Duplex neighbor smokes outside house. Can I stop him?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Duplex neighbor smokes outside house. Can I stop him?

I own half a duplex and the owner of
the other side has a new roommate
who smokes outside the house. Not
only does it obviously cross over to our
yard but it gets into our house. We
suspect his smoking is the reason our
basement reeks and the smoke
detector occasionally goes off. Do we
have any legal recourse? There is a
young child and a pregnant woman
living here.

Asked on January 24, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

He is right: it is his property, and he has the legal right to smoke on his own property even if it affects or inconveniences neighbors: anyone may do anything on his property which is allowed by the law, including local zoning, housing, health, etc. ordinances. Unless you can find some law which he is violating--and there is no statewide ban on smoking on your own property, so you'll have to look at your town/city's laws--he may do this.

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