Second Hand Smoke Solution?

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I have a rental unit in a townhouse complex. The tenants are complaining that the people across the sidewalk from them are smoking out on their deck and the smoke is drifting into my unit through one sliding glass door that the tenants like to keep open for ventilation. There is no rule about smoking on the property. I talked to the owner of the other unit but I don't think she'll do anything.
I'm trying to think of a solution involving fans or blowers, perhaps combined with a cigarette smoke detector to automatically activate fans that blow the smoke back towards the offenders. It's probably a 10 foot distance between the decks.
This shows a similar pair of townhouse units and the problem: <
http://oi42.tinypic.com/1608l8j.jpg
I'm thinking about this unit: < http://www.vproducts.com/p-secondhand-smokedetector90.htm model 9040 connected to a large fan, i.e <http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200460841_200460841>. I'd need to shield it all from weather somehow though the tenants could bring it in if it's raining hard so just an outdoor umbrella would suffice.
Any other ideas for blowing the smoke back?
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On Tuesday, July 16, 2013 7:31:10 PM UTC-5, sms wrote:

and the smoke is drifting into my unit through one sliding glass door that the tenants like to keep open for ventilation. There is no rule about smok ing on the property. I talked to the owner of the other unit but I don't th ink she'll do anything. I'm trying to think of a solution involving fans or blowers, perhaps combined with a cigarette smoke detector to automatically activate fans that blow the smoke back towards the offenders. It's probabl y a 10 foot distance between the decks. This shows a similar pair of townho use units and the problem: <
http://oi42.tinypic.com/1608l8j.jpg I'm think ing about this unit: < http://www.vproducts.com/p-secondhand-smokedetector9 0.htm> model 9040 connected to a large fan, i.e <http://www.northerntool.co m/shop/tools/product_200460841_200460841>. I'd need to shield it all from w eather somehow though the tenants could bring it in if it's raining hard so just an outdoor umbrella would suffice. Any other ideas for blowing the sm oke back?
A fan anywhere in a window/door of your unit blowing in so that there is ou tgoing pressure on the window on your deck. Any association rules about sm oke?
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On 7/16/2013 5:57 PM, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

The CC&R were written in the 1980's so nothing specific about smoke. Just a general "nuisance" provision.
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If there were a noisy air conditioner unit next to the fence, it's going to push the air up. A unit with no compressor ?
Greg
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You know those really gross No Smoking commercials, the ones where they show the smokers with the holes in their throats? Project them on a screen so the smokers have to watch them when they are smoking on the deck.
Just tell them the screen is there to block the smoke.
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SMS:
I can't see a good solution to this one except by telling YOUR tenants to close the sliding door when their neighbors are smoking. That'll keep the second hand smoke out of their unit.
If there's no rules about smoking in your condo, then they're not breaking any rules. If your tenants are complaining about the second hand smoke getting into their unit, it's up to them to close that sliding door and maybe open a window or two on the other side of the unit for ventilation.
In a situation like this, I think your tenants are being unreasonable. Why CAN'T they close the sliding door? If it provides ventilation, why can't a window or ceiling fan provide similar ventilation while the sliding door is closed? They seem to be putting you in a situation where you can't close their sliding door, and their neighbor's second hand smoke is annoying them, and they want you to solve their problem.
Tell them to close the sliding door.
--
nestork


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sms wrote:

Your renters should insist that you install central air conditioning so that they can close the door and have their anticipated and paid for quiet enjoyment of the premises. I am amazed that you require them to live under these horrendous circumstances. What happens if the next door neighbors also fire up their charcoal broiler and start it with <shudder> starter fluid? Yes, you must immediately install central air.
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On 7/16/2013 7:31 PM, sms wrote:

I would provide them a weatherproof outdoor fan to leave on their deck, plus an outdoor remote control.With a weatherproof fan you don't have to bring it in during the rain or fool around with an umbrella.
Lasko #4305 50" Outdoor Fan ($215) (Amazon.com product link shortened)
Woods 32555 Outdoor Remote Control Outlet Converter Kit ($10) http://tinyurl.com/muc7nku
When they smell smoke, click the remote to turn on the fan. If they need more recourse than that, they need to find a new place to live.
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On 7/17/2013 6:01 AM, Moe DeLoughan wrote:

You're right, and the automatic solution would not work anyway because once the smoke was blown away the detector would turn off the fan and then the smoke would start again. I'd need to build in some hysteresis.
The long term solution is to ban smoking in the entire complex which has been done in other multi-unit housing areas. A document from the CDC states "Apartment owners, managers, condominium associations, and public housing authority boards may all adopt policies eliminating or restricting smoking in multiunit housing facilities under their control." <http://www.cdc.gov/healthyhomes/healthy_homes_manual_web.pdf .
Some cities in California have also enacted smoking bans in multi-unit housing: "Thirteen cities and counties have banned smoking in all existing and new multi-unit housing, with five more doing so in 2012, according to the center. Thirteen of the cities listed in the report have placed a smoking ban on 100 percent of new and existing multi-unit housing." <http://cnsnews.com/news/article/18-california-cities-counties-ban-smoking-apartments-condos . It's too bad that the lack of common courtesy necessitates these sorts of rules.
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wrote:

