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Abandoned Property HOA Mowing Program

Mowing Requirements

City Ordinances require that weeds and grass on residential property be kept below 12 inches in height and as the owner or occupant of the property, you are required to maintain the property from the street in the front to the middle of the alley in the back (or the property line). This includes the front, back, side yards, the right-of-way (the area between the sidewalk and the curb) and the alley and easement (the area behind the property).

Generally, DeSoto residents follow these rules. However, when a house becomes vacant the potential exists for the yard to be neglected.

Eyes & Ears Expands to HOAs

DeSoto’s Code Enforcement Department has offered a program called Eyes & Ears for several years which enlists the help of Homeowners Associations by asking them to report code violations such as high grass or junk cars in their neighborhood. Now in addition to reporting high grass, the Eyes & Ears Program has expanded to empower registered Homeowners Associations to mow high grass and weeds at vacant homes in their neighborhood.


Process

When a high grass complaint at a vacant house is reported, a Code Enforcement Officer will verify that a violation exists and confirm with the City’s Water Department that the property is vacant. Then the following may occur:

A high grass sign will be placed in the yard of the vacant property and digital photos will be taken of the property for documentation purposes including the date and time of the photo.
The property owner will be notified and has seven (7) days to mow the property.
On the eighth day, the Code Enforcement Officer will re-inspect the property and if it has not been mowed, the Homeowners Association will be notified and members of the HOA will mow the property.
Property owners are billed for the mowing and the HOA is paid $50 for each yard mowed under this program.

Benefits

Before this program was instituted, mowing contractors would be hired to mow the vacant property extending the time before the property mowed. Now HOA members can mow the property as soon as they are notified by Code Enforcement giving them some control over the appearance of their neighborhood. This gets the mowing done more quickly in most cases.


Participation Requirements

In order to participate in the program, the Homeowners Association must be registered with the City of DeSoto Community Initiatives Manager. For more information or to participate in this program, please call the City of DeSoto Action Center at 972.274.CITY.