Neighbouring tenant's smoking permeates my flat

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  • Neighbouring tenant's smoking permeates my flat

    Hello there,

    I currently live in a studio that I'm renting. My landlord owns the rest of the 4 studios in my building. My problem is that one of my neighbors smokes a lot, and the smell not only goes in the hallway, but also into my flat. It is unbearable and disgusting for me, especially in the evening when I go to sleep. Is there anything I could do about this? Talk to my landlord? Is the neighbor allowed to smoke at all? I checked my contract, and nowhere does it say anything about smoking, so I am assuming my neighbor's contract is the same as mine. Generally, is there a law in England that forbids smoking indoors? I know that almost all flats these days have smoke detectors, as well as my flat and the rest in my building, but the question is, if there's a smoke detector, does that mean that smoking is forbidden? I would really appreciate an opinion on my issue.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Sorry, I really sympathise, but smoking is banned in enclosed public spaces/buildings (e.g.workplaces, schools, hospitals, resturants, pubs...) in the UK, but not in private homes. Smoke detectors are fitted in many homes/rental properties as a fire safety measure, but they are not an indication that cigarette smoking is banned. It is very inconsiderate of your neighbour to allow his cigarette smoke to drift into the shared areas of your building and I would certainly complain, both to him, and if he does nothing about it, to your LL.

    Failing that, I think your only option is to ensure the doors are well insulated round the frames and under the door itself -a heavy draught excluder may keep out some of the smell...and move out as soon as you are able.

    Perhaps other members can suggest alternative ways of protecting yourself from this guy's disgusting habit or even persuading him not to do it indoors? I think you will have an uphill struggle, though - unless he wants to quit for his own sake, he's unlikely to do it for yours.
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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    • #3
      We have a similar issue in our terraced house, both sides smoke and the smell permeates the walls. We use one of those plug in air fresheners and have it on a timer so it comes and goes. The smell on our landing can be bad at times as one side smoke in the adjoining room, its not nice but there is not a lot you can do.
      GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

      Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

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      • #4
        check your TA, is smoking actually allowed? he will likely have the same TA so if it isn't grass him up!

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        • #5
          No, we don't know whether akasha85 and her smoky neighbour has the same tenancy agreement.

          Sorry akasha85, but there is not a lot you can do. Buy yourself a draught excluder for the bottom of your door, like MTG has suggested?

          Have you tried making friends with your neighbours? You never know, you might feel a bit better about the situation if you are all friendly with one another.

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          • #6
            A Fresh Air Globe distributed by John Mills Limited (jml.direct.com). We got ours at Robert Dyas go to: http://www.thereallyusefulstore.co.uk/ and type in air glove in the search box. You can get different concentrated essence's to put in the water such as lavender. Works very well for cigarette smoke. Also try burning incense sticks. Takes the smell away as well. We have the same problem with cigarette smoke coming down the chimney from the upstairs flat.

            The air globe also cleans the air by drawing the dirt particles into the water.
            ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

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            • #7
              I know how you must feel, new people have moved into the flat below me & at times they smoke like chimneys & it seems to find a way up into my kitchen, yesterday when they had visitors the whole place including the hallway stunk to high heaven.....what is the matter with these idiots?
              Bob

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              • #8
                Originally posted by bobsflat View Post
                I know how you must feel, new people have moved into the flat below me & at times they smoke like chimneys & it seems to find a way up into my kitchen, yesterday when they had visitors the whole place including the hallway stunk to high heaven.....what is the matter with these idiots?
                Well, it is their home; and smoking at home is not [yet] a criminal offence. Why not be friendly and (politely) tell them how it affects you?
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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                • #9
                  Is this not a case of private nuisance?
                  [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
                    Is this not a case of private nuisance?
                    It might be; but nuisance is notoriously difficult to prove.
                    One case (last year, I think) held that even an adjacent pig farm's pong was not actionable in the circumstances.
                    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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                    • #11
                      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/6244315.stm maybe of some interest. If it's really that bad I'd get onto environmental health, let them deal with it, or atleast tell your landlord that is your intention. On a side note, because an AST is different from any other form of lease in that it doesnt convey a legal interest in land would nuisance actually be actionable because whilst it may interfere with someones enjoyment, it's not technically considered their property?
                      [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
                        On a side note, because an AST is different from any other form of lease in that it doesnt convey a legal interest in land would nuisance actually be actionable because whilst it may interfere with someones enjoyment, it's not technically considered their property?
                        Even a tenant is entitled to maintain an action for nuisance. His tenancy gives sufficient locus standi.

                        An AST is no different (in this context, at least) from any other short-term letting (e.g. part II of LTA 1954, Rent Act 1977, Housing Act 1980, Housing Act 1985). None of these creates a legal interest in land (because, besides anything else, they are virtually never grantd by execution of a Deed). They are usually in writing only, or sometimes oral- see sections 52/53/54 of the Law of Property Act 1925 as to how this works.
                        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                        Comment

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