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  • Pot smoking neighbors

    I live in a condo. A few days ago some new renters moved in below us. They smoke pot every day. Normally I wouldn't care, but it comes into our unit and is a nuisance. On top of that, we have a 5 week old newborn, and I'm worried about the effect it could have on her. The ped is always asking us if there is any second hand smoke exposure, does this count?

    The HOA and the cops have both told them to stop to no avail. I haven't personally said anything to them yet, since I don't know if their crazy.

    Should I be worried about the exposure to my newborn?
    Should I say anything directly to the neighbors?


  • #2
    Wow, this sounds pretty awful. I’m sorry for your situation.  While the pot exposure is likely quite limited for your newborn, I would also be a bit concerned given the studies on marijuana in young, developing brains.

    When we wanted to ask for something big from one of our neighbors, we created a very careful plan.  In our case we wanted to change the property line in the back of our property by trading land with them to create more convenient, usable land for both families.  The idea was an equal trade from us to them and them to us.

    We knew them only quite casually.  While our back properties are adjacent, their home fronts on a street a bit of a distance from our home.  I had briefly treated one of them as a patient in the setting of an emergency some time ago at the local hospital.  So we crafted a plan.  We sent a dozen organic backyard chicken eggs over as a gift one day (and our backyard chickens lay blue eggs).  We had a nice conversation.  Then we invited them over for dinner and shared some fun stories and more nice conversation.  When their stomachs were full and desert was served, we brought up our idea of a property trade.  Long story short, we all agreed and the property exchange was completed successfully.  Our neighbor is an attorney, so we did a lot of the legwork with the approvals and the survey, and they prepared the deeds and did the legal work.

    Perhaps you might get to know your neighbors a bit as neighbors first, before mentioning anything or confronting them about the marijuana smoke.  Send them some chocolates or something.  Chat with them about the weather, or the condo pool, whatever.  When people first have a relationship, things generally go much better when you have to discuss something more serious.  Timing is everything. Think about the where, when, and how of the delivery of this difficult to deliver message.

    Maybe they could get an exhaust fan?

    Or maybe you could just move....

    Comment


    • #3
      Had something similar. Downstairs neighbors always smoked, when it got cold they stopped closing the windows and it got into our baby’s nursery.

      I talked to them and said that they needed to cut it out. Infant smoke exposure is associated with asthma and other pediatric badness. I wouldn’t feel bad about being a jerk at all, it’s your baby.

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      • #4
        This is often overlooked in the rent vs buy conversation. Sharing walls and buildings sucks sometimes. You cannot pick your neighbors but you can pick how close they are. Personally to me this would be a signal that it is time to move.

        However if you are intent in staying. Any lawyer friends? They are good at strongly worded letters. Send one to the neighbors and one to the HOA. This is why HOA s exist. Get them to do their job.
        Good luck.

        Comment


        • #5
          You have a newborn and an HOA. If that can’t help induce change I don’t know what can. Tell the HOA you have a newborn and their continued actions put your newborn at risk. The fact that the HOA has told them to stop means they both agree with your position and have the power to tell the other tenants how to behave.

          You could approach the tenants directly about it, telling them you have a newborn and the smoke is getting into your unit. Tell them you don’t want to take it up with the HOA but if they persist you’ll be forced to given you have a newborn - “ordinarily I wouldn’t care BUT...”. If they persist after that I would open up the floodgates. If the HOA couldn’t get them out I’d tell the HOA that you’ll be suing them in small claims court for the moving costs and perhaps more of your newborn develops health problems as a result of their inability to properly deal with the situation.

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          • #6
            Honestly, I'd love to move but was hoping to stick it out for two more years until I finish fellowship. We could afford a different place, but it would definitely cost more than our current mortgage. This may push us over the edge though. Problem is we'd probably move to another apartment complex and rent for the next two years, which doesn't guarantee this won't happen again.

            We do know lawyers that would write us a strongly worded letter.

            I'm not sure making a personal plea to them will make a difference, but I guess that's the next step, since they don't listen to the police.

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            • #7
              I wouldnt get personal at all, not likely to go over well. This is the HOAs issue, and if anyone gets a letter from your lawyer or whatever, it should be them. They should and likely will take that much much more seriously than your neighbors who dont care obviously. Pressure the people with the power.

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              • #8
                They already know the HOA is involved, since they sent them a letter telling them they are a nuisance. The HOA claims this is all they can do. If people want to break the law in their own house, they are free to do so. HOA claims there is a similar situation in another building, that they can't do anything about and they tell us to call the police. We called the police last night, they told the guy to stop and apparently he said "ok". The police then tell us to have the HOA deal with them.

                Good idea about the small claims court. I think I'll try being nice first and see how that goes, but escalate if necessary.

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                • #9
                  Make lots of noise, stomp on the floor, move furniture around at 3am.

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                  • #10
                    With decriminalization, the pot-smoking in condos/rentals has apparently become quite a big problem.

                    Weird the HOA can't do anything if they are renters. I would see if you can get a note from your pediatrician and also talk to a lawyer about sending a letter to the HOA. Ridiculous, and I'm sorry.

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                    • #11
                      Any idea who they are renting from? No place I ever rented from allowed smoking of any kind.

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                      • #12
                        Keep calling HOA and police. Squeaky wheel gets the oil.

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                        • #13
                          When you talk to the HOA again (and the neighbors) mention the health risks. Most pot heads don’t want to give a baby lung disease and most HOAs don’t want a doctor getting angry at them, suing them, writing on yelp, etc.

                          This seriously should stop today.

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                          • #14
                            Something similar happened to me several years ago. I had moved into a rental, and the owner of the unit below me was a frequent smoker (multiple times per day). This was in direct violation of the HOA, because the neighbor had bought his condo after the date when the HOA rules changed to say that people cannot smoke on the property (and there was a grandfather-type of clause for existing residents who did smoke, but it also said that people who smoked had to do so in their units and prevent the smoke from exiting their unit--which he clearly also did not do). I knew I needed the rental for a year before relocating to another state, so I just stuck it out. It is hard enough to get someone to rent to you if you say you might only stay for a year. It helped that by closing the windows, no smoke would enter my unit from the one below. I didn't have a baby or young kids but the neighbors on the same floor as the other guy who smoked, who were in the downwind direction from him (for the typical direction that the wind would blow most days), with a young baby, listed their condo for sale. The HOA didn't enforce anything. It was terrible. I wasn't an owner and was at a disadvantage for getting things changed. Hope you get them to stop smoking.

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                            • #15
                              Although recreational is still illegal in my state, medicinal use is on the way. Despite the fact it's illegal, the cop last night was hesitant to do anything. He said if he had to come back and it was just as obvious again, then he would give them a ticket.

                              We did finally figure out who the landlord is, but I don't don't think they care. It's not hard to get good tenants here, but they seem to always find the worst people. Previous tenants were meth dealers. Before that, a tenant died in the apartment of alcohol poisoning.

                              If it doesn't stop, they be the next person to talk to though.

                              Maybe we should just move.

                              Comment

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