If a new neighbor is smoking heavily and it has filtered into my apartment, is landlord required to take action?

UPDATED: Oct 10, 2011

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If a new neighbor is smoking heavily and it has filtered into my apartment, is landlord required to take action?

I have a 2.5 year old child and am currently concerned about the second hand smoke from my new neighbors. There is nothing in the lease concerning no smoking but since it is affecting me and my child, our home smells like an ash tray and my daughter is coughing all the time, is my landlord required to do anything? I have seen some posts where they are required to make it livable (i.e new air filtration system) if they don’t they must pay moving costs. I am very concerned and not sure I can afford moving costs at the drop of the dime. Plus, I love where I live.

Asked on October 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you are suffering the effects of smoke infiltration from an adjoining neighbor you need to immediately call and write your landlord about the problem in that it is a health issue due to the effects of second hand smoke universally documented in this country.

Whether or not you can force your landlord to upgrade the duct work and other aspects of your rental is an unknown under Ohio law. However, in California, there are some statutes as well as local ordinances requiring a landlord to do all necessary to prevent the infiltration of noxious substances into a rental unit.

The crux of your problem is the smoker neighbor whose second hand smoke enters your apartment. Technically he is trespassing into your unit through his smoke and is creating a nuisance.

I recommend that you consult with a landlord tenant attorney to assist you about your problem.

Good luck.

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