My neighbor's smoke is bothering me

206 posts in this topic

 

Mietminderung bei nicht hinreichender Abdichtung der Zwischendecke gegen Tabakrauch

 

Amtsgericht Münster unter Aktenzeichen 38 C 412/87

 

20 % Mietminderung wegen Zigarettenrauch aus darunter liegender Wohnung

 

Amtsgericht Braunschweig unter Aktenzeichen 113 C 3869/92

source: http://www.nichtraucherschutz.de/nichtraucher-schutz/nichtraucherschutz/nichtraucherschutz_in_der_wohnung.html

 

In case you don't speak German, this essentially says that if structural problems (like insufficiently sealed floors) are to blame for cigarette smoke entering your flat you may reduce your rent by 20%. Join a Mieterverein for advice and steps to take.

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I would also need to plug up the overflow in the sink/bath.

 

I don't think your neighbours smoke is following your plan, Joe. ;)

 

It's extremly unlikely for smoke to be travelling up through either the fresh or waste water system. Technically about 99.9% impossible, unless something is drastically wrong with your plumbing. The input side requires pressure tight fittings thus preventing ingress of smoke. There are "U" bends or "P" traps under the sink, bath and toilet* outlets which hold enough water to prevent reflux of nasty, and unhealthy, odours. Stench pipes are connected to the outer wall WC outflow system which rise above the building roof level to allow sewer gas to be drawn off by cross draughts. Otherwise there'd be a routine risk of build up of explosive methane gas.

 

Most likely the original sealing around holes in your floor carrying either the heating, water or gas pipes or even electrical cables has shrunk due to age or heat. There are many things your landlord can do to prevent that ranging from standard split rubber or plastic circular gaskets (Dichtung/en) to one of the multiple types of silicon sealants (Silikon Dichtmasse).

 

You might suggest he get one of the energy use consultants in to run a test first. They apply temporary seals to all windows and doors and inflate the apartment to test for leakages. It may be worth his while as they tend to offer the service at a good rate in the hope of selling an improvement scheme. He may be able to write the costs off, especially if he can make energy savings on heating costs, and it could be the fastest way to find the cause of your problem.

 

Of course, as Calibear recommended above, once he has had official notice from you (in the form the Tenants Association advise) that you will only be paying 80% of the rent he will probably be keen to deal with this rapidly.

 

*Unless your neighbour is indeed blowing smoke up your butt!

 

2B

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We just moved and now have a neighbor that smokes about 20 hours a day, apparently on the patio. If I leave the bedroom window open, his/her smoke is the first thing I smell in the morning and the last thing I smell at night. Being a smoker myself does not make this any less unpleasant--people only smoke in bed in the movies, the rest of us want at least one place that is free from the smell of our disgusting but pleasurable habit. Even when everybody in my house smokes, the bedroom is the one sacred place where smoking is not allowed.

 

All you can really do is close that window, try not to let your hate of said neighbor consume you too much, and find another way of getting air into the room/apartment. When I want air, but my neighbor is puffing away and I can't deal with it, I open the bedroom door so I can get air from the windows of the other rooms.

 

How does my neighbor do it, though? How can you smoke so constantly that it doesn't matter when I go to bed or when I wake up, I can still smell your fucking cigarettes? Maybe it's a tag team, the 80-year-old neighbor takes over when the spring chicken of a 75-year-old neighbor goes for his sponge bath. But I am not in a position to complain; I have been the smoking neighbor on the patio plenty of times and must have pissed off a number of people myself. Although not at five o'clock in the fucking morning. (How???)

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We had a neighbour who smoked out the window right beside us. The smoke went directly into our flat. So my husband&I went over to have a completely unemotional conversation with said neighbour. We simply stated stated that her smoke was coming into our flat and closing the windows was not an option as it was summer (last summer actually when we had the heat wave)and it was hot. Her reaction was 'nah, und?'. It turns out, she doesn't like the smoke in her flat but actually said she doesn't care if it goes into ours and stinks our place out.

