Question about condo rules

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  1. I own a condo in a large building and the entry to the units is from a shared hallway. Some of the units are owner-occupied, but some have been rented. My neighbor (a renter) has decided to start smoking in her unit. The building is supposed to be nonsmoking. It's obvious that the smoke is coming from her unit, but she denies it. I'm livid. I have to walk into a cloud of smoke to get out of my door lately, and I can't go to work in a hospital smelling like that. The doors to our units are not completely sealed, so each unit ends up smelling like smoke. Mine is the worst because it's next door to the smoker.

    I notified the owner, but I'm not sure what my options are. I honestly don't think that he's going to evict her in this economy (her lease was signed when rental rates were sky high). He's also a board member, so he has some authority.

    What can I do? I have severe asthma and I'm having trouble breathing while writing this.
     
  2. I think you should write a formal letter of complaint to the entire board so they are aware of what's happening. If the HOAs state that the building is non smoking, they will have to enforce it, regardless of whether the owner of that unit is on the board or not.
     
  3. sorry that you're going thru this! i'm not sure what can be done... if i was the owner, i'd be pretty upset. hopefully this will get resolved some how. i think lori made a good suggestion by writing the board a letter.
     
  4. I think you should write a letter. Make a case, tell them you have asthma and this is affecting your life, make a big deal out of it.

    When we rented a basement upstairs the tenant upstairs would not cooperate and literally tried to kill us by freezing us to death (and I have arthritis!!). We wrote notes, ask the landlady to talk to her but she would not cooperate and at one point she tried to make such a point that she turned the heat so high she nearly suffocated me because the thermostat said 34 degrees on it and I had to open windows in the winter to cool down. She was insane!!

    The landlady wasn't willing to believe the "nice little lady" was so evil but we kept calling and complaining until she believed us.
    (In the end we figured out that the only reason the tenant upstairs had such a grudge with us was because we were new tenants and we met/saw the "wrong" lady leaving for work after moving in, since there were 3 ladies (sisters, working all hours/driving the same car and disguised as the same person) living upstairs pretending to be 1 person and the land lady did not know this!!!)

    Keep trying, it doesn't do any harm to make a sob story.
     
  5. continue to complain...write letters...keep documentation...take a video if you can see any smoke...GL!!
     
  6. I would raise all kinds of hell. If it's against the rules, then it's against the rules. Period. So what if the owner of the unit is on the board. Was the no smoking rule dropped? Probably not. Start writing letters and see if some of the other neighbors can get in on it. They may be able to ignore you, but they can't ignore an entire area of the building.
     
  7. That would make me so sick (really)....I really can't be around cigarette smoke or I almost immediately lose my voice and get all choked up. I think writing a letter will help. It's hard to control what people do in the privacy of their own homes but when it affects others and you live in a condo which has common hallways you have to say something.
    Next step would be to get a petition signed from other members in the building as to whether they think smoking should be allowed to seep into the hallway.
    You could also buy the person one of those under the door things to keep out a draft so that the smoke doesn't escape as easily.
     
  8. I also thought of something else ... does your building have regular HOA meetings? Usually they use parliamentary procedure, and questions are allowed from homeowners at the end of meetings. If it is discussed, it will be recorded in the meeting minutes and you'll have proof that you brought it up.

    I only know all this weird stuff because I served on the board of my last condo association!
     
  9. i was laying my daughter down for a nap and i smelled cig smoke upstairs .... grrr! so i starting thinking if there is a no smoking law here in our apartments...but i highly doubt it. and the great thing is that i think we share the crawl space with the person that is smoking...and it goes into our closet. so that means my clothes are going to reek...that pisses me off!!
     
  10. I would continue to complain and write letters. No smoking means no smoking and the HOA has to enforce it. Don't sit back and do nothing just becasue the owner is on the board.
     

  11. agreed
     
  12. Have you looked at the strata rules? My DBF just bought a condo and in the strata rules it says you're allowed to smoke in your unit, but that it is not allowed to disrupt "public space" (as in, it cannot be detected from the hallway or drift into other units). In fact, someone actually DID make a complaint that smoke was drifting into their unit and the strata contacted the smoking owner.
    So you should definitely complain! I'm sure you're not the only one.