• Home Home

Landlord threatens to keep deposit and sue after tenant moves out: 'I'm looking into my own legal action'

"Tenants are required to return rental property in the same condition as when they moved in … not improve it."

"Tenants are required to return rental property in the same condition as when they moved in ... not improve it."

Photo Credit: iStock

One Redditor took to the thread r/AmItheA****** to question whether transplanting the garden they funded and planted at their old apartment to their new place was fair. The resounding response? Absolutely. 

The Redditor described that when she moved into the apartment, she noticed a garden bed outside to be shared with her neighbor in the building, but that it seemed overgrown. The Redditor got permission from her landlord and the other tenant to fix it up, and spent around $1,050 on a vegetable patch and small trees.

The vegetable patch yielded quite a bit, and the Redditor fell into a routine with her neighbor — he would repay her every so often for the veggies, and they invited each other to any events held in their newly spruced up yard.  

After a falling-out with that neighbor, however, the original poster decided to move. She transplanted the garden into her new yard — which her now former neighbor and landlord were furious about. 

"Yes, it looked a bit scrappy afterwards, but was still better than when I first arrived. I even put grass seed so the patchy bits would go completely back to normal," she said. Despite that, the landlord threatened to not return her deposit, and even to sue her. 

"I'm looking into my own legal action to get my deposit back, they've not got a leg to stand on," the original poster said.

Commenters on the post had an idea as to why the landlord was so angry. "The landlord was likely hoping to get a boost in rental value from your hard work without paying for it," said one user. 

This is a plausible assumption — it isn't the first time something similar has happened to a Redditor. Rosenberry Rooms also stated that a well-maintained garden makes your property more appealing to interested renters and buyers.

As an added bonus, realtors can advertise that a garden will save tenants money on food and curb their environmental impact. Approximately one vegetable bed can yield $160 worth of vegetables, and there won't be any pollution created when it's transported to your kitchen — unlike if it were brought to the grocery store in a truck. 

All in all, the resounding response from comments was that in these circumstances, the original poster had every right to transport her money-saving, eco-friendly veggie garden to her new place. "Tenants are required to return rental property in the same condition as when they moved in, minus reasonable wear and tear — not improve it," one pointed out. 

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider