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
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.
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.
Scroll down to the ThriftyFun archives below on this page for more ideas.
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.
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
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.
I would try those smokers candles, they eliminate smoke smells. Good luck. Jenny
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.
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.!
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.
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.
Add your voice! Click below to comment on this post or add your answer to this question. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom.
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.
By rch from Philadelphia, PA
Stick some boxes of baking soda around, but for your windows, another trick that works is to take a fabric softener sheet and put it over your screen on your windows kind of in an incognito location and it should filter all the air that comes into your house as well, dispersing a nice bearable scent. (02/26/2010)
Personally, I would politely ask them if they wouldn't mind smoking outside instead and the reason why. If they are decent people they will take your health and feelings into consideration. If they don't, then talk to your landlord about it.
In the meantime, another thing that helps is to place small bowls of vinegar around your apartment in inconspicuous places. (02/27/2010)
Listerine and water in a pump spray bottle sprayed onto the carpets should get rid of the odour. Spray your curtains or blinds, too, as they will absorb a lot of the smoke also. Bad luck for having smokers as neighbours, since I stopped smoking several years ago I know now just how much it stinks! (02/28/2010)
White vinegar is cheap. Make sure not to use cider vinegar or cider-flavored vinegar, though, they won't work nearly as well and are more expensive. Just keep replacing the white vinegar in your sauce dishes until all your odors are gone. If new odors appear later, just repeat this treatment. (I buy white vinegar by the gallon at the cheapest price I can. White vinegar is white vinegar.)
If your neighbors continue to smoke, you might want to talk to your apartment managers about your "allergy to cigarette smoke" and see what can be done.
It works every time, in the car, by litter boxes and in the garage, too. (03/01/2010)
You probably have some sort of air leak into your apartment. Look around the plumbing, heat vents, electrical outlets, and anything else that goes through the floor or walls. Find and plug.
This is also a good time to give the kitchen a good cleaning behind the stove, under the sink, etc. (07/24/2010)
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
I would go to the people and try talking to them and if that doesn't work then go to management. The world is not their ashtray. Not only are they polluting the air that you breathe, they are throwing their cigarette butts all over the place. You have rights to a clean environment. (10/29/2009)
That is the first step.
As a former property manager, I can tell you that they probably smoke outside because they live in a non-smoking apartment complex.
If you ask them not to do it, and they refuse, you can file a complaint.
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)
I have neighbors that did the same thing and the butts all over the place is what bothered me the most because of fire hazard. I told my landlord and he gave them a "10 notice". This notice means if they do it again within ten days they will be evicted. They did it again after the ten days was up and I let the landlord know again and he gave them a second "10 notice". The reason that finally worked is because each "10" is an automatic $25.00 fine and I guess they decided $50.00 was enough to learn a lesson.
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)
As a smoker, I know you must be considerate of others. I keep buckets with kitty litter in it for ashes and butts and make sure they are used, and I burn odor absorbing candles when I or others with me do smoke. It is a really bad smell and it sticks to everything. I've never had that many smoking at one time. If you have that many, you need to go out in the woods. You can sometimes control where the smoke goes unless it's windy. But just tossing butts all over the place is just being lazy and careless much less disgusting. You need to report those violations to your management. (10/29/2009)
How disrespectful these people are being. They probably will not change their ways at all unless they are made to. It's too bad some people think only of themselves. I feel bad for you that you are put in this position. I always hesitate to complain about a neighbor, because you just don't know who you are dealing with and will they try to get even with you.
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)