The bottom line is that a person has the right to smoke on their own
If that person is renting, and the lease doesn't prohibit it, they can
smoke on property they rent too. (in my case, I specifically prohibit
tenants from smoking anywhere in the building, and I don't allow the
burning of candles, incense, sweet grass or anything else in the
When the smoke gets blown around by the wind, and ends up going into a
neighbors yard, you can't blame the smoker for that. He has no control
over the wind.
In the case at hand, the tenants should just learn to close their patio
sliding door when second hand smoke comes into their apartment. If they
want the landlord to put up automatic fans to blow that smoke some other
way, then they're simply being unreasonable... (unless they're willing
to pay for the fans and their installation cost).
In this case, I think the tenants are seeing how far they can push the
landlord. The clear and obvious solution is to close the door, but they
smell the possibility of making the landlord spend several hundred
dollars installing fans to make them happy, and so that's what they're
I didn't see it mentioned, so out of curiosity, has anyone spoken to the
smoking neighbors? It's possible that they don't realize the annoyance
factor of the blowing smoke. (I know when I used to smoke, I thought
people who complained about being able to smell smoke on clothes and
wafting in the breeze etc were just crocks, but when I stopped smoking,
I realized just how noticeable it can be, more so than I'd have
thought). Since they are apparently wiling to cooperate with the
landlord's rule not to smoke in the hose, it's possible they might be
willing to do something to eliminate/reduce the second hand smoke, like
maybe putting a fan on their own patio to blow it in a different
direction. Or use "smokeless' ashtrays.
Otherwise, maybe you could put up one of those bamboo roll-up screens on
the patio, that your tenants could lower when they open the patio door,
to help to deflect the smoke. Or put a fan inside of their patio door
blowing out as an exhaust fan, pulling air in from another window.
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