I'd like to breathe again, please.
January 13, 2008 7:05 PM Subscribe
Apartment life. The smoker downstairs is making it very difficult for me to breathe!
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I have rented an apartment for over 2 years now. I am on my third 12-month lease with the company. I live in an upstairs unit, and a new tenant recently moved into the apartment below mine. The tenant there is a very heavy smoker and cigarette smoke has been drifting into my apartment for over a week now. I have asthma and allergies and I have had an extremely difficult time living normally.
I spoke with the maintenance staff who said there is not much to be done because the apartment is not built to be air-tight. I have used HEPA air filters, and I have tried to keep my windows open often, but it is winter so I'm having to choose between being warm and breathing freely. Tonight, I went to speak with the tenant below me and she rudely said she was not going to stop (prior to speaking with her, I wrote her a nice letter asking if she could smoke outside or near a window). I am stuck in my lease until May (as of writing this it is the middle of January).
Because the maintenance staff is not able to provide any remedy and my health is obviously at risk, do I have the option of terminating my lease without penalty? I have looked at my state's tenant-landlord laws and there is an implied habitability clause as well as one that states:
Except as otherwise provided in this act, if there is a noncompliance by the landlord with the terms of the rental agreement or Section 118 of this act, which noncompliance renders the dwelling unit uninhabitable or poses an imminent threat to the health and safety of any occupant of the dwelling unit and which noncompliance is not remedied as promptly as conditions require, the tenant may immediately terminate the rental agreement upon written notice to the landlord which notice specifies the noncompliance.
I feel like I am living on borrowed time here, as my breathing is not normal and I have been having weird symptoms such as waking up with a dry mouth, jitteriness, and loss of sense of smell. I have enjoyed living in these apartments, and if I had the choice I would not leave, but I don't think I have a choice. I am not sure if I can hire a lawyer at this moment, but if the situation calls for it, I'll consider it.
Thank you very much.