One landlord severely overstepped when, according to the tenant, they cut down a whole yard full of mature cactus plants.
Nopales, also known as prickly pears in English, are beautiful cactuses with large, flat, green lobes. They’re both a popular decorative plant and a beloved food, and they are native to California — where this tenant lives — which means they can be grown with little to no extra water.
“New landlord cut down my parent’s nopales without any notice,” said the Redditor in a post in the r/LosAngeles subreddit. “My parents have grown these for 10+ years.”
The Redditor shared photos of the destruction. In the pictures, cactuses litter the entire yard — not just chopped down but hacked to pieces and left lying on top of other plants. “Everything is still there 48+ hours after they were cut. Landlord has not cleaned up,” said the original poster in a comment.
They were pretty sure they knew the reason for the apparently senseless destruction. “They are trying to get us out of an RSO unit in the city of Los Angeles,” the Redditor said
The Rent Stabilization Ordinance is a Los Angeles law that protects tenants from unreasonable rent increases and evictions. Since it limits how much landlords can charge existing tenants, an underhanded owner might try to get their tenants to move out so they can rent the space to someone new, who they can charge more.
Tearing up a garden full of beautiful, edible native plants is a particularly low blow, however. “This could amount to landlord retaliation which is illegal in California,” said one commenter. “Document all of this — if the landlord is keen on trying to harass you out of your abode, this won’t be the last thing they do.” They also recommended calling the Statewide Tenants’ Rights Hotline.
There was one glimmer of hope in this scenario, however: nopales can be grown from cuttings.
“It’s okay!” said another commenter. “Find some large five-gallon buckets, like five? Add some dirt and plant the good sized ones. Nopales are so strong they will make it; in another one or two years they will be nice and big and you will forget this moment.”
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