Smoker next door

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Cookiegirl
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Smoker next door

Post by Cookiegirl »

We recently moved into a condo, we have a wonderful deck that we love sitting on as much as possible, however, our neighbors deck is about 10 feet from ours and they are heAvy smokers. The smoke is ruining our time outside, any suggestions? I know I can’t ask them not to smoke, I put out a fan but it’s doing very little.
Looking for any solutions,
Thanks.
Thegame14
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by Thegame14 »

just bad luck and downfall of living in a condo.....
7eight9
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by 7eight9 »

If you can't beat them, join them.
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barnaclebob
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by barnaclebob »

Well their life expediencies will be much shorter than yours so it might just be a waiting game.
PoppyA
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by PoppyA »

Could you relocate to the front?

Can you put up some sort of living plant wall that would Block it? Perhaps something with plastic, or some sort of sheeting between you?

Can you build a divider?
ADAMNOGGI
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by ADAMNOGGI »

"I put out a fan but it’s doing very little."
Buy a much larger fan.
FamilyMan
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by FamilyMan »

How about some heavy duty fan? Maybe not commercial grade but close. I’d spend couple hundred dollars and blow their smoke out/back towards them. Another thought is installing plexiglass on that side of balcony to create a barrier.

If they ask, I’d would say I’m allergic to cigarette smoke. Maybe they’ll get the point.

Edit: 2 posts before me were thinking same ideas. I would decide between one of them
Last edited by FamilyMan on Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
mrc
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by mrc »

You are being deprived of peaceable enjoyment. You could ask the condo association for advice.
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TIAX
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by TIAX »

Do the condo rules say anything about smoking on the deck or on the property more broadly? You could also discuss with a lawyer - https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/cr ... story.html
Helo80
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by Helo80 »

+1 for buying a quality fan. You should be able to find a spec for air flow and find a good one for the price and how much air it can blow.

Those $10 box fans at Walmart will do nothing.
Helo80
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by Helo80 »

7eight9 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:48 am If you can't beat them, join them.

Agreed -- nobody likes quitters.
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galawdawg
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by galawdawg »

And in some places, it isn't tobacco...

Your fan is likely not moving enough airflow, perhaps you should try one of these: https://www.thefirestore.com/store/cate ... /orderby/9 :beer
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Not many things would cause me to move. This could be one of those things.
egrets
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by egrets »

I would check the condo rules, and if there is nothing, have a talk with the condo board. If they are no help, you have to consider moving, I don't see another solution. On further thought, you might ask the neighbors if they plan to move soon. If they do, you don't have to unless they sell to smokers.

It's not just the annoyance, you have a health risk from second hand smoke.

I seriously doubt plexiglass or plants will help. Their whole condo must reek of smoke, including the deck. These places have to be painted with shellac-based paints to get rid of that smell, so no way it is going away while they live there.
mak1277
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by mak1277 »

Next week's post: "I've been living in this condo happily for the last decade. Now my new neighbors have installed a loud, annoying fan that inhibits my use of my own personal deck. Do I have any recourse?"
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Stinky
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by Stinky »

egrets wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:15 am I would check the condo rules, and if there is nothing, have a talk with the condo board. If they are no help, you have to consider moving, I don't see another solution. On further thought, you might ask the neighbors if they plan to move soon. If they do, you don't have to unless they sell to smokers.
Excellent advice.
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alex_686
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by alex_686 »

egrets wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:15 am I would check the condo rules, and if there is nothing, have a talk with the condo board. If they are no help, you have to consider moving, I don't see another solution.
One could join the board. Or partition the board.

I have had a similar experience. One person at every annual meeting puts forward a building wide smoking ban. We take up the resolution. After 3 months we find 2 people are for and 2 people are against so it gets dropped. If you are going to ask for a smoking ban - which is a valid thing - organize the building. Spend time. Just don't complain. Do.
Last edited by alex_686 on Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by unclescrooge »

galawdawg wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:10 am And in some places, it isn't tobacco...

Your fan is likely not moving enough airflow, perhaps you should try one of these: https://www.thefirestore.com/store/cate ... /orderby/9 :beer
Big Ass Fans makes some really big fans, like 8ft tall. Pretty sure you could make their life miserable if you wanted.
GlennK
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by GlennK »

A few years ago, a couple successfully sued the owners of the house next door (and I am talking about detached) because of their smoking. The judge ruled the smokers must make accommodations to avoid bothering the neighbors. I believe this was in California. I have no idea what the end result of this was.

