FHA’s Attachment Regarding Yard Maintenance and Snow Removal
I. Grass Cuts
Lawn cutting (initial and subsequent cuts) includes mowing the lawn, weeding, edge trimming, sweeping of all paved areas (sidewalks, driveways, patios, etc.), and removal of all lawn clippings, related cuttings, and incidental debris (newspapers, flyers, bottles, etc.). These services are included in the cost allowable for an initial cut and subsequent cut (re-cut). The disposal of all clippings and incidental debris should be in compliance with jurisdictional requirements. The costs allowable for trimming shrubs and snow removal are listed separately in the accompanying schedule. Before and after photographs are required for all cuts. All photographs should be dated.
Mortgagees should not order lawn maintenance if a homeowners’ association for such properties as condominiums covers this service.
One initial grass cut is allowed during each grass-growing season followed by subsequent cuts periodically throughout the season. If a local variation requires that the grass be maintained year round, only one initial cut may be charged. If there is one grass-growing season in the geographical location of the property, one initial cut is allowed within a 12-month period. If there are multiple growing seasons, an initial grass cut is permitted at the beginning of each grass-growing season.
If conveyance occurs during the growing season, unless otherwise indicated in local variations, a final grass cut should be completed within two weeks of conveyance.
Grass should typically be cut twice a month between April 1st and October 31st, however, more frequent lawn cuts may be allowed in certain areas as indicated in the variances at the end of this attachment. Grass should not be cut between November 1st and March 31st unless prior written approval is obtained from the M&M Contractor or otherwise prescribed in the local variances. If the grass grows to six inches in length during the off-season, the Mortgagee should request prior approval to cut the grass.
B) Oversized Yards
For yards greater than 15,000 square feet, Mortgagees should submit an over-allowable request. Requests to exceed cost limits for larger lots should be accompanied by lot dimensions and the calculated square footage of the lot as well as photo documentation. Mortgagees may request over-allowable approval for an entire growing season. For each over-allowable request, the Mortgagee should provide one bid for the cost of the initial cut, one bid for each subsequent cut (all of equal cost) and the total number of subsequent cuts required. Even if the Mortgagee is approved for an entire season, HUD will only reimburse grass-cutting expenses actually incurred.
Grass should be cut to a maximum of two inches in length. Grass and weeds are to be cut to the edge of the property line and to a maximum of two inches. Grass and weeds are to be trimmed around foundations, bushes, trees, and planting beds. Grass and weeds should also be trimmed flush with fences and other construction that would normally require trimming.
Shrubs are to be trimmed and cuttings removed once in a growing season, between April 1st and October 31st. An over-allowable should be submitted for any subsequent trimming of shrubs during the same growing season, with appropriate before and after photographs.
II. Snow Removal
The Mortgagee should maintain a safe and accessible property throughout the winter season. Snow should be removed from the entry, walkway, porch and driveway following a minimum three-inch accumulation. Mortgagees must comply with local codes and ordinances governing the removal of snow and ice. Before and after photographs are required for all snow and ice removal.
Yard Maintenance and Snow Removal Cost Schedule (Nationwide) (Updated in 2012)
Local Variations from General Requirements
SANTA ANA Homeownership Center
Arizona/ California/ Nevada
Grass should be cut year-round. Properties with desert landscaping require only once a month weed removal and are reimbursed as a re-cut.
Grass should be cut year round.
ATLANTA Homeownership Center
Grass should be cut year round.
Property Preservation Grass Cut Video(s)
Grass Cut Season Start and End Dates