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What are my options for living in an apartment with neighbors that smoke?

The smell of cigarette smoke has been one of my biggest triggers for as long as I’ve had migraines (almost 20 years). Last year I moved to the Seattle area after graduating college and moved into an apartment. In Washington it is very rare to find an apartment with air conditioning, so most people just put a fan in their window during the nights. My problem is that my downstairs neighbor smokes like a chimney on his deck and the smoke smell fills my bedroom when I’m trying to fall asleep at night, making me nauseous and giving me a migraine. My apartment community isn’t smoke free, but my migraines have been diagnosed and documented for many years. Do I have any options in terms of terminating my lease or legal rights? I’m not really sure where to start at this point and I’m suffering too much to bear.



Community Answers

  1. IcePackHead says:

    Try to see if your landlord will reimburse you for the purchase of a high quality air filter. If not, consider buying one for yourself (like a dyson). I would not risk breathing in second hand smoke for many reasons. Best of luck.

  2. Joanna Bodner moderator says:

    Hi there Bridget93,
    This is so discouraging to hear. I am so sorry that you are forced to be subjected to that constantly in your own home. Unfortunately, I am not certain what your legal rights may be and/or what is stated in our lease. Have you brought this to your landlord’s attention?
    Maybe that can be your starting point is to have a conversation with them and find out what options you have. Are there other units that might be available in your building? Maybe as opposed to a termination a relocation within the same building might be possible? Just a thought. Hopefully you receive some feedback from the community as well. Good luck and I truly hope you are able to come to a resolution. Warmly, Joanna (Migraine.com Team)

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