The woman living below me is a chain smoker. She smokes one right after the other and the smell comes up through the walls and light sockets. It gets into my kitchen area and bathroom. I have to keep fans running all the time. The smell is awful. I have asthma. Is it possible to remove this bad smell?
By Rachel from WI
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By Abigail A. 06/23/2015
That depends. Smoking is not allowed in the apartments where I live, but people think they can get away with it anyway. If you complain to the owner he will give them a warning but if they continue they are out.
If smoking is not allowed your landlord needs to know about this.
You might ask your landlord to consider running a non-smoking building if he doesn't already. His fire insurance will certainly go down.
By Scarlet R.06/22/2015
It's not the smoker's fault that her smoke is getting into your apartment. It's the landlord's fault. They cut corners when building, and didn't ensure that things were sealed properly. Since it sounds as if smoking is permitted, there's really very little you can do about it. You can ask management to put in some seals, but that doesn't mean they'll move on it.
What you should ask management for is a reasonable accommodation form, or make up one on your own (there are examples online), even if s/he says they'll take care of the problem, as most times they drag their feet or *forget* if they have to do extra work. Fill it in with all the information you've put here, and specifiy what needs to be done about it, including the possibility that management may need to relocate you, and get your doctor to sign off on it. Make a copy and give the original to the manager. It's a violation of ADA for them not to do anything about it then. While asthma is not considered a disability unless it's so severe that it prevents you from working, it is classified as a handicapping condition.
Relocating the smoker won't do that much good, as smoke is a stubborn scent that can linger for months or yrs if not properly treated. But relocating you may not help, either, as management can go ahead and rent an apartment near you to a smoker if a non-smoker moves out. The best thing to do is to make them accommodate your medical condition by not only sealing your apartment, but the smoker's as well. The next best thing is to move to a complex where smoking isn't allowed at all, and hope there isn't a smoker next door who sits out on the patio smoking all the time.
By JULS 01/29/2011
There is something called odor eliminator gel you can buy at Home Depot or Walmart in the auto/car departments. It does a great job of getting rid of foul odor. Also, their is something at Home Depot, cigarette smoke eliminator aerosol spray. It works very well. My sympathy. Until I quite smoking 4 years ago, I had no idea how offensive smoking can be to non smokers. It's like bad b.o.!
By Mary Lou 01/27/2011
You can also get seals for light fixtures, plugs and switches that insulate against air leakage around those areas. I would also check to see if your doors and windows have a tight seal. Have you tried getting an portable air purifier cleaner the kind that you can wash the filter? I would ask your doctor about a prescription for one. Since you have asthma, you may be able to get some help getting and paying for one.
By jenny 01/27/2011
I would try those smokers candles, they eliminate smoke smells. Good luck. Jenny
By Sandi/Poor But Proud 01/27/2011
You can find out from the internet what the rules are for your state, regarding moving to another unit. Or, it's possible that she can move. She is the person who is causing the problem. Some states, like Oregon, allow a resident to move without breaking a lease. You shouldn't have to, but sometimes if it's a matter of health, you have the upper hand. If your landlord or the owner won't help, then I would move when I could to a place where the residents are people, not just a check.
By Mary 01/26/2011
1) Get your land lord (or you) to seal your outlets and light sockets with caulking.
2) buy her an electronic cigarette as a present ($20 on ebay)
3) eucalyptus oil in a burner or in a candle will help you breathe - the candle deals with the smoke and the oil helps you
4) there are some air deodorizers out there that are made for smoke and animal odors
5) bowls of vinegar will help with the smell
By Lilac 01/26/2011
Smoking is a nasty habit and the people who do it seem to have no consideration for non smokers. I too have asthma and am bothered by smoke. There is probably nothing you can do except find a place where smoking is not allowed. YOu have my sympathy.
Scroll down to the ThriftyFun archives below on this page for more ideas.
By Joan 01/25/2011
A lot of the people in the apartment building go out on their patios to smoke, and these are people that live alone. However, when I have my patio door open and somebody in this building is outside smoking I can still smell it.
You can try to talk to your neighbor, she might not know that the smoke is bothering you. If that doesn't work, you can talk to the owner of the apartment and they can work something out with the lady. Maybe she is trying to quit, if so, ask if you can help. it will solve both of your problems.
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I live in a apartment and the people across from me stand outside on the balcony and smoke. Sometimes 3-5 people at one time. The smell comes in around my door. How can I keep the smell out of my apartment and from around the outside of my door?
I threw away a carpeted rug that was outside my door, because of the smell and cigarette butts I found on it. They threw the butts down on the balcony, stairs and downstairs onto the sidewalk and grass.
Is there anything I can get to place outside my door that will absorb the cigarette smoke? The door seems to have good weather stripping, but my door smells of cigarette smoke. I haven't turned in a complaint to management yet.
By Zelda from Tulsa, OK
Littering is a city ordinance fine, plus if they are anything like my inconsiderate residents, they don't put them out first. I have had dogs and kids burned because they don't care about anyone, but themselves.
Illuminating the problem is the first key. Before you say anything to them, I would go out and spray Lysol when they are doing it, so you send the message loud and clear. Remind them that you do nothing to upset their "quiet and peaceful enjoyment" of their home (most of the time that is written into the contract in just those words), and you would appreciate them doing the same for you.
If nothing else works, and your manager fails to stop the behavior, contact the local landlord and tenant office in your city/state. If the manager fails to make everyone obey the rules equally, you can sometimes withhold your rent, file a complaint with the owners, which is public record, and/or get some kind of compensation for health reasons.
Good luck. (10/29/2009)
Now if they smoke outside they use an ashtray and are more careful about where they blow the smoke and how many at one time. That has made so much of a difference. I don't know what the laws are in Oklahoma, but that's a tenant law here in Washington state and I am happy for it.
I hope you find as easy of a way as I have to resolve your neighbors bad and selfish behavior so that you don't have to worry about the smoke and butts anymore. (10/29/2009)
Still, I think you should report them to the manager and let him take care of it. I don't see why you should have to tell them their business. If it's a no-smoking complex they are in violation. Maybe they smoke outside so as to not stink up their own place as they know it really smells bad. (11/02/2009)
My downstairs neighbor is a smoker and the odor seeps through my floor boards. My clothes and my apartment reek of stale smoke. I need something that can absorb this odor.
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