Landlord doesn't allow open windows - is this legal? ?

I'm facing an eviction. 

The landlord doesn't allow us to open windows in winter, because of the risk of frozen/burst pipes. HOWEVER, I have two cats, which have been approved by management to keep in my apartment. I clean out their litter daily, and I have my home professionally cleaned 3x/week. The eviction is for cleanliness issues - the house is clean, but there's a persistent "cat smell" due to poor ventilation and my inability to open the windows. The professional cleaning ladies doing think the smell is bad, but the landlord has a problem with it. 

There's nothing I can do within the limitations imposed by the landlord, and I'm afraid I'm going to lose my home because of it. 

Do I have any legal ground to stand on? 

Update:

The cleaning ladies *don't* think the smell is bad. Pardon my spelling. 

Also forgot to mention, this is in Minnesota. 

28 Answers

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  • 2 months ago

    sounds like you have other issues than 2 cats. my 3 cats are hardly even noticeable

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  • Bort
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    If there is a term in the lease that demands windows must be closed during the winter season then you have to follow those instructions because you agreed to it otherwise, yes, he can evict you for that reason. If there is not a term in the lease requiring them to be closed he cannot force you to keep them closed. 

    Unfortunately although you seem to be doing your best to keep the place clean cleanliness includes oders. Cat oder is a horrible, unsanitary (therefore not clean), difficult to get rid of nuisance smell that nobody enjoys. The cat smell is technically damage you've done to the property. They can legally evict you for 'cleanliness' because of it. In this case if the cleaning personnel isn't also caring for and completely removing the cat presence receipts for the cleaning service aren't going to be of any help if you attempt to appeal the eviction - the smell is the problem. Of course you don't want to get evicted and have an eviction on your record. The only option you have is trying to work this out to avoid eviction. Do everything you can to get rid of the cat smell including get with your cleaning people and ask them to do everything they can to get rid of it. The other unfortunate part is that unless you're willing to get rid of the cats because with them being there that smell is likely to return your best option to work this out and avoid eviction is to do the above, have the smell removed (if it can be), and agree to move out. That might be best for the entire situation: you avoid eviction, the landlord gets his clean, no-cat-smell, property back to rent out to another person. For your future residencies research ways to prevent your furry kids from making their presence known by the nose. It will make life easier and more pleasent for everyone. Here are some ways you can prevent the smell after it's gotten rid of:- Use a covered litter box. You don't have to but if you can afford a cheap door put it in a closet with a pet door. - Scoop at least twice a day. One cat might do their business 3 or 4 times per day and their routine usually revolves around their human parents' routine so after he/she/they go in the morning set yourself some extra time to dispose of what they relieved before you leave for work or go about your day. Make cleaning the box part of your morning routine. The more you scoop, the cleaner it will be, the less it will cause undesireable smell. - Baking Soda. It works. Baking Soda is one of the best things to use for any oder. It absorbs oder very well. Keep a box of it with the litter and make it routine to sprinkle a bit in the box before and after scooping, and randomly as you go by or have time to. - Wash it. Wash the box out completely with dish soap at least once a week if not more often. Again; the cleaner the box is the less it will smell. Don't forget about the scooper! Clean the scooper too. Rinse it off after every use and thoroughly wash it with the bin at least once a week. The landlords problem is the cat oder therefore that is your problem. You need to provide a solution for the problem. And then it may be best for both you, your cats, and this current landlord for you to find a new place. You can't make everyone happy but you can try. 

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  • 2 months ago

    Tell the judge you are dying of lack of oxygen in there

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  • 2 months ago

    In most states if there is a breach of the lease, other than non payment if rent, the tenant is given a reasonable time to cure the breach.  If they don't then eviction can be filed.  Also is cleanliness spelled out in your lease?

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  • 2 months ago

    If there is a persistent cat smell, despite regular cleaning..  Its because your cats are pissing outside of the box.

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  • 2 months ago

    The landlord can require windows to stay closed to save on utilities and if your two cats are making that much of a smell then I guarantee they are peeing on the carpet/ floor which is going to cost the landlord plenty when you are gone (kiss that deposit good-bye). Having the cleaning lady say "it isn't that bad" won't help your case out very much.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Unless your state or city has passed a law making this illegal, it's legal.

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  • 2 months ago

    Not good cause, simply because there are other methods to overcome the urine smell without opening windows.  If the open windows were the only method, then you would have good cause.  

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Does the landlord pay for your heat ? 

    It gets brutally cold in Minnesota in the winter.

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  • 2 months ago

    Since the issue is ventilation, open the windows a crack for a few minutes every day. Then close them. That should save the odor problem without risking freezing the pipes.

    • R P
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      That is a lease violation.

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