Can my landlord force me to stop smoking tobacco in my own apartment because my neighbor claims that smoke is leaking into her apartment?

About 6 months go I had a fire in my apartment unrelated to my smoking. The building management tore down my walls and rebuilt them after the fire. Now my LL is saying smoke is leaking into my neighbor’s apt and she is constantly complaining so my LL says that I have to stop smoking in my apt or face eviction because of nuisance. I have lived here for over 10 years and before the fire and reconstruction there was never a complaint. I believe that the building is a fault for failing to properly repairing the wall. Can they really evict me for do something that is perfectly legal?

Asked on July 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

First, your rights here are going to be weighed against the other tenant's rights, and some states have allowed tenants to claim the right to a smoke free environment.  So the landlord may well have to do something or he will be in violation of the law.  It can become an issue or "nuisance" as well as "habitability."  Your lease will also play a part so seek help with it in hand.  Good luck.


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