General Question

keobooks's avatar

Anything we can do about our neighbor's cigarette smoke? It's starting to reek here.

Asked by keobooks (14293points) August 31st, 2010

I don’t know what has changed, but our upstairs apartment neighbors’ smoke has started to increase. First the common hallway started reeking and now our living room smells terrible.

I don’t know if there is anything in the lease that can make it stop or if we have any recourse.

If there isn’t, is there anything we can do to make our apartment smell less like an ashtray that is baby safe? I don’t want to spray smelly junk all over the house or use lots of potpourri if it’s not really safe to use around a newborn.

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21 Answers

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tinyfaery's avatar

The first step would be to talk to the landlord/owner. I’m sure they do not want their property being polluted and stained with cigarette smoke.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Have you talked to the neighbor about it? If you can work it out between the two of you instead of calling in the landlord, you will end up with a better relationship with the neighbor.

If you can’t work something out with the neighbor, then you can call the landlord.

skfinkel's avatar

What an awful situation. I agree with WestRiverrat, though, and would try with the neighbor first. But I am guessing he won’t care too much (of course, i could be wrong). Then the landlord. You have an obligation to keep that little air for the baby as clean as possible, and you could tell all these folks that you have no choice but to stop all cigarette smoke in the house for the health of your child. I saw someone once completely close down a door with tape so smoke could not come through.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

Tell the apartment owner if he/she doesn’t put an end to it your packing up and moving out.

kevbo's avatar

I agree with talking to the neighbor first, but barring that you can rent an ozone machine to get rid of much of the odor that is embedded in your stuff (walls, carpet, etc) and then maybe invest in some kind of air purifier that actually works. If you escalate to the landlord and they don’t do anything, call your local landlord tenant hotline to see what your rights are.

keobooks's avatar

Aside from the “packing up and moving out” I think I’ll try most of these. The LAST thing I want to do is move out and find another place to live when I’m just about to deliver in a few weeks.

I’ll try talking to them. I’m wondering if someone is smoking in the hallway rather than on their porch.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
MyNewtBoobs's avatar

A bowl of freshly sliced apples put out in the open for an hour will help absorb the stench. Hardly a long-term solution, but in the mean time…

lillycoyote's avatar

Here’s something that might at least point you in the direction of what you might be able to do to remedy this. Check out the links on this page for further information. What you can do will probably depend on what the laws are in your state or municipality and how far you are willing to take it. And for the record, I’m smoker, but… well, I own my home and I smoke outside, not in the house. I feel like I should be able to do what I want in my own yard but that’s different than sharing a building with other people. Good luck. Hope this info helps.

keobooks's avatar

I was just wondering, Is there any chance at all that the amount of smoke has not increased at all, and I’m just more sensitive to it because I’m pregnant? I find it odd about the timing. I know that my hormones are doing crazy things—is there a chance that the smell isn’t as bad as I can smell it?

augustlan's avatar

@keobooks That is definitely a possibility. I live in a duplex, and am a smoker. When my tenant was pregnant, she could smell the smoke from my house, but she couldn’t before or after the pregnancy.

lillycoyote's avatar

@keobooks I would agree with you and @augustlan that your being pregnant could very well be making you more sensitive to the cigarette smoke.

keobooks's avatar

Thanks for that, @augustlan . I think I may just do some things to freshen the air around here before talking to them. It could just be my hormones and I’d hate to pitch a fit. But if I can still smell it after I deliver, I’ll speak up.

I didn’t stanr noticing the smell until a week or so ago, and I’m 9 months pregnant, but there have been other smells that have definitely intensified at various points in my pregnancy. Things I never even knew had much of a scent totally stink now.

lillycoyote's avatar

@keobooks Well, if your at 9 months, hopefully the sensitivity to smells is caused by your pregnancy, well, you should be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel soon.

Your_Majesty's avatar

In your situation I’ll call my neighbor and inform them about this disturbing issue. I’ll threaten them that I’ll tell the authorities if they don’t want to compromise,I’ll even tell them that this is their responsible if something happen with my asthma (even though I don’t have asthma). If smoking is forbidden in your environment then you could do those things,if it isn’t,I don’t know what to say,as I can’t live in a place with such condition.

You can burn some aromatherapy incense,or aromatherapy candles (Use the lavender one since it’s safer than others and will make you relax). Close your door and window that allow this smoke to come inside your house will also help you. If you’re constantly abused with this smoking smell and you can’t tell/the authority don’t want to fix the problem then you probably should consider to buy an air-purifier,especially if someone/your pets are sensitive with this smoking ‘smell’.

judochop's avatar

try having someone collect cigarette butts outside and drop them in front of their door with a little note.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Have you recently started running a window fan that is drawing in the smoke from the neighbor’s nearby window?

jazmina88's avatar

Hold on, mama…...things will get better shortly. These folks have good solutions and I have good wishes. So hang in there.


skfinkel's avatar

I think it is okay to talk about this with your neighbor—maybe your hormones are telling you something you should listen to!

JubalHarshaw's avatar

This may indicate a problem with ventilation in the building. The landlord should get an HVAC specialist to check this out. A flow restriction might be causing the exhaust air from your neighbors unit to feed back into your supply air.

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