One perplexed Reddit user recently sought help online to interpret a note from their landlord banning “excessive plants.”
Renters and even homeowners often experience pushback when trying to grow a garden. Landlords, nosy neighbors, and HOAs may try to limit what residents can grow in gardens or planters out of concern for the property’s appearance. Some states have laws that protect a resident’s rights, but many people find themselves facing fines and legal battles over something as simple as a patch of grass.
This time, the issue seemed to be the balconies and patios outside an apartment building. A Redditor recently shared a screenshot of a message from their landlord, which included a long list of items that are not permitted in these spaces.
Some of the landlord’s requests are reasonable, such as banning bags of trash. Some seem overbearing, like a rule against having toys on the patio. And some seem arbitrary and confusing – including the landlord’s request that residents get rid of “excessive plants.”
“What constitutes excessive plants?” the user asked in the post. The landlord’s email contained no specific guidelines. It only said, “Your patio/balcony should only have patio furniture and only some plants, not a garden.”
Despite the vagueness of this guideline, the landlord said it would be harshly enforced. They threatened inspections and $100 fines for every infraction. The message ended by saying “thank you in advance” to the residents following the strict rules.
Many commenters shared similar experiences with frustrating and unfair rules.
“I had an apartment where rules like this were strictly enforced,” said one user. “Had a neighbor whose potted plants were destroyed when they were cleaning the gutters in order to get rid of them.”
Another Redditor replied, “I had an apartment tell me to remove my bicycle from the balcony. The balcony faced a parking lot.”
The previous commenter answered, “This is the worst. ‘Sorry for needing to get to and from my apartment, would you like tire marks all over the walls?’”
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