Taking Legal Action Against Landlord/Neighbour Regarding Second Hand Smoke

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    Taking Legal Action Against Landlord/Neighbour Regarding Second Hand Smoke

    Hi,

    I'm wondering whether I'm able to pursue legal action against my landlord or a neighbour when it comes to dealing with second hand smoke drifting into my apartment via my neighbour who lives directly below me.

    In my (and his) contract, it directly forbids smoking on, in, and near the property. The neighbour is smoking directly in the flat and it's permeating through the floor and going into my room. Whenever he does this, my room smells absolutely terrible and it forces me to leave my flat. I've tried closing my window and plugging the doors but that does absolutely nothing. I have an exposed wooden flooring floor that cannot be plugged whatsoever.

    I have email my landlord regarding this numerous times over the past 1.5 months. I have gone so far as emailing the CEO of the property group because nothing has been done. I'm told the tenant has been told to stop but he still continues to smoke.

    I have video evidence this tenant is smoking inside of his flat. I have directly slid mail under his door asking him to stop. I have repeatedly told him to stop. I have talked to the girl he lives with and she acknowledged that he smokes and would ask him to stop.

    My flat is in London, if it matters. Again, my building is smoke free. The contracts for the rental units directly state that smoking in flat is forbidden. The tenant has persistently chosen to ignore me and the landlord.

    I'm absolutely fed up. I've repeatedly gotten sick and have had to go to bed at terrible hours because I can't stand to be in my apartment when the tenant smokes.

    I want to pursue legal action and am wondering whether such a thing is possible.

    Thanks

    #2
    Originally posted by Extensity View Post
    Hi,.

    I have video evidence this tenant is smoking inside of his flat.
    Thanks
    Maybe the tenant can sue You for filming them inside his home !

    Personally I would report it to the police if someone was outside my home filming me inside.
    Thunderbirds are go

    Comment


      #3
      Have you asked the landlord what he is prepared to do about this? Is he prepared to attempt to evict the tenant? If he is not able to use s21 then in reality there may be little he can do there as I doubt a judge would make this couple homeless for smoking in the flat . He could give you a new floor covering with a decent underlay and that might help. If he wont do that then ask if he will release you from your tenancy. If the answer to all is no then you may have a case to sue him for subjecting you to a hazardous substance, but I have no experience info this so you would need to speak to a lawyer. I dont know whether your local Environmental Health Officer might be interested at that point?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Extensity View Post
        I'm wondering whether I'm able to pursue legal action against my landlord or a neighbour when it comes to dealing with second hand smoke drifting into my apartment via my neighbour who lives directly below me.
        You could try but the case is tricky (and you'd be well advised to take professional advice before starting the process).

        You would be claiming that you have been put at a disadvantage by the landlord not enforcing a clause which is one of the reasons that you chose to live in the property.
        The other tenant isn't doing anything illegal and isn't in breach of any agreement with you.

        And, I suspect, that you are more sensitive to cigarette smoke than others, and there's going to be a reasonableness test.

        You might find that, on a practical level, that moving might be simpler (only a minority of people smoke so you might be luckier elsewhere) or that a firmly worded solicitor's letter to the landlord might incentivise them to act.

        Although that act might be to serve notice on you.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
          You would be claiming that you have been put at a disadvantage by the landlord not enforcing a clause which is one of the reasons that you chose to live in the property.
          The other tenant isn't doing anything illegal and isn't in breach of any agreement with you.
          Unless the lease have a clause requiring the landlord to enforce the terms, OP is unlikely to get far.
          I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

          I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

          Comment


            #6
            The reference to "CEO of the property group" suggests that this is either housing association property,or retirement property.

            On the other hand, "permeating through the floor" suggests this is a conversion, which are more common amongst small landlords.

            I think clarifying those points might help.

            On the permeating issue, I think I would be more concerned about fire safety, as it sounds like floor wouldn't block the smoke form furniture fire.

            If this were a long lease, I'd be asking whether the lease gives you the benefit of the covenants in the other leases, but I think that is so rare in short leases, that I'd assume that the management are under no obligation to enforce the rule against other tenants (unless the fire safety situation is so bad that a fire started by a cigarette was likely to spread to other flats.

            I also cannot see the council treating this as an issue, unless the fire safety situation is dire.

            If there is a residents' association, I suspect getting them to agree there is a problem, and approach the management might be the only reasonable course of action.

            I would, however, try to get a copy of tire risk assessment for the building, although there is no obligation to supply it.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by 45002 View Post

              Maybe the tenant can sue You for filming them inside his home !

              Personally I would report it to the police if someone was outside my home filming me inside.
              I never filmed him inside his home. I filmed outside my window directly down which gave a clear picture of him blowing cig smoke through his window out into the open. Obviously I wouldn't go into his home and film him.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                The reference to "CEO of the property group" suggests that this is either housing association property,or retirement property.

                On the other hand, "permeating through the floor" suggests this is a conversion, which are more common amongst small landlords.

                I think clarifying those points might help.

                On the permeating issue, I think I would be more concerned about fire safety, as it sounds like floor wouldn't block the smoke form furniture fire.

                If this were a long lease, I'd be asking whether the lease gives you the benefit of the covenants in the other leases, but I think that is so rare in short leases, that I'd assume that the management are under no obligation to enforce the rule against other tenants (unless the fire safety situation is so bad that a fire started by a cigarette was likely to spread to other flats.

                I also cannot see the council treating this as an issue, unless the fire safety situation is dire.

                If there is a residents' association, I suspect getting them to agree there is a problem, and approach the management might be the only reasonable course of action.

                I would, however, try to get a copy of tire risk assessment for the building, although there is no obligation to supply it.
                This is a large property group.

                Thanks for your input.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Extensity

                  Out of interest, How long have you and the other tenant lived there for ?
                  Thunderbirds are go

                  Comment


                    #10
                    As others have said i am unsure if this would be a sensible course of action, i would simply move, and as said request the landlord let you out of the tenancy if it is not a periodic one at present, some battles are worth fighting for but in my opinion not this one, just move on.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      You could also sue anyone walking past on the road/pathway smoking. Do let us know how the cases go...
                      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by 45002 View Post
                        Extensity

                        Out of interest, How long have you and the other tenant lived there for ?
                        I've been in the flat 2.5 months. Him, at least the entire period I've been here. I don't know about prior to my arrival.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Ask your landlord to supply a carpet and underlay to block the smoke and/or an air filter. If he is smoking so much an air filter doesnt reduce it to a bearable level then either you are overly sensitive or you have a real fire risk, probably the former.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            What do the other neighbours think ?
                            Also dont forget the effect this will have on your furnishings/clothes./wallpaper ect

                            Comment


                              #15
                              You might ask your landlord to install a positive input ventilation system. If you can your landlord shared the cost, it would only be a few hundred pounds.

                              Providing the inlet can be situated away from the source of the nuisance, they can keep all sorts of smells out, and provide protection against mold.

                              Comment

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