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Tenant refuses to comply with landlord's landscaping demands: 'I am wondering why should I pay'

"You are responsible for anything in your lease."

"You are responsible for anything in your lease."

Photo Credit: iStock

Restrictive HOA rules can limit a renter's ability to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Case in point: A Reddit post detailed one Oregon renter's struggle to reduce unnecessary lawn watering against their landlord's demands.

The original poster explained that their landlord forces them to keep the sprinklers running daily to maintain "75% green" lawn coverage despite the OP paying for water and the landlord recently raising rent.

The OP argued it should be the landlord's responsibility to keep the lawn green since they employ a landscaping company anyway. Moreover, the OP saw no reason to waste water and money on lawn aesthetics.

"I am wondering why should I pay to water the lawn," the Redditor vented. "I have received calls from leasing company that I am violating HOA regulations. Does this sound absurd? Landlord doesn't pay for water and he recently increased my rent."

As commenters explained, standard leases often require renters to follow all HOA guidelines, no matter how absurd. Failure to do so means fines levied against the landlord, which may allow lease termination.

This Redditor isn't the only renter chafing against restrictive HOA rules. Landlords nationwide can and do block renters from making smart, sustainable changes like reducing lawn watering.

As droughts worsen nationwide, such limits seem even more unreasonable. Some landlords go as far as preventing simple, renewable upgrades, too, like clothesline drying.

By spotlighting restrictive HOA and landlord rules, the OP's struggle sparks an important discussion around renters' rights and environmental progress. For lasting change, lease terms need rethinking — so do outdoor water rules in drought regions.

If you're a renter or homeowner in an HOA-run neighborhood and you're being blocked from making eco-friendly upgrades, consult this step-by-step guide on how to propose amendments that benefit all parties involved.

As for the Redditor's specific situation, commenters urge the OP to carefully review their lease terms regarding HOA compliance.

"The homeowner/landlord is responsible for anything in the HOA rules and you are responsible for anything in your lease," one commenter said. "However, your lease likely requires you to follow all HOA rules. If the lease does not require you to maintain the lawn, then you have a valid argument."

Another commenter has similar sentiments: "Read your lease. If you are not following the HOA guidelines, then fines are being levied against the owner. Your lease should also stipulate what the grounds are [for] lease termination."

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