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Author Topic: Shitty Neighbors  (Read 988 times)
Hawkbit
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Like a Klansman in the ghetto.


on: June 29, 2017, 07:54:04 PM

I have a problem with my neighbors and I'm looking for advice on how to approach the problem with them, or if I even should.

We own our house and the property next to us is occupied by renters that have been there about a year. I work from home a few days a week so I get to see and hear their shenanigans. Most of the time in Seattle our windows are closed because it's flipping cold so this isn't an issue. This summer has been warm, so our windows are open and we get the full experience. The neighbors are white fucking trash. I don't think they work, always shitty weed smell coming from their backyard and garage, they sunbathe all afternoon in a kiddie pool and the woman smokes all. the. fucking. time.

Last year I called my local precinct because my daughter's room smelled thick like weed (she's 12yo) - I know it's not her, it's because the neighbors were blazing out in the backyard and my kid had her windows open. I did not have the officers come to the house, but I did ask what they can do. Unfortunately, they can't do anything. Because WA legalized weed, even though the smoke is coming into our house, there's nothing they can do. Luckily, it was only that one time it was bad with weed smoke. However, the officer did say they can help with neighbor's disputes, but I dropped it at that because I don't want to start up shit with them.

However, the cigarette smoke is fucking terrible. If the lady is in the backyard, my kid's room smells like smoke. If the lady sits on her front porch, our bedroom and living room smells like smoke. I'm 99% sure she can't smoke in her house because of the lease, which is why she's smoking outside. I know there's nothing we can do legally - but what the heck do we do?

The current plan is to have a polite chat with them and let them know our problem. I suspect they'll tell us to fuck off, at which point I plan to drop by their landlord's house and let her know my experiences with her tenants. I snagged her address off the assessor's site, so I can drive up there anytime I want. Then? I guess we're stuck with either dealing with it, or investing in air conditioning. The worst part is both my wife and kid have bad allergies and start sneezing and coughing when the smoke comes in - and my kid is asthmatic, so it sets her off on that additionally so she's got to get her inhaler out.

I'm not sure how to tackle this one. Any advice?
Abagadro
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Reply #1 on: June 29, 2017, 08:13:36 PM

This is general info and not meant to be legal advice from me to you. K?

There actually is stuff someone can do legally about smoke invading their space. Second hand smoke is increasingly being found by courts to be a private nuisance or a violation of the right of quiet enjoyment of property.  A landlord can evict people even if the lease doesn't specifically describe that whey are doing.  A neighbor can also bring an action against both the tenants and the landlord if a landlord doesn't take action when tenants are violating the property rights of neighbors.

Here are some cases about this issue:

http://www.smokefreehousingnc.com/docs/for-residents/secondhand-smoke-cases-involving-tenants.pdf

EDIT: I should add that this is likely not an easy (or cheap) road for someone to take, but it is there.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

-H.L. Mencken
MisterNoisy
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Reply #2 on: June 29, 2017, 08:15:48 PM

AR-15s can be bought for well under $400 now.

Just sayin'.   Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

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Mandella
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Reply #3 on: June 29, 2017, 08:19:19 PM

Window fan set on exhaust?
jgsugden
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Reply #4 on: June 29, 2017, 08:26:06 PM

Approaching the neihbor respectfully and make your request as a first step. If they are jerks, disengage, say, "I'm sorry you don't see this the way I do. I'll let you be." Then walk away without further antagonizing them.  Even if they talk jerk, they may act better afterwards if you don't escalate or prolong conflict.

If you have an HoA, look for violations in there. Some HoAs have provisions against smoking outside or where others can smell it. There are also HoAs with greater restrictions on people renting.  If you find a violation, give an anonymous tip to the board. If they do nothing, approach the board memers in person and appeal to their sense of responsibility to get them to act.

If you have to go to the landlord, focus on anything they do to damage the property. Express concern for the property and neighborhood. Perhaps see if other owners nearby are willing to add their names to concerns that the property values are being impacted.  Don't, however, be agressive. If the landlord doesn't want to hear it, don't escalate there.