The problem with those industrial sized fans will be the noise.
Mr.BB
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by Mr.BB »

Put a fan up..Just enough speed to stop the smoke from going on to your side.
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JBTX
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by JBTX »

GlennK wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:50 am A few years ago, a couple successfully sued the owners of the house next door (and I am talking about detached) because of their smoking. The judge ruled the smokers must make accommodations to avoid bothering the neighbors. I believe this was in California. I have no idea what the end result of this was.

The problem with those industrial sized fans will be the noise.
Perhaps that is a feature.

Or you could go the Steve Martin route....mind if I....
Redlion
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by Redlion »

barnaclebob wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:50 am Well their life expediencies will be much shorter than yours so it might just be a waiting game.
Not necessarily, its common for smokers to live into their 70s and 80s, OP might not want to wait that long
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thirdman
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by thirdman »

I had this situation. I had two patios. I had smokers on both sides. One neighbor's patio was littered with cigarette butts. They smoked constantly. I moved.

When we took a cruise to Alaska we had a balcony. The air was pristine and the scenery spectacular. On the adjacent balcony was a cigar smoker. Instead of sitting on the balcony in our robes, we dressed and went up on deck.

Not much else you can do. Smokers smoke.

thirdman
lostdog
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by lostdog »

Ask them politely to smoke somewhere else because you're allergic to tobacco smoke.

If this doesn't work, bring it up with your HOA people and see what they suggest. If they can't do anything then move.

We live in a bottom floor apartment. We have heel stompers above us we've been dealing with for a year and the apartment manager cannot do much with heel stompers. Our lease is up next month and we're moving to a townhouse. We're excited.

We feel bad for the next tenants. We're hoping the next tenants will be less forgiving and give the upstair heel stompers grief.
quantAndHold
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by quantAndHold »

alex_686 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:37 am
egrets wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:15 am I would check the condo rules, and if there is nothing, have a talk with the condo board. If they are no help, you have to consider moving, I don't see another solution.
One could join the board. Or partition the board.

I have had a similar experience. One person at every annual meeting puts forward a building wide smoking ban. We take up the resolution. After 3 months we find 2 people are for and 2 people are against so it gets dropped. If you are going to ask for a smoking ban - which is a valid thing - organize the building. Spend time. Just don't complain. Do.
Is this a location where a lot of people smoke, or is smoking an anomaly there?

There may also be an applicable existing rule that could be enforced, if the board were wont to enforce it. It's worth reading the rules.

Do you rent or own? Do they rent or own? Have you tried, nicely, to talk to the neighbor?

How long has the neighbor lived there? You may not get anywhere if the neighbor is, for example, a board member. Or has friends on the board. You're kind of at a disadvantage because you're the newbie, and they've presumably been there awhile.
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keystone
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by keystone »

Redlion wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:56 am
barnaclebob wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:50 am Well their life expediencies will be much shorter than yours so it might just be a waiting game.
Not necessarily, its common for smokers to live into their 70s and 80s, OP might not want to wait that long
I used to live in a townhouse next to a chain smoker where the smoke would seep through our walls. I used to half jokingly tell my wife that he probably won't be around much longer, also because he was older and had a chronic bad cough. We ended up moving after 8 years and fast forward another 9 years on top of that and the guy is still alive and kicking.
stan1
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by stan1 »

Cookiegirl wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:45 am I know I can’t ask them not to smoke, I put out a fan but it’s doing very little.
Looking for any solutions,
Thanks.
Why can't you talk to them and ask them to smoke elsewhere?

The condo CC&Rs may address smoking but even if they do the HOA probably can't do much more than send a warning note. If the smoker has no regard for others it won't do much good.

Otherwise unfortunately your choice is to move. I don't see a giant fan being particularly effective.
hicabob
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by hicabob »

stan1 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:07 am
Cookiegirl wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:45 am I know I can’t ask them not to smoke, I put out a fan but it’s doing very little.
Looking for any solutions,
Thanks.
Why can't you talk to them and ask them to smoke elsewhere?

The condo CC&Rs may address smoking but even if they do the HOA probably can't do much more than send a warning note. If the smoker has no regard for others it won't do much good.

