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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.
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 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.
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 specify 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 years 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.
The owners downstairs from me smoke. It seems like it is only on the weekends when I can smell the smoke in my house because that's when all of his friends are over and they all smoke like crazy. The smell is so strong, but only on the weekends. Will this smell stay in my house if its only on the weekends?
By Tracy Soto from Berwyn, IL
It will stay in any surface from any time it is next door to you. If you have a good relationship with the neighbors, you can request that they smoke outside. They will thank you once it's time for them to leave, as their place will be much easier to clean.
If you can not get them to do that, you may want to speak to the manager. They can sometimes help, but if the apt. is not "non-smoking", they can't force the issue. Having houseplants helps to create clean oxygen for your home.
I sure hope you succeed in getting some help. That stuff is insidious. If you dampen a paper towel, and wipe down the glass front of a frame, and it's yellow or brown, then the actual nicotine has permeated your home.
It's one thing for them to smoke in their home, but make sure you can protect yourself in yours. You have that right and if you can't get anyone to help, it's worth a move to a non-smoking complex with a manager who does their job.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
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)