You should have your city do the same instead of coming here and acting like a crybaby. See if you can get BBQ, automobile exhaust, cussing, farting and body odor outlawed while you're at it. All are probably more dangerous than your tenants detecting a whiff of cig smoke.
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I know there are room air cleaners that measure pollutants and adjust fan speed. The automatic system could work with a time delay for shutoff.
Greg
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In that case you are as much of an A.H. as your tennants are, so you deserve each other.
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On 7/18/2013 4:39 AM, JoeBro wrote:

The issue is that the smoker's behavior is inconsiderate and does violate the HOA rules about creating a nuisance. The owner of the unit screwed up by renting to smokers in the first place, a mistake she won't make again.
I hate to escalate this whole thing, but the smokers are not only being inconsiderate, they are devaluing my own property. If my tenants leave and I rent the property out again I'll have to inform prospective tenants of the smoke problem. If I sell the property I'll have to inform prospective buyers about the problem.
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sms;3093792 Wrote:

SMS: Explain to your tenants that if they want the rights and priveledges that come with being the master of their own home, they have to buy their own home. As long as they're living in rent, they have to live WITH other people, not all of whom are as considerate as they might be. AND, not all renters would be as concerned about second hand smoke as your tenants might be as well.
There are LOTS of issues that break out between tenants in the same building. Playing stereos too loud, keeping pets that are potentially dangerous to other tenant's pets (or even children), keeping their apartment in such a mess that it becomes a breeding ground for insects and pests like mice or other rodents... All of these things are potential conflicts between tenants.
Your tenants need to understand that their neighbors have as much right to smoke outside as they have to demand that sliding door be open to provide ventilation, and so they can't have it both ways. Either close that sliding doow when the neighbors are smoking or accept the fact that the neighbor's second hand smoke is going to get into their apartment.
I think the idea of purchasing a second hand smoke detector and a fan is foolish because as soon as your tenants move, or the offending tenants move, that equipment will be useless. Better to spend the money on something that will be of some benefit to the property both now and after this issue blows over.
--
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On 7/18/2013 9:52 AM, nestork wrote:

you forget that this is Kalifornia.

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.

For the most part I agree with your comments, but that one is worthy of further discussion. Yes, one tenant has as much right as the other but one tenant's actions are impacting the other, while the reverse is not true.
One tenant has the right to smoke outside but the "output" of his actions cross property lines and enter the personal space of the other. The other tenant has just as much right to open his door but doing so in no way impacts any one else - unless there is music, arguing, odors, etc. involved. In that case, see the first sentence in this paragraph.
So the discussion point is: Why do the rights of someone whose actions impact others hold equal weight with the rights of someone whose actions impact no one else? In fact, one could discuss - not argue ;-) - that the rights of the person whose actions impact others hold considerably more weight since they may in fact prohibit the other person from exercising their rights in an unencumbered manner.
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On 7/18/2013 6:06 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Welllllllllllll, so the "virginal" lungs of the offended neighbor are not polluted by.....car exhaust? burning trash? running lawn mowers? bbq grills?

They can live in close community or they can move to 20 acres in the country. Oops! 20 acres in the country might have blown dust from crop cultivation, odors from livestock, noise from the highway or the county fair. Mebbe Mt. Everest would work out better?

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Sing it, sister!!
I am particularly irritated by the government telling business owners what they can and cannot allow.
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It might sound harsh, but it's not your problem. Best to let your tenants and their neighbors handle it. If it impacts you financially, like if a tenant leaves or if you lose a sale to a prospective buyer because of the smoke, then you can do something. Get a written statement from them and start sending the owner of the property next door a monthly bill for loss of rental income.
When you sell, you are only obligated to give info about your property - not a report on the habits of the neighbors.
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On 7/18/2013 4:08 PM, Guv Bob wrote:

Not true. Well it varies by state. But in most states you are required to disclose the presence of any neighborhood nuisances that you're aware of.
I.e. when my mother and stepfather sold one house they were obligated to inform the buyers that the adjacent shopping center (over a tall concrete wall) did not abide by the city's noise ordinance and that delivery trucks made very early deliveries to the supermarket. It didn't matter that it was the city's fault for not enforcing its own ordinances (despite repeated requests); the owner was aware of a problem with the property and had to disclose the problem.
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