Otherwise unfortunately your choice is to move. I don't see a giant fan being particularly effective.
A lot of smokers always smoke outside. Safer and keeps their house less smelly or it's the fellow residents requirements. In a condo the deck is probably the only reasonable option.
alex_686
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by alex_686 »

hicabob wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:11 am A lot of smokers always smoke outside. Safer and keeps their house less smelly or it's the fellow residents requirements. In a condo the deck is probably the only reasonable option.
This is highly dependent on local laws. Our board has the power to ban all smoking on the property. Inside, on the deck, in the common areas, etc.

Now, we have not. One of the reasons why I am against this is that then we would have to enforce this, I would rather not have a limp rule on the books or become the police. But I know of boards in our state that have.
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

i feel your pain. we had this issue 8 years ago. fortunately we lived in an apartment and moved 7 years ago. can you guess why?

our curren next door neighbor occasionally smokes a cigar, so we go in during those times and/or light incense if we want to stay outside at those times.

this is one of the benefits of renting, it is much easier to move.

i find neighbors to be a reason that if I was going to own a home it would have to have significant land between properties.

fences make good neighbors. it's unfortunate to think that way but alas, civility is dead. also the notion of freedom is lost on most. people think they can do whatever they want. truth is you have have the right to do what you want provided you're not infringing upon my rights. I look at others blowing second hand smoke (which some studies have shown to be more harmful than first hand smoke) to be an infringement upon my rights.
“He said, ‘Your right to throw a punch stops where my nose begins,'” said Chapman. “I think that’s very apropos for the smoking issue.”

source: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/10/1 ... fist-nose/
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yohac
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by yohac »

Unless there's something in the condo rules, you can't do much. A fan big enough to make any difference would be intolerably loud. No smoker I've ever known would respond favorably to a neighbor asking him not to smoke on his own property.
Normchad
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by Normchad »

alex_686 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:17 am
hicabob wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:11 am A lot of smokers always smoke outside. Safer and keeps their house less smelly or it's the fellow residents requirements. In a condo the deck is probably the only reasonable option.
This is highly dependent on local laws. Our board has the power to ban all smoking on the property. Inside, on the deck, in the common areas, etc.

Now, we have not. One of the reasons why I am against this is that then we would have to enforce this, I would rather not have a limp rule on the books or become the police. But I know of boards in our state that have.
Interesting. I didn’t know this was possible.

I’d like a condo in the future, and the OP is describing my nightmare. Maybe there are 100% smokeless condos I could look for.
clip651
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by clip651 »

One possible temporary solution is to time your time outdoors to coincide with when your neighbors are indoors. Not ideal, because you have no control over when they are outside, and you both likely would prefer to be out at the nicest time of day, etc.

Even in a detached house with no smokers nearby, it's an issue. I can be in my yard/on my deck whenever I want. But if my neighbor(s) are mowing their lawns, leaf blowing, weed whacking, revving their motorcycles in their driveways, playing loud music, talking loudly with a friend or on a cell phone, etc, I often just decide to pick a different time to enjoy the yard when it is quieter and/or there is less machine exhaust. And when it is truly peaceful out there, I enjoy it and don't take it for granted, since I've experienced the opposite.

You have to have quite a bit of space between you and neighbors to really be unaffected by their activities, whether it's smoking or other things. So if you decide to "just move" choose your new location carefully and consider that you may still have issues with neighbors making outdoor space less enjoyable than you would like.

If you want to be outside at the same time as your smoking neighbors, it may be worthwhile to try various fan options. How helpful that would be would depend on wind direction and other factors, but worth a try. As is discussing it with the neighbor - maybe they'd be willing to make adjustments, maybe not. Maybe the fan trials will help the topic come to the fore.

cj
mak1277
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by mak1277 »

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:23 am fences make good neighbors. it's unfortunate to think that way but alas, civility is dead. also the notion of freedom is lost on most. people think they can do whatever they want. truth is you have have the right to do what you want provided you're not infringing upon my rights. I look at others blowing second hand smoke (which some studies have shown to be more harmful than first hand smoke) to be an infringement upon my rights.
“He said, ‘Your right to throw a punch stops where my nose begins,'” said Chapman. “I think that’s very apropos for the smoking issue.”

source: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/10/1 ... fist-nose/
Your theory is fine, except punching someone is illegal, while smoking near someone is not.
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whodidntante
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by whodidntante »

clip651 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:36 am One possible temporary solution is to time your time outdoors to coincide with when your neighbors are indoors. Not ideal, because you have no control over when they are outside, and you both likely would prefer to be out at the nicest time of day, etc.

