Tenants Fixing their Homes after New Ownership / Park Rules

I am looking at a Trailer Park that is 100% full, 20 spaces, all tenant owned. The exteriors are in pretty dismal shape and it’s clear the only Park rule is to pay rent. In the interest of getting lot rents up to the bottom of the market…

Has anyone purchased a turnaround Park and implemented rules for maintaining the exterior of the homes where most are in bad shape?

How tough was it to get the tenants to do this over what period of time, were you faced with evicting people for ignoring these rules, and did you have challenges with your county enforcing these? Any other strategies that worked?

Trying to see if it’s more likely I would have to non renew leases, take ownership, and fix them up on my own versus the tenants doing it. Park may be too fargone, just feeling out options.

Thoughts always appreciated. Thanks!

I’m assuming we’re talking about the general appearance of the homes and yards, and not situations where the tenant has 10 junk cars, 5 appliances and 3 pit bulls in the yard.

In general, the first step is to send the tenants a letter in which you describe your expectations – that you want to make the park the best that it can be, and describe in detail what that means (homes painted, skirting, yard free of debris, etc.)

Next, you set the tone by putting up new signage, white vinyl fencing and landscaping (if appropriate) and make the common areas perfect. This will send the message that you’re serious about the clean up concept.

The good tenants will follow your lead and clean up.

The bad tenants will do nothing, either because they are too lazy or can’t afford the materials.

Those that are unbelievably bad (particularly those with large dogs that refuse to remove them) should just have their leases non-renewed. They can then choose to make the necessary changes or leave.

For everyone in-between, you should make a lot-by-lot list of what you want done. And don’t be a perfectionist. Your list should be items like “fix missing skirting pieces”, “paint home”, “get aluminum foil out of windows” and “remove refrigerator in yard”, not “plant seasonal color to match your shutters”.

Send these folks a letter asking them to make these changes. Do it a couple times. Then tell them if they don’t have them done by a certain date, you’re going to do them and potentially bill it back to them.

When that deadline expires, take photos of everything wrong and do the work yourself (using contractors). Henry Ford assembly line it: do all the painting, then do all the skirting, etc. You can then either elect to send the bills to the customers or just eat it.

On those that move out, you can ultimately take their homes through abandonment and then fix them up and sell or rent them.

In this manner, you can get the park perfect in around 6 months, regardless of where it starts out.

One final note, don’t evict anyone unless you have to. Don’t be petty. Recognize that the former owner might have had no rules, and you can’t be a perfectionist in such an environment. Be fair and listen to what the residents say. Most people WANT to live in a nice park. You are trying to be the catalyst to that happy conclusion, not the dictator trying to force it upon them. Work with them and be a positive force, not a negative one.


Be prepared for every possible excuse in the book for why they can not do the work. They will procrastinate expecting you to simply back off. Keep in mind that most of these people are lazy as dirt and only interested in sitting around doing nothing. The thought of actually doing work may be beyond there ability. Painting their home may be tantamount to brain surgery for some. For this reason doing the work yourself (contractors) and billing back the residents will achieve far better results than expecting some residents to do the work themselves.
Most will say they have no money anyway.


Jhutson, still looking for the parks you have passed on, remember your comments on assigning parks that do not fit your criteria and I sent your my list of likes and dislikes??? I have ONCE and only once bought a turnaround park. Had a manager new rules, good tenants, but 3 years later had to put it into a package deal with an excellent park to sell it. The so-called turn around parks can eat up lots of time and money. We find buying parks without POH’s and high occupancy are much easier to operate and give a good return based on your purchase price. Fixing -rap is a waste of money and poor use of valuable money you could be used for a down payment on a great park(S)!!

@frankrolfe and @Greg thanks for these great responses, this helps me a bunch.

@carl I never got a response from you via my private message so assumed you weren’t interested. I will get my lagoon park portfolio ready for you before I hear more about your requirements. I am busy keeping my existing assigns happy until then.


Agree with Frank and others–if you’re trying to create a drastic change in the culture of your property, that will take

  1. time, and
  2. serious communication skills!

We also purchased a park that’s in an awesome location with great growth potential with all tenant owned homes. The former owner had rules but never enforced them but also didn’t do maintenance or upkeep himself so he had set the standard for them. We went in with new guidelines requirements for the outside appearance of homes/lots and started our own long journey of cleaning up the place, repairing structures, roads, trees etc. It caught on quick with the tenants and only a few needed a formal reminder with a deadline and they complied with excuses yes but no issues. I was even approached by one tenant who informed me that he would be painting his home so that he doesn’t look out of place. Most have thanked us for the improvements. That’s always nice to hear. Good luck!

When requesting owners paint or side the exterior of there homes as the community owner you should approve all colour choices prior to the tenant doing any work…
You would be surprised how little taste some people have and you do not want your community looking like a cartoon town.

This past summer I had a resident paint their home purple with orange shutters. They did it without first having my approval and thought it would brighten up the community.
I had them repaint, at their expense, a colour of my choosing.

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Yes, for example at Lowes they have a book of suggested color combos for the exterior of homes. All of our residents must pick the color combo from the book.

@Greg it sounds like your Park rules allows LSD to help give your tenants such creativity. Groovy.

Sometimes you have to wonder what people were thinking. These issues never seem to pop up in your normal middle class neighbourhoods but clearly some residents in MHCs have a different brain pattern than normal.
You will often find yourself encountering resident issues regarding your community rules that you would never expect to be an issue.

Maybe a bigger problem is they cannot read–and perhaps they never had limits or anyone to help them make good judgment calls. Just think they could also be colorblind.

Tenants shouldn’t be signing the Park rules or a lease if they cannot read, and if they make bad decisions they’re probably a felon, and if color blind they should find someone who isn’t to help them adhere to park rules.

I can appreciate that life isn’t fair for everyone but I shouldn’t have to be stuck with a trailer park because of their problems.

There is defiantly something wrong, but their choices are deliberate. They will often choose to defy the standard.