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Roommate charges everyone in the apartment a 'clean air fee' to live with their 100+ plants. AITA

Roommate charges everyone in the apartment a 'clean air fee' to live with their 100+ plants. AITA

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"AITA for charging my roommates a “clean air fee” to make things more fair?"

Worried-Job-4199

Hello reddit. I don’t usually use this website but my roommates told me to post on here in hopes that some outside perspectives will help us settle the situation. Hence the brand new account.

The 3 of us live in a 3/3 and split costs equally 3 ways, for the most part. I have a slightly bigger bedroom so I pay a bit more than my other 2 roommates in rent. However, at the moment, I feel like I’m putting more work into maintaining the environment that we all get to enjoy and that I should be compensated fairly for that.

I have over 100 different houseplants throughout the apartment, including shared spaces like the living room, that I spend hours every week and thousands of dollars caring for, purchasing, and maintaining.

My roommates have commented on how pretty some of the plants are so I know they appreciate having them around as well. Obviously, the presence of these plants contributes to the cleanliness of the air that we breathe in our home.

With so many plants in the house, our home air quality is obviously superior to those without houseplants, and with COVID and other air quality considerations it’s basically like having an in-house HEPA air purifier (but the plants are natural so they’re even better!).

Because I’ve put so much money and so many hours of work into these plants, I feel that my roommates should contribute to that financial burden by paying what we would call a “clean air fee”.

Something reasonable like $25/month from each roommate would really help offset the costs of things like fertilizer, new pots, soil, etc. and the time I put into taking care of the plants.

I think this is an incredibly fair agreement for my roommates, as they get the benefit of living in a house with organically clean air and not doing any of the work! They think I’m being unreasonable and selfish.

I told them that I would be willing to compromise and not charge them the fee if they would hold their breath between the front door and going to their bedrooms (which isn’t even far, it’s not like we live in a HUGE apartment) so they aren’t breathing the plant-cleaned air that they aren’t paying for.

They think that’s stupid but have yet to propose another reasonable compromise, so I think it’s pretty clear who is being unreasonable in this situation! So basically that’s where we’re at.

I’m the one who everyone gives rent money to and then I write a check to the landlord so if we don’t figure this out by the next time rent is due, it’s gonna be a problem. How can I get my roommates to see/understand my side of this?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:

extinct_diplodocus

YTA. Poll your roommates. I bet they'd vote to get rid of the plants rather than pay for having them there.

In all fairness, you should be paying them for having your hobby plants take up public space.

Peony-Pony

YTA.

"Because I’ve put so much money and so many hours of work into these plants, I feel that my roommates should contribute to that financial burden by paying what we would call a 'clean air fee.'"

"Something reasonable like $25/month from each roommate would really help offset the costs of things like fertilizer, new pots, soil, etc. and the time I put into taking care of the plants."

Your roommates have no obligation to subsidize your hobby.

ironchef8000

Let me see if I have this straight: you and your hobby take up an inordinate share of space in this apartment, and you want them to pay you for … what exactly? Photosynthesis? YTA.

Catsbirdshorses

YTA. I love all the plants, but you don’t get to suddenly start charging your roommates extra for something they did not originally sign up for. Just enjoy your plants and your nice clean air without expecting other people to subsidize you.

SheLikesToWatch_1989

YTA. I'm sorry to say this, but you're being ridiculous and unreasonable. "Hold you breathe because you don't pay for the clean air my plants generate in this apartment?" is draconian and unhinged.

They are your plants, therefore your responsibility. They should pay for clean air that your plants generate? I can't tell you how silly that sounds. Have you quantified how many cents per meter cubed of clean air each plant generates per minute?

I think you're a little sour that you have to pay more for a bigger room and retaliating unfairly with this cockamamy 'clean air' scheme. Not sure why you'd be upset about paying more for a bigger room, because it makes sense.

If the cost of having a bigger room is too high, talk to your landlord, downsize and move out or-offer to switch with one of your roommates. But charging them for plants you were otherwise keeping as a 'hobby' to balance costs out is a bad idea!

If the plants are getting to expensive to maintain, just sell them. Propose to buy an air purifier for your shared common space , split the cost, and be done with it. But I suspect clean air isn't the issue here. It's just a clever workaround to balancing out the cost of your much bigger room and getting your roommates to pay for it.

Don't foist the cost of taking care of your plants on your roommates because you fundamentally believe you should be paying less for the biggest room, or paying less than 3/3 split evenly because of the bigger room.

But more importantly, start thinking about looking for somewhere else to live now. Because 2 roommates against 1 for the rest of your lease is going to be unpleasant for you. I shudder to think how your roommates will retaliate if you were asking them to "hold their breathes" for non payment.

🚩 OP: "I’m the one who everyone gives rent money to and then I write a check to the landlord so if we don’t figure this out by the next time rent is due, it’s gonna be a problem?"🚩

I hope they contact the landlord over what seems like a looming threat to hold on to their rent payments as punishment for them not paying you for the 'clean air' charge. That's illegal, selfish, and the epitome of unreasonable. You could get into real trouble over this.

Baileythenerd

YTA For either making me read the worst fiction I've ever seen on here or being legitimately delusional enough to try to get others to help pay for your hobby because of the perceived/imagined shared benefit.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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