 

I simply said she had already decided what kind of neighbour she wanted to be and we left. Next time she smoked out the window, we would light up a joss/incense stick on our balcony. Apparently she hated that worse than the her smoke and she stopped smoking out the window.

 

No one in their right mind would move into a place where they knew would have to often close the windows or live with them always closed. I really wish there is some kind of law that deals with this. People think they have a right to do anything they want on their home, but what about when it effects others? Noise effects others, so there are laws about that, why not this? I think it's a lot more common than you'd think.

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We just moved and now have a neighbor that smokes about 20 hours a day, apparently on the patio. If I leave the bedroom window open, his/her smoke is the first thing I smell in the morning and the last thing I smell at night. Being a smoker myself does not make this any less unpleasant--people only smoke in bed in the movies, the rest of us want at least one place that is free from the smell of our disgusting but pleasurable habit. Even when everybody in my house smokes, the bedroom is the one sacred place where smoking is not allowed.

 

All you can really do is close that window, try not to let your hate of said neighbor consume you too much, and find another way of getting air into the room/apartment. When I want air, but my neighbor is puffing away and I can't deal with it, I open the bedroom door so I can get air from the windows of the other rooms.

 

How does my neighbor do it, though? How can you smoke so constantly that it doesn't matter when I go to bed or when I wake up, I can still smell your fucking cigarettes? Maybe it's a tag team, the 80-year-old neighbor takes over when the spring chicken of a 75-year-old neighbor goes for his sponge bath. But I am not in a position to complain; I have been the smoking neighbor on the patio plenty of times and must have pissed off a number of people myself. Although not at five o'clock in the fucking morning. (How???)

 

Reminds me of a joke I heard when I was 18 ( a couple of centuries ago )...

 

Jessa: do you smoke after sex?

Guest: don´t know..I´ve never looked.

 

`Nuff said.

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Put this damn sign on your front door and 1 on your patio door, when the smoke comes close to your door, it´ll see the sign, and won´t enter.

 

Works everytime, Trust me.

post-72230-13115331314449.gif

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+1 for the giggle, uniquecorn.

 

But seriously, smoking is still perfectly legal and is one of those things like cooking smells and children's noises that you have to deal with when you live among other humans in an apartment building. Yes, yes, I'm aware, smoking is a nasty awful habit and not to be compared with the delightful pitter-patter of tiny feet :rolleyes: but the smell of it is merely annoying, it is not going to kill you. That's not to say you don't have every right to be annoyed, but when it comes to being pissed off you need to write a letter to your senator. Especially for people who live in places where the smoking "ban" has actually taken some effect, their homes are the only places they can smoke. Smokers themselves have neither illegalized it in public nor have they legalized it in the home; talk to your government about why they won't outlaw outright this addictive substance that takes millions of lives worldwide per year.

 

Until it's made illegal you are going to have to just put up with it :( Try to find a way to minimize your pain until then, which will probably include shutting the window sometimes. Personally though I'd rather be on good terms with a neighbor who wasn't blatantly flouting any rules than on shitty terms with one who went out of their way to inconvenience me.

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it doesn't matter when I go to bed or when I wake up, I can still smell your fucking cigarettes?

There's probably also an overflowing ashtray or ten sitting on that patio.

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I do agree that smoke entering through windows is annoying and pesky, but something that comes with living in a city in close proximity to lots of people. We have a new business under our flat that has several employees that like to smoke outside right under our windows and it can be annoying to have to close the windows when they do that (I really don't like the smell even though I used to be a part time smoker). But I much prefer this over the previous tenants downstairs where 20 chain smokers congregated every day into the night inside the place and (especially in the winter) the smoke would creep through our floor. We live in an Altbau with ancient floors and a probably badly sealed hole where the coal oven used to sit. I raised the subject with the landlords, but before things could progress too much further the chain smokers moved out and the place stood emtpty for a year. I absolutely would have made sure that something would have gotten done about that smoke in my living room though. There was no escaping it and that is a health issue and also simply a comfort issue. I like my house smoke free and I should be able to control the environment of it enough, even if it means keeping my windows closed in a heat wave (clever move with the incense though). But smoke entering through the walls or floors is an issue for the owner of the building to deal with asap.

