior behind the fence). But we do maintain the right to inspect his home anyway…



Jefferson, I can think of several more reasons why that you would regret having allowed this fence: mowing/trimming hassles - that usually result in less mowing and trimming, This type fencing is not law enforcement friendly, You’ll get more requests from other residents wanting their own version of a fence…I could go on, but I can’t think of any way that this would be a positive for you or your MHP. Just Say No!


Couldn’t agree with Shawn more. You can’t choose to live in a mobile home park and expect privacy.

I have looked at a couple of parks with individual fencing around some lots. About one in ten of those lots are nice and neat. From what I’ve seen, not only does it not look uniform throughout the park, it makes the park look shabby.

Just say no to the fence. If you like this tenant and would like to keep him, offer something else e.g. new porch-type awning with roll-up screens he can let down for “privacy”, ceiling fans throughout the home, landscaping, an alarm system, etc.


I will disagree! Improving a tenants life and keeping them happy retains good long term tenants… I

Ryan’s viewpoint is the minority one and I totally disagree with it. I have never once seen a park that had privacy fences and looked good. They all looked horrible.

Sometimes privacy is simply a perception problem and concerns can be alleviated by a strategically placed tree or shrub. Remember that landscaping stuff I keep talking about? This can greatly solve a “perceived” problem and it makes the community look better at the same time. This lets you keep up the look of the community as well as it shows you are listening to your resident’s concerns.

Something none of you have brought up is the fact that fences simply may not be possible due to underground infrastructure. I just had had the “call before you dig” folks come out and mark the underground lines between two homes so that I could put in trees for privacy. I was amazed at what’s under there and how little leeway there was for planting.

If the resident’s concern is views from neighbors and not trying to hide activities/junk from your view, why not call in a window company and have them put a film over the windows? Your residents can keep the curtains or blinds open all day and make the home seem bigger but no-one can look in.

The bottom line for me is that I am trying to attract a certain type of resident and am willing to forego some income now while I market to the population I want. I want the people who will value a good looking community but I don’t want the crowd that would put up privacy fencing.


Wheat Hill

Ryan, I want to point out that my personal “pride of ownership” issues are not the most highly regarded factor in my opinion, but rather the “pride of ownership” issues of the other residents of my MHP(their opinion matters most).

I felt that since this was a tough decission for Jefferson, that he had not permited such fences in the past.

I am quite sure that in my case to permit one resident an eyesore would soon jepordize my entire customer base. That is just how my MHP is positioned in this market - there are several other MHP’s in this area that are pretty much “anything goes” but it was for the very reason that the grounds are maintained and the rules enforced that the current residents chose to move into my MHP. And by the way, my MHP is not anyones idea of a manicured luxury type place.

I agree with the statement on privacy fences… I don’t like them! They hide things I can’t see, chain link & green landscape fencing is a different story. I conduct my “rental inspections” from drive by’s based mainly on mini blind’s and trash being piled up. I don’t do regular in home inspections but you can bet your bottom dollar that there is damage if the mini blinds are torn up!

“Ryan’s viewpoint is the minority one and I totally disagree with it. I have never once seen a park that had privacy fences and looked good.”

I’ll agree with this statement to an extent as well, a lot of people think I’m nuts or just full of BS when they first meet me, we shall continue to agree to disagree on the point of when enough is enough on beautification my friend. :wink:

My properties will NEVER win a beauty contest EVER!!! Manicured what? I’m happy if my tenant keep the trash picked up and the grass cut every 3 weeks, even if it is the day before the grass guy shows up… lol

The parks I have are in good overall repair, filled with good people, and cashflow very nicely most of the time. I currently have one park that I just cleaned the tenants out of from the problems started with an owner occupied tenants son moving in back in Nov, most of it was trash and payment related. As of Monday that park is now 62.5% VACANT and still cashflows… My motivation is two fold. I like helping GOOD people and I like making money. I provide decent affordable housing, noting more, nothing less! I have rules and my tenants know not to cross them but they are just lax enough that my tenants have freedom to live their life and pursue their dreams. I don’t like babysitting grownups!

