One of the signs of a good landlord is that they’ll appreciate all of the little ways in which you’ve improved their property (with their permission, of course), whether it’s repainting the walls or turning the barren garden into a lush jungle. Meanwhile, a horrid landlord is someone who’s going to micromanage your every tiny move, making you constantly feel on edge and unwanted.

Redditor u/AccurateInstance96 recently shared a story of how he and his boyfriend had spent years improving their rental house and the yard. However, the situation took a turn for the worse when a new landlord purchased the house. The OP revealed how he got back at the unreasonable and controlling man by literally following his requests to the letter. Read on for the full story. Bored Panda has reached out to u/AccurateInstance96 and we’ll update the article as soon as we hear back from him.

Tenants who take care of and improve the property are a landlord’s dream. However, not everyone feels that way

Image credits: Tania Melnyczuk (not the actual photo)

A guy shared how his new landlord tried to sue him and his boyfriend for following his orders to the letter


The new landlord was incredibly controlling, the complete opposite of the old one


Image credits: Andrea Piacquadio (not the actual photo)


Image source: EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA (not the actual photo)

Image source: AccurateInstance96

The tenant proved how vital it is to keep a digital paper trail in case things go south

Image credits: Glenn Carstens-Peters (not the actual photo)

The OP explained how he and his boyfriend had spent the past half a decade improving their home after getting their landlord’s permission and going through all the right channels. That included turning the yard into something genuinely impressive, with flower beds, a pond, and a fountain. Tenants who genuinely care about the property and do their best to raise their value are any landlord’s dream. Or… so it would seem.


When the house was purchased by someone else, the entire dynamic changed. Soon enough, u/AccurateInstance96 and his boyfriend were walking on pins and needles around the new landlord. He was intrusive. He was aggressive. And it seemed like he was unwilling to listen to reason.

Things came to a head when he saw some tables and chairs in the yard. He flipped and demanded that all modifications to the yard be removed. So the OP double-checked if he really meant everything. He then maliciously complied with the request, all the while keeping a digital paper trail. No modifications meant that the tenants removed each and every upgrade they had made to the yard. Now, they had planned on leaving everything behind when they moved, but they decided to teach the landlord a lesson.

Seeing the yard reverted to its former ‘glory,’ the landlord tried to sue them. That, however, backfired massively. The OP has all the proof that was needed to show that he and his boyfriend were in the right and simply followed orders. He also had evidence of what the yard had looked like before their modifications. So the judge ruled in their favor and they got their security deposit back.

It’s essential that you know your rights as a tenant

Landlords, like any other people, range from cartoonishly greedy and corrupt to genuinely kind, empathetic individuals. If you want to have a nice and quiet time renting a place, it becomes important that you learn to recognize potentially problematic landlords as soon as possible, and know how to deal with them no matter their temperament.


Broadly speaking, it’s essential that you familiarize yourself with at least the basics of your local rights as a tenant. This will probably vary a lot from country to country and state to state. If things start going wrong or you feel that your landlord is taking advantage of you, you need to know in what ways the law protects you. If in doubt, you can always reach out to a lawyer for a consultation. Some legal professionals offer free advice.

Meanwhile, one of the best ways to find out if your landlord is going to be a representative sent by hell or someone who might even become a potential friend is to talk to current and former tenants. They’ll provide you with actual details on how responsive they are, how they maintain the property, and what some potential pitfalls might be. Remember that any landlord can put on a friendly facade when they’re first meeting you. Get to know someone who knows what lurks behind the smile and laughter.

Rent is a very sensitive issue. On the one hand, landlords do have mortgages and upkeep costs to keep in mind: they’re not running a charity. On the other hand, many renters feel like some landlords are being far too greedy in how quickly they raise the rent. To put it simply, if you feel that the rent is too big, talk to your landlord about it. Negotiate with them, prove that you’re a responsible tenant (less wear and tear), and that you’re in it for the long run (no tenant turnover).


Self-sufficient tenants who care for the property and suggest ways to improve its value (e.g. painting the walls, doing some light maintenance) are more likely to get a better deal. It’s a win-win for both sides. It also helps to have cheaper rental options available. Consider the alternatives and show your landlord what the market’s like if they’re being unreasonable with the rent.

Meanwhile, tenants who don’t pay their rent on time, disturb the neighbors, and damage the property aren’t going to win any favors, no matter how friendly the landlord might be.

Caring after your garden goes beyond just increasing the property’s value

Image credits: Agus Karta (not the actual photo)

There are actually benefits to improving your yard or garden that go beyond increasing the value of the property. You can end up helping the local wildlife, too.

For instance, even if you don’t have enough space for a pond, you could put a bowl of water out for the animals to drink. You could also set up small compost heaps or log piles to act as homes for reptiles and frogs.

Not only that, you can create a green space for yourself where you can unwind and relax. Gardening is also a fun hobby that keeps you active, no matter if you enjoy maintaining pristine flower beds, letting the grass grow wild, or love having a small veggie garden. It’s a good way to take care of your physical and mental health.

The author shared some more background info in the comments of his post

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