In Massachusetts, can a landlord require me to keep my windows closed?
My landlord has left phone messages stating that I must keep my windows closed during the winter months. They insist that the thermostat be kept at a high temp in order to avoid pipes freezing, hence it is very uncomfortable. They pay for the heat, and it is a multi unit buliding. I am feeling harrassed, and am aware that one’s apartment is one’s domicile. I also feel that I am being watched, which I clearly am, and this is very unsettling for me. Please advise. Thank you.
You are entitled to what is known as the “quiet enjoyment” of your apartment. This means that if you want to keep the windows open to keep the temperature down, you may do so. (Hopefully you have saved the landlord’s messages). There is nothing barring the landlord from observing that your windows are open. However, the landlord may not insist that you close them as long as your keeping them open does not affect the pipes. This seems like something that should be able to be worked out with your landlord. However, the situation may call for the intervention of an attorney on your behalf. Feel free to contact me if you wish to speak further concerning this matter.