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Tenant contemplates legal action after landlord throws away plants: 'I really don't know what to do about it'

"They've admitted fault, but you're going to torpedo the relationship."

"They've admitted fault, but you're going to torpedo the relationship."

Photo Credit: iStock

A recent Reddit post necessitates an important conversation about the financial and environmental benefits of sustainable living — and what renters can do when their housing rules don't align with their green dreams.

The post, shared by a Redditor in the r/LegalAdviceUK community, detailed how restrictions imposed by their landlord resulted in the loss of sentimental and valuable personal belongings. 

The user explained that they and their housemates had turned their concrete backyard into an oasis with plants and decor, including a functional fire pit.

"We have a fire pit and would keep cardboard in the shed so we could burn it on nights we sat outside together," the Redditor said. "I also had a box of my belongings in the shed, as there was no space inside."

However, after two housemates moved out, the landlord hired cleaners to remove all items from the cement garden and throw them away. Gone were the user's tomato plant, gold candlestick holder, and a box of cherished possessions.

"They left the garden completely bare and now my heartfelt items have been thrown away," the poster lamented. "I really don't know what to do about it - if there's anything I could even do?"

Restrictive agreements can prevent well-meaning renters from making positive changes that save money and lower their carbon footprint. Simple, sustainable swaps like line-drying laundry, gardening, and composting are often prohibited. As more Americans adopt planet-healthy habits, it's time to empower renters and update outdated rules.

If you're interested in talking to your homeowners association or landlord about permitting specific low-cost, eco-friendly upgrades, try to frame your requests around mutual financial benefits and ensure lease agreements protect all parties involved. If you're interested in a step-by-step how-to, check out this guide.

With some friendly persuasion, small policy changes can turn into bigger waves, enabling a new generation of renters to live both affordably and sustainably.

Reactions to the viral post encouraged the user to send a formal letter to their landlord requesting compensation for the discarded items.

"Next step's on you," one commenter said. "Letter before action and a MCOL (basically sue your LL in small claims). It's easy to do and they've admitted fault, but you're going to torpedo the relationship."

"If they've disposed of your stuff then they'll have to give you the value of it," advised another.

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