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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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  • jon

    HAHAHAHA, the neighbors should NOT be angry. I could charge extra for the view, its like free jollies!

  • ray

    It will be interesting to see what the out come will be.

  • Mary Ann

    I think that if the couple is in compliance with local ordinances, there are no legitmate grounds that I can see for the eviction. How can you be “disturbing the peace” if you are in compliance with the law – and on your own (rented) property to boot? My guess is that for the landlord to win this case, the nudity laws would need to be amened. As for the uptight neighbors, they need to stop peeping and squeaking. Look away. Live and let live. They are gardening for God’s sake, not having wild orgies.

    As Ray says, it will be interesting to see how this turns out.

  • I was looking for the outcome of the case with the manager who threw away the tenant’s Easter display after the tenant refused to take it down 1.5 weeks after Easter and then would not pay rent and is now facing eviction. Has that been settled?

  • Joanna

    Why don’t they just leave them alone until the lease ends and then up their rent so high they move.

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