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but the smell of it is merely annoying, it is not going to kill you.

 

According to the American Cancer Society there are serious side effects of secondhand smoke. But hey, it's legal so why should smokers care about what risks they impose on other people?

 

 

 

 

When non-smokers are exposed to secondhand smoke it is called involuntary smoking or passive smoking. Non-smokers who breathe in secondhand smoke take in nicotine and other toxic chemicals just like smokers do. The more secondhand smoke you are exposed to, the higher the level of these harmful chemicals in your body.

 

Secondhand smoke causes other kinds of diseases and deaths

Secondhand smoke can cause harm in many ways. In the United States alone, each year it is responsible for:

 

 

  • An estimated 46,000 deaths from heart disease in people who are currently non-smokers
  • About 3,400 lung cancer deaths as a result of breathing secondhand smoke
  • Other breathing problems in non-smokers, including coughing, mucus, chest discomfort, and reduced lung function
  • 50,000 to 300,000 lung infections (such as pneumonia and bronchitis) in children younger than 18 months of age, which result in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations annually
  • Increases in the number and severity of asthma attacks in about 200,000 to 1 million children who have asthma
  • More than 750,000 middle ear infections in children
  • Pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke are also at increased risk of having low birth- weight babies.

 

A tenant who was a heavy smoker just moved out of one of our apartments. It has taken us 5 days of trying to get out the smoke and tar left behind. So far we've had to removed the wall paper and flooring which was stained with tar. We have painted 3 coats of special base coat paint and the tar is still bleeding through. Expensive, disgusting, nasty mess we are left with!

 

OP until you find a solution that works for you I would suggest you invest in an air purifier. You should look for one that has a combination HEPA/Carbon filters with ionic technology. I have a couple of Hamilton Beach TrueAir's which were very affordable (I brought them back from the States). Sorry, I don't know if they sell these models here, if not I'm sure you could find an equivalent at a major electronic store like Media Market etc.

 

Everyone has the right to breathe fresh clean air.

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Florescent lights give me migraines and induce panic attacks. Maybe I should ask all store managers to give me a discount or change their lighting because I have a right not to have migraines and panic attacks. Our kitchen has 4 florescent lights installed, I should ask the landlady to reduce our rent or reinstall new fixtures.

 

Smart ass comments aside, I understand how gross and obnoxious cigarette smoke can be when you're a non-smoker. (I'm a 2 pack a day gal) If you like your apartment so much let me ask you this. Are all the units identical? Maybe it's possible for you to move to the bottom floor and the smokers move to the top? Not every smoker is arrogant and some do actually care if the smoke is bothering someone else. If you could have a kind conversation with these smokers and the landlord, maybe you can help each other move?

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edit: this is now a bit disjointed because of removed comments.

 

Well, florida, I guess I wouldn't know the difference between smoke and the smell of smoke when it's coming in my window. I do know that the amount coming in isn't visible, making me think that it's probably not much more harmful than automobile exhaust, which many times is visible (although not in my bedroom).

 

I agree with roxt that a lot of us smokers try our hardest not to inconvenience other people with our habits; some of us wish we didn't smoke and are very sorry when it bothers others. I personally am the kind of smoker who would rather enjoy my cigarette outside in the cold where I know it's not bothering anybody, than sit in a roomful of non-smokers who are annoyed by it. My MIL is forever trying to get me to smoke in her house, but I know that's really just because she used to smoke and enjoys the second-hand stuff. Her sons may not agree though, so I go outside.

 

On the other hand--a person is in their home, where they have the right to smoke. Again, if you have a problem with someone smoking in their own home, your problem is not with the smoker, but with lawmakers, or with your building owner perhaps, or even the wind for blowing it into your window. I'm sure that in a majority of cases, a smoker is not knowingly or intentionally bothering non-smokers.

 

But this is a losing argument. Non-smokers outnumber smokers, and are a hell of a lot more vehement about their side of the issue. I've already said more than I care to in these sort of discussions.

