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Not sure how to handle nuisance neighbors

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by B_1987, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. B_1987

    B_1987 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    First, I'm not sure if we can do anything about our current neighbors except "suck it up" until they move, but I'm open to all opinions/options.

    We live in a townhouse, we are the end cap unit. We are the homeowners. Our neighbors (only immediate neighbors) are renters. The daughter of the renter, and the daughter's boyfriend, chain smoke. Cigarettes and marijuana. They also create quite a bit of noise, like screaming/yelling and their bed (assuming) banging against the shared side of the house when they have sex. This is a separate issue, and we've been patient on this part. Our main concern is the smoking.

    For almost 2 years now we've cordially spoken to them about their smoking habits and it is disruptive to us during majority of the year when we can have our windows open. We've tried to work out a plan on multiple occasions that they smoke on their deck and we can keep our front windows open, or they smoke in the front and we can have our back windows open. They nod and agree but never follow any plan or arrangement. It's to the point that we are super frustrated because we feel like prisoners in our home. We can never have our windows open because our entire house will end up smelling like cigarette smoke or weed. Even when we enjoy time on our porch out front they'll specifically smoke out front, or if we enjoy time on our deck, they'll smoke on theirs as if purposely trying to annoy us. At this point when we try to have a civil conversation about it they just play dumb.

    We've spoken to their landlords as well (friends of ours), but they also don't know what they can do at this point in time. We haven't told the landlords about the marijuana, and we haven't called the police on them when they are smoking weed outside, I'd prefer to not be that person. Speaking to an officer this past week, there isn't much they can do about the marijuana either as it's just a $25 fine now. We don't really care that they smoke, we just wish they'd have some respect for us.

    My wife just had an operation for cancer as well. Her doctors want her to spend time outside so her body can get sunlight to help her body with the production/absorption of different vitamins, minerals and hormones helpful to her. This is next to impossible at home due to the second hand smoke.

    The neighbor on the other side of them isn't home often so he doesn't have any complaints.

    Again, I have a feeling this will just be a case of crappy neighbors, but would appreciate any insight.
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Possessing small amounts of marijuana is still illegal in Virginia, but as of July (2020) the maximum penalty for people caught with an ounce or less the drug has been reduced to a $25 civil fine.

    If nothing has changed after two years, MY GUESS is that you should expect MORE of the same, NOTHING.

    Our laws can't even ensure our elected officials are respected.

    Your best solution is HOPE the next tenant doesn't smoke, or is a more refined, respectful citizen.

    If not, your only option is seek new living arrangements where space isn't limited and fresh air is unlimited, rather than the opposite limitations offered by the CC&RS of an HOA.

    My spidy senses indicate your feelings are spot on.
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    It is.

    But there seems to be a growing movement in the direction of private nuisance lawsuits regarding second hand smoke and marijuana smell. They are certainly interfering with your right to quiet enjoyment of your property.

    Check out these search results. You might get some ideas.

    virginia nuisance lawsuit for second hand smoke at DuckDuckGo
  4. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    Is there a HOA or a POA? If so, check the CC&Rs and make a complaint to the association.

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