L.M. from Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I’m thinking of putting a smoke detector on my lanai. I’m hoping it will activate when my lower neighbor is on his lanai smoking. The doors to our living rooms and master bedroom are off our lanais. We are in Florida and leave them open at night. Will this work?
Mister Condo replies:
L.M., I don’t know if this will work. Have you tried? Smoking is a nuisance on many condominiums, apartments, HOAs, and other places where there is high-density housing (HDH). For that reason, many associations have actually banned smoking to ensure that all unit owners have the right to peaceably enjoy their units, which is what I assume you are trying to do albeit in an unconventional manner. Does your association have noise regulations? Will the sound of your smoke detector going off at all hours be a violation unto itself? That is worth your consideration before you set up such a ruckus when a downstairs neighbor lights up. It also sets up a “neighbor versus neighbor” mentality which is never good in such close quarters as a condominium. A better approach would be to speak to the Board. Lodge a formal complaint. Demand the peaceable enjoyment of your unit that you are entitled to. Interestingly, there is no “right to smoke” as many smokers claim. In fact, here’s a link to a “must-read” article for you that you can share with your Board and like-minded neighbors: https://tobaccofreeflorida.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/SFMUH-Condo-Guide-No-Crop-Marks-New-Acknowledgments.pdf With persistence and a positive attitude, my guess is that you can win this battle – and save the smoke detector for inside your home will it will do more good. All the best!