M.N. from St. John’s County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
The neighbors in the unit under me smoke on their lanai. The smoke smell comes onto my balcony. If my sliders are open the smoke comes right into my living / dining room area as well. The Association says people have the right to smoke on their lanai. I have pointed out we have a rule that prohibits causing damage or injury and point out that second-hand smoke is a proven carcinogen. This is ignored. Do I have a legitimate complaint?
Mister Condo replies:
M.N., I am so sorry that you have such inconsiderate neighbors and that your Board doesn’t see that they have a duty to protect your enjoyment of your home. In my opinion, you certainly have a legitimate complaint and I encourage you to engage the services of an attorney to discuss bringing suit against your Board for not protecting you from the know damage caused by second-hand smoke. You asked nicely and they refused to act. It is time to escalate the complaint, in my opinion. No one has a “right” to smoke. It is not a protected liberty in the Constitution or Bill of Rights. Smoking is a nuisance in any high-density housing (HDH) arrangement and many places ban smoking for that very reason. I am not an attorney and offer no legal advice in this column but I do encourage you to seek counsel and take further action if advised. Not only will you be making your own unit safer and healthier but you will be helping all owners within your community to enjoy a smoke-free lifestyle. All the best!
2 thoughts on “Condo Association Board Claims Unit Owners Have a Right to Smoke”
I have neighbor who smokes heavily. I smell it in my bathroom, bedrooms and sometimes living room. Management checked the draft and told me everything is working how it is supposed to work. I thought maybe the Airconditioning guys who installed 2, new units in the ceiling, have maybe damaged something. They said, everything is fine but they could block shafts which go though the ceilings which I would have to pay for.
I feel that I should not have to inhale the smoke nor the Lysol which I have to spray. Does management have to take care of this?
L., you should report the nuisance to your Board. Regardless of what the Air Conditioning guys said, everything is not “fine”. The management company acts on the Board’s instruction. Report the problem to the Board and hope they do the right thing. If not, you may have to decide if you will pay for the repair or sue the association for allowing the nuisance. All the best!