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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5436
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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Saboites Second hand smoke coming from my neighbor's

Customer Question

Customer: ***** ***** Saboites Second hand smoke coming from my neighbor's apartment, into my floor vents. We each rent an apartment which has no wall separating it. Same landlord.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Yes, I live in Virginia. My next door neighbor and I used to be on friendly terms/friends. I know that she smokes, as I have purchased cigarettes in the past for her. When visiting her in her apartment there were NUMEROUS cigarette butts in ash trays and it was very evident that second hand smoke was present. Her second hand smoke had not been an issue, up until 2 weeks ago. I noticed one evening that it was coming through my floor vents. I was unable to sleep that night. During the week, I tried to give her opportunity to tell me that she was smoking and she would stop. I hinted that I was smelling an odor coming into my floor vents and asked her if she had noticed an odor. She said that she had smelled something "maybe like oil" but not anything else. On the third attempt to try to get her to admit that she had been smoking, I was a bit more forward. I told her that the smoke smelled like cigar or cigarette smoke. She told me that she had not smoked since "the winter." The same night I could smell the smoke. The next day she saw me outside and asked what I was doing. I told her that I could not stand to breathe her second hand smoke which was coming into my apartment. We had a verbal altercation. She told me that I was accusing her of lying and that she was not smoking. She told me that she was going to call our landlord. A maintenance man came to my apartment later that day. He told me that my neighbor had contacted our landlord and that the maintenance man was going to send someone under the apartments to check for cigarette smoke. The maintenance man told me that the neighbor told him that she "does not smoke." I was floored! I told him that she does smoke and that I had even purchased cigarettes for her. That evening I called the maintenance man. He told me that there was no evidence, per the man who went under the apartments, of any second hand smoke. I KNOW that it was second hand smoke. I also saw my neighbor outside that evening. I told her that I did not appreciate her telling the maintenance man that she did not smoke and I knew that she smokes. She said that the landlord told her that it was none of my business if she smoked in her own apartment. I told her it was my business, since it affected me. She stopped least the smoke was not coming into my vents, for about a week. Four nights ago, I smelled the smoke coming into the vent. I went into the bedroom and we had a verbal altercation through the wall of our apartment. I then called the landlord and told him that she was smoking. He basically took her side and said that if she wanted to smoke on her side, that he could not evict her for that. I told him that it was her smoke that was coming into my vents. He told me that it was IMPOSSIBLE for her second hand smoke to come into my vents. It was a very bad conversation. He told me that if I didn't like living in that apartment, then I could leave and that he would release me of any obligations to him. I reminded him that I had not signed a lease when I first started renting from him. He told me that he would send an "air conditioner" man to come check the next day (December 31) to see if there was something causing the issue. Nobody showed up the next day to check the air conditioning system. The same night (December 30) that I had the conversation with the landlord, the neighbor's smoke kept coming into my floor vents. I could no longer stand the smoke. I left my apartment after midnight and went to my mother's home. I have been staying with her the past four nights, tonight makes my fifth night.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $18) to post your type of question to Real Estate Law Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: Thank you, ***** ***** am actually at school and am getting ready to go home to my Mom's house. I have to stop by my apartment and get some clothes, etc. before I go to her house. I am a teacher and we have a workday tomorrow. I really would like to have my question posted and will pay the $18. I am worn out and tired. Is there a way that I can get into contact with you tomorrow while I am at school and continue this? I will have my credit card ready, etc.
JA: OK. Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  RONB-ESQ replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney. I welcome you to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. The question and response may be viewed by other parties as noted in JA’s terms of service. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

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You should be able to view my answer just below this response as we continue….

I have read all of the details posted above. Thank you for providing all of the background information as it helps me understand the situation better. I don't see an actual legal question posted. Could you reply and ask me a legal question?



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