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Tenant takes her garden with her after getting kicked out by landlord

The 25-year-old's landlords were angry since pictures of the garden had attracted many buyers.

Tenant takes her garden with her after getting kicked out by landlord
Representative Cover Image Source: Young woman examining flowers in green house - stock photo/Getty Images

Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 10, 2022. It has since been updated.

Nothing spruces up a home like greenery, and that's what a woman focused on when she first moved into a rented place. Although the house left much to be desired, she invested considerable time in cultivating a stunning garden to enhance its appeal. She'd lived there for seven years, and then her landlords told her to move out as they wanted to sell the place, according to God.DailyDot. Opting to take her transportable garden and shed with her, she inadvertently angered the landlords. Her landlord and colleagues criticized her for relocating her garden, claiming it reduced the property's market appeal. She turned to Reddit to ask if she was wrong for "bringing my garden with me when I moved?"

Woman relaxing on deck chair in back yard, reading a book with her cat watching - stock photo/Getty Images

"I have been renting a house since I was 18 (7 years)," wrote the 25-year-old. "When I moved in, the backyard was a large piece of dirt. No lawn or anything. Just a decently big backyard with a fence all around. It was a cheap but not great house, but I signed because I wanted the backyard space. Over the past few years, I erected a small garden shed, greenhouse, and pizza oven (transportables), planted lots of veggie gardens in big transportable garden beds and put down some nice pavers, an aquaponics set up, and generally made the backyard a really green and beautiful place to be. It became the green oasis all my friends gathered at."


While she lived a happy life, comfortable in her home of seven years, her landlords asked her to leave the place as they planned to sell it. "A few months ago, my landlords let me know they were planning to sell, and my final move-out day was a week ago. When I left, I brought my garden with me to my new place — nothing in my last backyard was directly planted into the ground, and nothing permanent," she wrote. "I dismantled the sheds and greenhouse, loaded up all the pots and garden beds onto a truck, and cleared the backyard in three days with lots of help."

Couple carrying lumber to build raised garden beds in backyard - stock photo/Getty Images

Her landlords were angered she had removed the garden. "My former landlords are furious over this, and demand that I return the backyard to the former state. Apparently, they’d listed the house for sale with pictures of the backyard, and potential buyers were walking away from the house when they saw the barren backyard. They’re accusing me of stealing their plants and wrecking the backyard," she wrote. The 25-year-old said she hadn't violated any agreement but was worried if she had done the wrong thing. "Legally I’m fine — my contract said I could garden, and I have photos from the first real estate walkthrough before I moved in that show that the backyard was in the same state as I first found it (although with more fertile soil now probably). The same real estate agent signed off my final inspection, and I got my deposit back," she wrote. 


Her colleagues didn't take too kindly to her decision to move her garden with her. "I’ve received mixed responses though because I saw the landlords taking pictures of my backyard before I left but didn’t make the connection because, in my honest opinion, when pictures of a house has furniture in it, you don’t expect to also get free furniture," she wrote. Some colleagues argued that relocating the garden was unnecessary and led to a decrease in the house's value. They accused her of moving her garden prior to the lockdown, which stopped the homeowners from planning a landscape.


A majority sided with her, stating it was common for homeowners to benefit from tenant improvements. "This is a very classic story of a landlord trying to benefit from home improvements paid for by the tenant. If your landlord was honest, he would have asked you how much you wanted to leave the garden as it was. You owe him nothing," wrote one person. Another added, "They can pay you for improvements they’ve allowed you to make over time with your own money. In fact, a similar thing happened to me at my old apartment. I was granted permission to repaint the concrete balcony. I put down some lush fake lawn, some timber decking, outdoor furniture, hanging plants and fairy lights. When the owners were selling they asked me how much to leave it as is. I set my price and was literally paid to move out. Win-win all round."

Woman feeding a treat to her cat in back yard - stock photo/Getty Images

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