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Severe Life and Health Disruption due to Pot Smoke Quiet Enjoyment

Discussion in 'Living in, Use of the Premises' started by surprisesudden, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. surprisesudden

    surprisesudden Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have a situation in which an apartment neighbor's marijuana smoke is significantly interfering with my ability to live-in / use / enjoy my apartment and is psychologically and physically affecting me. Let me be clear that it is not simply an annoyance, nor is it just occasional.


    The smoke and fumes are affecting me in the following ways:

    • Headache, nausea, burning eyes, stuffy nose, respiratory problems, shortness of breath, frequent cough, not to mention the long-term negative health effects of inhaling second-hand smoke which is proven to be toxic

    • I use an APAP device for sleep apnea, and the health problems listed above are also having adverse effects on my treatment.

    My life has been affected in the following ways:

    • Due to the severity and frequency of the smoke, and the medical effects and dangers, I have been forced to adjust my entire life to fit around these occurrences.

    • When the smoke is very strong and throughout the apartment, I have to leave the apartment and change all of my plans, or...

    • sometimes I will wear a 3M respirator to enable me to stay in the apartment if there are tasks that must be completed, but it doesn't stop the eye irritation and it interferes with other activities, and it adds to the stress of the situation

    • Since it affects my life and health so much, I have psychological stress and anxiety of always worrying if the smoke will start up and disrupt everything, or if I'll wake up with smoke in my room while using my APAP, or if I'll come home from the gym or from work to an unlivable apartment.

    • I have actually shifted my work schedule to be a later time, so I can stay up late enough that some of the smoke partially clears out and then I can get a shower and go to sleep at like 2 or 3 am

    Here is some additional information you should know:

    • I have 3 large HEPA air filters running in my apartment and they do not prevent the negative effects I listed. (I spent $450 on these units and I spend $120 a month to replace the filters)

    • The smoke and fumes enter my apartment through every crevice even if all of my windows and doors are closed 24 hours a day.

    • I cannot open my windows or balcony door because the smoke and fumes are even stronger. Not being able to air-out my apartment is leading to terrible air quality, further health problems, and lessens my enjoyment.

    I know exactly which neighbor is the offender, and I know that they signed the new "smoke free" lease and are therefore violating it. (see comments later)


    Actions I've taken:


    • Written note to pot smoking tenant

    • Verbal complaint to management

    • Written complaint to management with full details of situation and how it is medically affecting me

    • Spoken to management in person after the written complaint was received

    • Called community security, who came on site and confirmed MJ use by said tenant and supposedly submitted a report to management about this incident

    • I have recently been keeping a spreadsheet of records of all incidents and details

    When I spoke to the management, they said that they cannot enforce the new "non-smoking" lease until the entire community is on the lease. It seems to me that if they know for a fact that this tenant is on the new lease and that this tenant is violating it, they should be able to (and should in fact) enforce it. I can understand that it would be difficult if they couldn't pinpoint who's doing the smoking, but if it's clear who's doing it, it seems straightforward.


    Regardless of whether or not there is a smoke-free lease or not, based on my research I have a right to live in and use my apartment without these serious disruptions of health and schedule. If my apartment is at times dangerous to my health, unlivable, and so on, and my life is disrupted completely, the landlord should be required to rectify it.


    Moving out / moving are not an option.


    What I want is to figure out what I can do to get the landlord to fulfil their legal obligation to provide me with an apartment that is safe and that I can live in in peace and not have my health and sanity disrupted on a daily basis.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Nothing. If you're thinking of winning the lawsuit lottery against the LL it's not going to happen. Your beef is with the neighbor.

    Here are your choices.

    Buy an air purifier.

    Call the police.

    Sue the neighbor.

    Pack up and move.
     
  3. surprisesudden

    surprisesudden Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Hoping you can offer a bit more info

    If you're thinking of winning the lawsuit lottery against the LL it's not going to happen.
    Q- Why would I not win in you opinion? Do I not have a case? Is a LL not required to maintain safe and livable arrangements for a tenant that is paying them?

    Call the police.
    Q- Smoking weed isn't illegal in WA, what would I be calling them about?

    Sue the neighbor.
    Q - That was an idea I thought of. I guess I'll have to look into that idea more. Any basic tips for someone who's never been involved in a lawsuit?

    Buy an air purifier.
    C - I have 3

    Pack up and move.
    C - Can't afford to
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I'll combine the answer for both those question. Smoking weed is legal in WA. That means your state considers it a "safe" activity. Which, in turn, means that it's not a safety issue and your landlord has no legal obligation (or right) to prevent the neighbor from smoking weed. That's why you would lose a lawsuit against the LL.

    It's called a private nuisance lawsuit. A private nuisance is a civil wrong; it is the unreasonable, unwarranted, or unlawful use of one's property in a manner that substantially interferes with the enjoyment or use of another individual's property, without an actual trespass or physical invasion to the property.

    Unfortunately, after reading the following article, I wouldn't give you much hope for success there either.

    Smoke On The Water (Faucet): The State Of Smoking In Condominiums In The Age Of Legal Recreational Marijuana | WSCAI

    Note that the article is 5 years old. You might consult an attorney and see if any progress has been made with lawsuits against neighbors for second hand marijuana smoke.

    Then I really don't have a solution for you. Sorry.
     
  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You are not able to force the landlord to enforce the terms of the lease.
    The circumstances you describe MIGHT give you the ability to break your lease agreement and move to a new location, but you would have to confirm those details with a local attorney and find out how to proceed without putting yourself at risk.

    I think the best you can do is what you have already done, and keep in contact with management about it but don't make a nuisance of yourself either.
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    When tenants WHINE, COMPLAIN, HARASS, HOUND the landlord about SOMETHING all too often the landlord will simply give notice that the lease won't be renewed.

    The squeaky wheel can be lubricated or replaced.
     
  7. surprisesudden

    surprisesudden Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you all for your help.
     

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