Even in a detached house with no smokers nearby, it's an issue. I can be in my yard/on my deck whenever I want. But if my neighbor(s) are mowing their lawns, leaf blowing, weed whacking, revving their motorcycles in their driveways, playing loud music, talking loudly with a friend or on a cell phone, etc, I often just decide to pick a different time to enjoy the yard when it is quieter and/or there is less machine exhaust. And when it is truly peaceful out there, I enjoy it and don't take it for granted, since I've experienced the opposite.

You have to have quite a bit of space between you and neighbors to really be unaffected by their activities, whether it's smoking or other things. So if you decide to "just move" choose your new location carefully and consider that you may still have issues with neighbors making outdoor space less enjoyable than you would like.

If you want to be outside at the same time as your smoking neighbors, it may be worthwhile to try various fan options. How helpful that would be would depend on wind direction and other factors, but worth a try. As is discussing it with the neighbor - maybe they'd be willing to make adjustments, maybe not. Maybe the fan trials will help the topic come to the fore.

cj
I agree with your list of neighborhood annoyances and raise you barking dogs.

Even living in BFE has annoyances. Some claim that civility is dead, but I'm not sure it was ever really alive.
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alpenglow
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by alpenglow »

Perhaps bribe them with cookies?
jhawktx
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by jhawktx »

Geez. Puke.
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lthenderson
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by lthenderson »

When you live in close proximity to others, one needs to be a more tolerant individual. I lived for years in various apartment buildings with those who smoked next door, people doing the River dance upstairs, people next to my bedroom who liked to play their music loud when they came off second shift at 2 am in the morning, others who always thought their newspaper and packages misprinted with my name and address were always being delivered to my door and taking them before I could. I finally decided life is too short and I'm not that tolerant and moved to buying houses on large multiacre lots. I've never been happier.
h82goslw
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by h82goslw »

keystone wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:04 am
Redlion wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:56 am
barnaclebob wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:50 am Well their life expediencies will be much shorter than yours so it might just be a waiting game.
Not necessarily, its common for smokers to live into their 70s and 80s, OP might not want to wait that long
I used to live in a townhouse next to a chain smoker where the smoke would seep through our walls. I used to half jokingly tell my wife that he probably won't be around much longer, also because he was older and had a chronic bad cough. We ended up moving after 8 years and fast forward another 9 years on top of that and the guy is still alive and kicking.
My father smoked for over 50 years before he quit in his mid 70s.....he’s still going strong today at 92. I hope OP gets some resolution soon.
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MrBobcat
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by MrBobcat »

Honestly I'd just let it go. People are annoying, the closer you live to them the more annoying they are. If I had to live right next to someone I'd choose having friendly relations even though they had annoying habits vs hostile relations and still annoying habits.
clip651
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by clip651 »

whodidntante wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:02 pm
clip651 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:36 am One possible temporary solution is to time your time outdoors to coincide with when your neighbors are indoors. Not ideal, because you have no control over when they are outside, and you both likely would prefer to be out at the nicest time of day, etc.

Even in a detached house with no smokers nearby, it's an issue. I can be in my yard/on my deck whenever I want. But if my neighbor(s) are mowing their lawns, leaf blowing, weed whacking, revving their motorcycles in their driveways, playing loud music, talking loudly with a friend or on a cell phone, etc, I often just decide to pick a different time to enjoy the yard when it is quieter and/or there is less machine exhaust. And when it is truly peaceful out there, I enjoy it and don't take it for granted, since I've experienced the opposite.

You have to have quite a bit of space between you and neighbors to really be unaffected by their activities, whether it's smoking or other things. So if you decide to "just move" choose your new location carefully and consider that you may still have issues with neighbors making outdoor space less enjoyable than you would like.

