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Tenants’ Gardening Attire Raises Ire of Neighbors

A Boulder, Colorado landlord is facing a legal struggle over scantily-clad tenants.

edenThe tenants, a husband and wife, love to garden in the nude — or, as close to nude as legally possible. City codes on nudity vary widely, but Boulder ordinances are liberal on scanty clothing.

While total nudity is a no-no, showing skin is not a crime so long as the most private parts are not exposed. The couple have donned thongs to comply with the law.

But that’s little consolation to the couple’s neighbors who are angry with the landlord over the view from their balconies. They have reminded police that there’s a park down the street where children play.

Typically, causing a ‘nuisance’ is defined in the lease agreement. Here’s a sample provision:

This Tenant shall not permit or suffer any act or omission constituting a nuisance to other residents, management, or any authority, including without limitation, excessive noise, excessive traffic into and out of the premise, violence or threats of violence, use of controlled substances, and smoking. A violation of this Lease provision shall be considered a material breach of the lease and grounds for termination of the Lease by the Landlord.

But actually enforcing a nuisance clause is no easy task. The tenants in this case refuse to move out voluntarily. They also refuse to cover up. So, the landlord will have not choice but to file an eviction action.

The tenant have vowed to fight the eviction. They are also claiming to be victims of discrimination, apparently on religious grounds, although the basis is unclear at this time. If they fight the eviction, it will then be up to a local judge to decide whether these actions are severe enough to constitute a ‘nuisance’, or whether the neighbors will just have to learn to live with the couple’s eccentricity.

On the one hand, the tenants could win because their actions are legal. On the other hand, there are a number of police complaints from neighbors to show a disturbance of the peace. One thing is clear, though: if the tenants do prevail, they may be entitled to reimbursement of their attorneys fees from the landlord. Is it worth the risk?

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

See our feature, How to Create a Solid Lease Agreement.

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