Can you figure out how they pay rent? Look on linkedin for employers, etc...  If you talk with them, mention how expensive it is to live in Seattle these days and see what thy volunteer. If they're on disability and are in violation of terms, or if they're 'working from home' while on the lawn smoking out, there are things you can do with the information.

Finally, if you want to go to war, there are attorneys that will make their life hell (or the landlords) until they move. I wouldn't go there, but you might.


I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
Hawkbit
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Like a Klansman in the ghetto.


Reply #5 on: June 29, 2017, 08:31:00 PM

This is general info and not meant to be legal advice from me to you. K?


Understood absolutely - thanks for the links and information to research.

Window fan set on exhaust?

This is part of the challenge - our house is small and there's only one appropriate window for the fan to exhaust out. However, it's on the other side of the house so it pulls the smoke into the house. I've tinkered with using it as an air intake but it won't pull air in as efficiently. Essentially, if someone is smoking in their yard, it's coming in any of the windows on that side of the house no matter what - but if the fan is on, it pulls it in faster.

To compound the problem, we removed our attic insulation for the time being due to a rat problem which is now mitigated, so the house is sweltering this year (was 90 degrees inside on Sunday). I don't want to reinsulate yet because we're hoping to start an addition in October and will rope that work into the project.

Thanks for the advice, all around. Even the 2nd Amendment kinds. :)
Velorath
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Reply #6 on: June 29, 2017, 08:34:06 PM

You have to ask yourself what Nerf would have done in this situation.
Hawkbit
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Like a Klansman in the ghetto.


Reply #7 on: June 29, 2017, 08:36:00 PM


Can you figure out how they pay rent? Look on linkedin for employers, etc...  If you talk with them, mention how expensive it is to live in Seattle these days and see what thy volunteer. If they're on disability and are in violation of terms, or if they're 'working from home' while on the lawn smoking out, there are things you can do with the information.

Finally, if you want to go to war, there are attorneys that will make their life hell (or the landlords) until they move. I wouldn't go there, but you might.



This is the primary concern I have of going to the landlord - because they don't go to work, I have a sneaking suspicion the owner/landlord might be a family member. No evidence, just a hunch. Minimum for rent on this property would be $2000/mo, likely $2400.

My wife is an attorney so she can throw that around if needed, but we really don't want to go there. Hoping to have a decent conversation, but Seattle is weird - people don't want to talk to each other here.
You have to ask yourself what Nerf would have done in this situation.

Trust me, I almost started this thread with a reference.
Trippy
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Reply #8 on: June 29, 2017, 10:30:01 PM

Get something like this ASAP for your daughter's room while you figure out how to get them to stop:

http://www.allergybuyersclub.com/airpura-t600-air-purifiers.html

I used to have a similar situation with regular cigarette smoke where one of the people living next to the home I'm in was a chain smoker. My house is downwind from them and the house was a shitty's 1950's tract house that had no insulation and leaked lots of air so smells would get in even with all the windows closed.

I started buying various air purifiers to try to deal with the issue and eventually ended with up with these 3 as my main air purifiers for different rooms in the house:

http://www.allergybuyersclub.com/airpura-r600-air-purifiers.html

Standard and a Junior: http://www.allergybuyersclub.com/austin-air-healthmate-air-purifiers.html

I can go into a lot of detail about what to look for in an air purifier for this sort of situation but the main thing you are looking for in terms of actual effectiveness in removing the smoke and the harmful chemicals within is how much carbon there is in the carbon filter by weight.

Many air purifiers that have carbon filters like, say, this one (which I also own an older model of) with the SmokeStop filter:

http://www.allergybuyersclub.com/blueair-classic-205-air-purifier.html

aren't very effective at removing smoke and odors as they don't have much carbon in them or the design is not very good at passing all the air through the carbon.


Edit: added SmokeStop filter
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 10:38:03 PM by Trippy »
Samwise
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Reply #9 on: June 29, 2017, 10:35:18 PM

You have to ask yourself what Nerf would have done in this situation.

Always go full Nerf.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Abagadro
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Reply #10 on: June 29, 2017, 10:51:48 PM

You have to ask yourself what Nerf would have done in this situation.