If you want to be outside at the same time as your smoking neighbors, it may be worthwhile to try various fan options. How helpful that would be would depend on wind direction and other factors, but worth a try. As is discussing it with the neighbor - maybe they'd be willing to make adjustments, maybe not. Maybe the fan trials will help the topic come to the fore.

cj
I agree with your list of neighborhood annoyances and raise you barking dogs.

Even living in BFE has annoyances. Some claim that civility is dead, but I'm not sure it was ever really alive.
Agreed. We have dogs that bark occasionally (not nuisance barkers by any means, but they might still annoy those who'd prefer zero barking). But I don't make frequent use of a very loud gas powered leaf blower that spews smoke. As neighbors, we put up with these annoyances from each other, as best as we can, and hope that it remains tolerable for all.

We had a prolonged power outage a while back, and the noise from the neighbors' generator was bad enough (24/7 for days on end) that I was sorely tempted to buy them a newer quieter model before even considering getting one for ourselves. We managed through the outage with no generator, but had to keep our windows closed due to noise and exhaust from the neighbors' generator.

The OP has my sympathy, as I would find nearby smoking neighbors a big challenge, myself.
clip651
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by clip651 »

MrBobcat wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:16 pm Honestly I'd just let it go. People are annoying, the closer you live to them the more annoying they are. If I had to live right next to someone I'd choose having friendly relations even though they had annoying habits vs hostile relations and still annoying habits.
Well said!

cj
mptfan
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by mptfan »

mak1277 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:30 am Next week's post: "I've been living in this condo happily for the last decade. Now my new neighbors have installed a loud, annoying fan that inhibits my use of my own personal deck. Do I have any recourse?"
LOL. :D
finite_difference
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by finite_difference »

You could offer to pay them $100/month for not smoking.
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mptfan
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by mptfan »

stan1 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:07 am Why can't you talk to them and ask them to smoke elsewhere?
Lol. Sure, the OP *could* do that, but I don't think it would go over well. A condo resident has the right to smoke on their own patio and I doubt any smoker would see it otherwise.
mak1277
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by mak1277 »

finite_difference wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:33 pm You could offer to pay them $100/month for not smoking.
As I former smoker, I think I can say for all...not enough (not even close)
stan1
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by stan1 »

mptfan wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:35 pm
stan1 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:07 am Why can't you talk to them and ask them to smoke elsewhere?
Lol. Sure, the OP *could* do that, but I don't think it would go over well. A condo resident has the right to smoke on their own patio and I doubt any smoker would see it otherwise.
So you'd go straight to advising OP to list the condo they just bought for sale? Yes, I would try to talk to the neighbor first.
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LilyFleur
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by LilyFleur »

hicabob wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:11 am
stan1 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:07 am
Cookiegirl wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:45 am I know I can’t ask them not to smoke, I put out a fan but it’s doing very little.
Looking for any solutions,
Thanks.
Why can't you talk to them and ask them to smoke elsewhere?

The condo CC&Rs may address smoking but even if they do the HOA probably can't do much more than send a warning note. If the smoker has no regard for others it won't do much good.

Otherwise unfortunately your choice is to move. I don't see a giant fan being particularly effective.
A lot of smokers always smoke outside. Safer and keeps their house less smelly or it's the fellow residents requirements. In a condo the deck is probably the only reasonable option.
My daughter smokes. I don't allow her to smoke on my patio or inside my condo.
mak1277
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Re: Smoker next door

Post by mak1277 »

LilyFleur wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:44 pm
hicabob wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:11 am
stan1 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:07 am
Cookiegirl wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:45 am I know I can’t ask them not to smoke, I put out a fan but it’s doing very little.
Looking for any solutions,
Thanks.
Why can't you talk to them and ask them to smoke elsewhere?

The condo CC&Rs may address smoking but even if they do the HOA probably can't do much more than send a warning note. If the smoker has no regard for others it won't do much good.

Otherwise unfortunately your choice is to move. I don't see a giant fan being particularly effective.
A lot of smokers always smoke outside. Safer and keeps their house less smelly or it's the fellow residents requirements. In a condo the deck is probably the only reasonable option.
My daughter smokes. I don't allow her to smoke on my patio or inside my condo.
But you'd have no recourse if she bought the condo next door.
mptfan
Posts: 6207
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:58 am

Re: Smoker next door

Post by mptfan »

stan1 wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:41 pm So you'd go straight to advising OP to list the condo they just bought for sale?
No.
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