Yes, the parks could use lots of sprucing up but it would price a lot of folks outa my places or hurt my bottom line. We focus mainly on the inside of our units and it’s a constant battle to provide an in demand product while keeping the budget in line to where you can make a profit. Tony calls it amenity creep. I use the incentive of freedom and acceptance to keep my tenants happy opposed to having high end homes that are almost untouchable by most of my market. My methods would not fit at all in a park like Karl Warner’s water front paradise… THAT’S the type property & area that you spruce up to the enth degree IMHO.

I still stand by my statement that you don’t have to have the prettiest property to attract GOOD tenants… I keep hearing the statement “I am trying to attract a certain type of resident” and I am to, I want tenants that PAY, I want tenants that don’t fight with their neighbors or cause problems, and I DON’T want people that are going to call me complaining about every little thing… The bottom line is what makes or breaks a business.

My mentalities are largely based on an experience with a landlord I had in an apartment complex when I first got outa the military, every 2-4 weeks they were in MY house. God forbid you accidentally dropped something on the grass as you were going in the house while your kid screamed his head off cause you just woke him up getting him outa the car… I loved the manager but I couldn’t stand living HER complex, there were always nasty notes to “all tenants” taped to the door of some new rule or restriction being imposed in the complex. You couldn’t sneeze without her asking if you needed a tissue. I HATED IT THERE!!!

I’m not trying to step on toes in any way shape or form, there are many ways to the mutual goals that we all share!

As long as we are all chatting here. I have a home that is going on vacant month #3 I guess we should be happy it is the only vacancy out of 14 ready units. It is a nice 3/2 1994. Every tenant I talk to says you’re not getting any calls because you do not allow pets. We do allow pets in our other park 18 miles away because the homes are very low end and the pets came with the park. But this park is only 4 homes and they are all nice 1990’s and we want to keep them that way. So pets or no pets, that is the question.

Don I like pets. For the most part I find they do less damage to a house than kids will… I still love kids even though they can be destructive little buggers. I’m looking for pet owners that treat their animals like children NOT the folks that throw food & water at them and walk away.

You will occasionally have a piece of trim or carpet torn up by a puppy, I generally do not allow puppies, I DO charge a pet fee for puppies unless they are adopted from the local animal shelter. I generally don’t charge a pet fee for older animals, I’m looking more for responsible owners than I am someone with a pet.

I generally require that the prospective tenant bring dogs with them to look at the home and I interview the dog as well as the prospective tenant. If they won

If you ever have a water leak the fence may have to be torn up to get the equipment in there. Especially if your homes are close together. I have had this happen before. My excavator HATES fences in my parks. Something to keep in mind…

Briton (IN)

I have been a teacher for many years and something I discovered long ago is that students meet your expectations. If you expect nothing less than excellence and you plan your class accordingly, students who won’t meet your expectations leave (I teach adult ed.) and eventually you wind up with a class that meets or exceeds what you expect them to do. Other classes may very well pass state mandated benchmarks but those are simply the lowest common denominator goals.

The same philosophy holds true, I believe, for parks. If you are happy with fences and sites/homes that will never win any beauty contests and grass gets mowed if and when residents feel like it, people who like living there will gravitate to those parks. If your standards are higher, then you will get residents who want to live in such a place and will maintain their homes/yards at or above your standards. People who don’t like it will find some other rock to crawl under or a park more compatible with their lifestyle.

Raising everyone’s lot rent soon and I will be above the area average. I also charge a deposit of 1 month lot rent ($220) plus $500. Not a single person has ever balked at this and I have always received all monies prior to move in. Just had a lady come through the community today and she said mine was the nicest of any she had looked at (I already know that but I still like to hear it.) and she’s bringing her daughter back to check out a home for the two of them.

I have exactly 3 picket fences in the entire community.


Wheat Hill

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I have to say that I can understand all points being made here. There’s two sides and both make sense. I think that leaves it to the individual to make his/her own decision re: his/her property.

However, I’m going to toss in my .02 worth here as well. There’s a fine line between protecting your property/other tenants/infrastructure/whatever and just being a control freak. Most entrepreneurs are strong minded and opinionated… that’s how/why we get into these messes… um, er, projects/businesses/etc. Many are just plain control freaks, and most of the time that works in their favor, however, not always. Give thought to what REALLY matters and what’s not so important afterall that you could make concessions on to keep tenants happy.