And then do the opposite.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

-H.L. Mencken
Ironwood
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Reply #11 on: June 30, 2017, 03:12:17 AM

I had forgotten the Great Nerf War.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
IainC
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Reply #12 on: June 30, 2017, 04:02:50 AM

Something to bear in mind is that they might not actually realise what effect they are having. I don't know them obviously and I'll take your assessment that they are shitty people, but it's possible that they honestly have no idea that there could be a problem and that they might be receptive to finding a solution that works for both of you - they get to keep smoking and you don't have to deal with asthma attacks. Maybe even something as simple as a windbreak to stop the smoke from heading your way or smoking in a different part of their yard might help.

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Jimbo
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Reply #13 on: June 30, 2017, 09:48:41 AM

I was thinking, they used to make those cigarette smoke suckers back in the 70's sort of like a portable air cleaner with and ash tray. I know those portable air cleaners can be expensive, so I use a box fan, with a 20x20x1 inch air filter. It helps with my allergies, plus I change all of my filters in the house every month (along with that one on my box fan). Ventilation of the house could be done with exit air out her window, with air being pulled in from opposite sides with fans with filters. If you know any firemen or HVAC guys or gals, ask them to figure out a route to maximize your air flow and keep it going from farthest away from the smoke, to exiting from your daughters window.

Plus like other's have said, tell her that the second hand smoke is causing her asthma to flair up. She may be white trash, but most people even white trash, won't injure kids.
Sky
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Reply #14 on: June 30, 2017, 11:35:03 AM

Sell the house and move. You'll never win.

DevilsAdvocate25
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Reply #15 on: June 30, 2017, 03:36:17 PM

Accidentally burn their house down with a lit cigarette of the brand they use. Problem solved.  DRILLING AND WOMANLINESS
Count Nerfedalot
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Reply #16 on: June 30, 2017, 10:15:53 PM

the portable air cleaners (that work) are expensive because of the cost of the filters. the box fan with an A/C filter duck taped to it isn't going to do squat about smells (though it might help with particulates), but if you instead use some of that cut-to-fit carbon filter sheet it just might. the problem smokers have with the "smokeless" or smoke-sucking ash trays is they literally smoke the cigarette for them, meaning they waste half of it.

Yes, I know I'm paranoid, but am I paranoid enough?
Sky
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Reply #17 on: June 30, 2017, 10:39:03 PM

Accidentally burn their house down with a lit cigarette of the brand they use. Problem solved.  DRILLING AND WOMANLINESS
Apt username is apt.

Sir T
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Reply #18 on: June 30, 2017, 10:58:55 PM




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Yegolev
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Reply #19 on: July 06, 2017, 03:22:21 PM

A sexy ashtray.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
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Phildo
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Reply #20 on: July 06, 2017, 08:09:44 PM

Sex tray.
Yegolev
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Reply #21 on: July 07, 2017, 08:28:11 AM

Also, no one licks ashtrays.  You stub out your rod in it.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Signe
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Reply #22 on: July 07, 2017, 09:50:36 AM

Your rod?

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
Yegolev
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Reply #23 on: July 07, 2017, 10:08:57 AM

It's a euphemism.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Paelos
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Reply #24 on: July 07, 2017, 12:53:51 PM

Considering I own a house that's rented, I can tell you as the landlord, I'd want to know if my tenants were being shitheads. I'd certainly want to know about smoking because even if they do it outside, it's likely a big problem with my property value. Smokers are notorious for leaving butts everywhere, smoking inside the house even if they say they aren't, and getting the smoke smell deep in the carpets and curtains.

So I'd start with a conversation with the landlord. I'd open with, "I'm sure if it were my property I'd want to know about the following stuff with your tenants." In fact, I made it a point to send out a letter to all the surrounding houses that they let me know personally if they saw anything out of line.

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Engels
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Reply #25 on: July 08, 2017, 09:02:30 AM

What you need is a vaping evangelist to show up at their door every day for a month. Schild will do it if the price is right. He'll have to stay in your daughter's room however.

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something.

-Signe

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Reply #26 on: July 31, 2017, 05:38:40 PM

I would bet that he won't.  He hates people.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
schild
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Reply #27 on: July 31, 2017, 06:47:43 PM

Yeg's got it. There's no "right price" for me to be a vaping evangelist in any capacity.
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