Making money on overgrown lawns.

Most townships and counties have laws on their books regarding overgrown lawns. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from some entrepreneurs who have figured out ways to profit from these laws. Maybe you could use one or more of these ideas to make more money for your business as well.

One lawn care business owner wrote “here in Florida, our County will fine you if your lawn is not kept up especially if they receive complaints. Actually today we received a call from someone asking if we could mow their lawn because code compliance had posted a notice on their door. They had to have it mowed by Monday or they would be fined. My husband did mow it. Most of the lawn was 2 foot high. Also, if you own a vacant lot and don’t maintain it, some areas here will have the County mow it and then charge the homeowner.

This gave me an idea to jot down the addresses of overgrown lawns in my area and then later send them a letter asking for their business, along with a quote from the township code and how much the home owner could be fined for allowing the lawn to become overgrown.”

A second lawn care business owner added “I used to be the guy out there mowing the overgrown lawns. We had a contract with the city to do this. We would get a minimum of $150 for the average 5,000 sq ft lot. Most places were way more though. We used to get to these places when the grass was about 2-3ft tall so we’d end up telling the neighbors (who would come and yell at us that we should be maintaining the yard weekly??? to call the township when the grass would get to 6-9″ and by the time they send us out it’ll be at the one foot mark which is where we were legally supposed to go in at.

One time we got to a property and the guy came out with a bat, the owner of the company was with me at the time and ended up having to call the police and have them stand and watch as we mowed.

Some times I would have to cut locks or chain link fences (cut the little metal clips that hold the link to the pipes and then use zip ties to put it back in place), we had to pull out screws/nails and remove a section of wooden privacy fence a few times. Most of the time the houses the town would call us for were just abandoned so they weren’t locked, but we’d open it up to get the mowers back there.

The township would just take the fee we charged to mow the property and bill it to the owners property tax, so we always got paid.”

A third shared “my city council made this law last year. If the lawn is overgrown, they will send you an official notice by mail. Then some time later, in person, then the PD comes and issues you a citation. However, the ONLY time it’s ever happened was when a client of mine, a realtor, who was renting his house out noticed that the grass hadn’t been cut for about a month.

So he calls me and we agreed to our old price (from last year) and we showed up to mow. No one is there when we roll up. As soon as my ZTR touches the lawn about 8 people came out of that house. One, I recognized, why? Because I picked his brother up on the squad because he beat his brother about half to death. About this time, I didn’t even confront them, just put the mower back in the trailer, locked the trailer up, had my helper go call the PD and the landlord. PD gets there with two units, and all heck breaks loose. OVER A FREE MOWING TO THEM!!!!

End of story, they got a $100 ticket for not having lawn kept up, and I got to make $35 from it cause they retained the guy til I was done mowing. That’s the only time I had to deal with a lawn in town with that issue.”

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