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Florescent lights give me migraines and induce panic attacks. Maybe I should ask all store managers to give me a discount or change their lighting because I have a right not to have migraines and panic attacks. Our kitchen has 4 florescent lights installed, I should ask the landlady to reduce our rent or reinstall new fixtures.

 

Assuming this was meant seriously - are you reacting to...

 

1 light too blue, skin has sickly color: cheapo tubes have 640 rating (60% color rendering index, 4000 K color temperature). Replacing them with 827 tubes (80+% CRI, 2700 K temperature, same as incandescent light) from your local Baumarkt will go a long way. 930 tubes (special order from electrician, 90+% CRI, 3000 K, same as halogen incandesent) will be even better. For comparison, an incandescent bulb will have 100% CRI.

 

2 flicker and hum: have the conventianal ballast replaced by an electronic ballast (EVG in German electrician lingo), will save about 20% electricity, too.

 

3 brightness: get some sort of a screen to disperse the light, there are actually some fire-retardent nylon fabrics out there that you can mount on four pylons that look quite nice

 

4 do you associate fluorescent lighting with some nasty event in the past (emergency room, high school hallway, ...): 1 - 3 will make the light appear more unlike traditional flouorescent light, maybe this will help

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I'm not sure that I agree that second hand smoke and the smell of smoke are necessarily the same.

 

You are right, but probably not in the way you think. Being exposed to second hand smoke will affect you even if you don't smell or notice it.

 

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/13/the-elusive-smoke-free-home/

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You could try installing a Pollenschutzgitter in your windows... my friend uses one to keep out truck and car exhaust fumes, he lives above a busy intersection.

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I am having a similar problem with the guy downstairs chain smoking on his balcony.  After reading through all the responses (90% useless and coming from idiot trolls), I think I will install a smoke detector, contact the Mietverein, and ask a lawyer.  That is if talking to the guy doesn't help (he is actually schizophrenic).  He doesn't seem to get the hint when I slam the door when he is smoking..

 

I smelled cigarettes on my clothes at work the last week, so it is getting out of hand.  The apartment smells like stale smoke.  For you captain Obvious' out there, I do shut the door.

 

This post is more of a plan than a question, so I will update it when I get more information. 

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https://www.maz-online.de/Nachrichten/Wissen/Rauchen-auf-dem-Balkon-Wenn-der-Qualm-den-Nachbarn-stoert

 

Quote

Smoking in the apartment has already ended in litigation for many tenants and landlords. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) decides: Smoking is part of the contractual use of an apartment and is therefore permissible. But smoking on the balcony also raises legal questions. Residents of apartment buildings feel disturbed by ascending tobacco smoke from lower-lying apartments and if praying and begging does not help, the only way out is to see a lawyer.

 

But even the lawyer often cannot provide a clear answer: The local court in Frankfurt, for example, had ruled in favour of a non-smoker who complained that his neighbour's cigarette smoke was moving into his bedroom, and the regional court in Hamburg even agreed to a reduction in rent because of smoke coming into an apartment. The Rathenow Local Court and the Potsdam Regional Court ruled contradictorily: tenants are allowed to smoke on the balcony, as this would not cause any significant impairment by smoke. Such a case was submitted to the Federal Supreme Court, which reached a decision at the beginning of 2015.

 

The Federal Court of Justice informs that in these cases two property rights protected by fundamental rights collide: The free personal development of the smoker and the physical integrity of the non-smoker, which would have to be brought to an appropriate balance.

In individual cases, a substantial impairment by tobacco smoke had to be proven in order to obtain a court judgment in favour of the non-smoker. However, a complete cessation of smoking on the balcony cannot be enforced. In the event of a substantial impairment, the competent court must obtain a regulation which grants the smoking tenant certain times during which he may smoke on the balcony. The risk of damage to health is not sufficient as justification, as the non-smoker protection laws of the Federal Government and the Länder do not prohibit smoking outdoors as a matter of principle.

 

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

 

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Slamming the door is not an obvious call to stop smoking! Maybe you just have a rep as a noisy neighbour.?! 

As smoking is legal, unless there are by laws in your apartment block, this might be difficult to address.

Attach a fan blowing down onto his balcony??

 

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