Here’s a thought… Happy tenants rarely create problems. Isn’t that what we all want? Fewer problems?

I rented a 3/2 L/H for over a year to HAPPY tenants and they didn’t bug me, didn’t create problems, didn’t tear up the property. The only reason they left was they couldn’t make ends meet here cuz the jobs are so scarce now. They moved back “home” to AZ.

Why were they happy in my property? I didn’t bug them and I let them have their babies… 6… yes that’s SIX large Rottweilers, plus 2 litters a year of puppies. Now, this was a struggle for me because I hate breeders, however, I kept an open mind and found out these people had excellent breeding stock, took very good care of them, and were very conscientious about who they sold to and followed up afterward, etc., etc… I was amazed, honestly. The dogs also never ran loose…never.

But 6 Rotts? Yup. Wanna know what damage there was to my property when they left 13 months later?? There was one damaged piece of trim (which I can’t really even attribute to a dog) and one hole in the back yard that I have to fill from a dog digging. The carpet is stained but guess what? It was carpet that needed replacing before they moved in (I just cleaned it and hoped I could rent the unit out without replacing the carpet, which I did)… and the stains are from sodas… not dogs. They had 2 teenagers and their friends who came over… and I’m sure that’s where the majority of the dirty carpet came from. Guess what? I go rent a rug doctor again, spend about $50 and my carpet will be equal to what it was when they moved in. $5 on trim and we’re set.

The point is people that are fairly responsible generally make good tenants if you can make them happy. If you put your mind to it, if you treat people with respect, you can generally work something out to make both of you at lease semi-happy.

Make an effort to try to understand your tenants and it will take you very far in this business.

I just approved a tenant yesterday that 99% of you would have flatly refused because he has a criminal record. He was thoroughly interviewed, every thing he said was verified and scrutinized and he was even required to take an on-the-spot drug test. His attitude, the way he spoke, the things he said, his body language…all that indicated he was someone who was well on the road to being a different person than he was when all the bad stuff happened.

The guy was so happy last night when we finally got all the information verified and decided to approve him… that when I called him to tell him, he choked up on the phone. THIS is the break this guy needs to get his life back and he knows it. No one else would rent to him. I intend to sell the property to him over the next 10 years or so. There are 2 other people who will live with him, the other 2 are both deaf and collect SSI. The young man (28) who has the record is going to college to study horticulture and is obviously thrilled about it. He’s going to do FREE landscaping on the property. They’re going to make specific improvements to the home itself that I request along the way. They’re now doing all the cleaning it needs (I never even had to rent the carpet cleaner), and talking about buying paint and painting the interior themselves (it doesn’t need it, but why do I care if they want to paint it?? I’ll choose the color, of course.)

Tenants are people, too. One thing I try hard to remember is that NO ONE… and I mean absolutely NO ONE chooses what family they’re born into, or the economic climate at the time or status of their family. ANY single one of us could have been born in exactly the same circumstances our tenants find themselves in. If I were in their place, I’d want to rent from me… and that’s what let’s me sleep at night and not worry about whether little Princess is peeing on my carpet or not. Who gives a flip… it’s just carpet… and as long as I keep Princess’ parents HAPPY… I’LL NEVER have to clean that carpet anyway because they’ll never leave!

As for fencing… I like my privacy, too. I definitely understand the tenants perspective. To me, it’s no big deal as long as I can make sure it’s done properly and does no harm to infrastructure, or any thing else. Who cares?? It’s just a fence.

Okay, I’ll stop now.

Take care,


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I think you have exactly what it takes to be a landlord…you understand what makes people happy, especially there baby’s…i have 2 small min pins and i am a stay at home mom so they are never alone and yet so many people won’t rent to people with dogs…it makes no scense, my dogs are my kids, my life. I appreciate people like you who understand…granted not all people are responsible about there pets i know, but those that are deserves a chance. Bless you.

What if you just wanted a small fence for your puppys to run in for a bit? I think that should be permitted…