To want something done about next door's cigarette smoke smell in my house?

(70 Posts)
TastyMuffins Tue 19-Jul-11 23:51:53

I own my own terraced house, one of the adjoining houses is privately let and the new tenants are smokers, when they smoke in the house the smell comes up through the floorboards.

I have lived here for over ten years and both houses have had major renovations including victorian hearths removed and new rear extensions. I believe removal of a hearth on either or our side or theirs has left a gap under the houses which causes the problem. The smell is worst in my bathroom and living room where the hearth used to be. The new tenants moved in a couple of weeks ago.

Am I being unreasonable to expect the landlord of the neighbouring house to sort out this hole to stop the smell coming through? Should I speak to the tenants? I guess it is unreasonable to ask them not to smoke in their kitchen (which seems to be where the smell comes from).

worraliberty Tue 19-Jul-11 23:53:31

Oh for fuck sake by some air freshener!

Would you be this anal if they cooked curry and your didn't like the smell of that either? hmm

GypsyMoth Tue 19-Jul-11 23:55:31

You 'believe' a hole is the culprit. Your grate was removed also so why can't you get it looked at and fixed?

GypsyMoth Tue 19-Jul-11 23:56:18

Hearth not grate. Just get someone in to zealot?

But it prob won't solve it

Nanny0gg Tue 19-Jul-11 23:56:39

I would.
Why is it anal to not want unpleasant smells in your house?
I'd try and have a word and see if there is a solution.

MillyR Tue 19-Jul-11 23:57:17

i don't think they are more responsible for the hearth issue than you are. Could you not fix the hearth on your side? I would be more concerned about the vermin risk or a fire risk if smoke is getting through between houses. It is dangerous in a fire if smoke can get through upstairs floorboards in one house, let alone pass through into an adjacent property. The cigarette smoke is the least of your problems.

suzikettles Tue 19-Jul-11 23:57:37

I get this too. I think it comes through old fireplaces that are now cupboard running the full height of our tenement flats.

I only really notice when I go to my mum's for the weekend and realise that all the clothes I've brought with me smell slightly stale from the smoke.

There's nothing you can do and I don't think you can reasonably ask the landlord to do anything either. If you can find any likely gaps then you could try sealing them, but the nature of smoke is that it will seep through floorboards or the smallest gaps.

Rude as worraliberty was, she's right. Try an airfreshner or one of those plug in ionisers that's meant to take away the smell of tobacco smoke.

I sympathise though. It's pretty unpleasant.

nightowlmostly Tue 19-Jul-11 23:59:01

My house used to let through a lot of cooking smells from next door, and it was curry, funnily enough!

We did a bit of work in the house and it stopped coming through, maybe just a vent or something?

I'm sure its fixable, but to be fair I'd have the hump as well!

worraliberty Tue 19-Jul-11 23:59:11

Because terraced houses will always get smells from nextdoor

Dear god, I sometimes wonder what the hell my neighbours cook..but the smell goes straight into my conservatory. I simply spray air freshener and dream of winning the lottery.

ChuckYouFarlie Wed 20-Jul-11 00:01:00

I sympathise too. Smell from a downstairs smoker wafts up to my kitchen and is disgusting sad. Means I have to keep kitchen doors (lovely french ones) closed most of the time.

Nowt you can do...

aseriouslyblondemoment Wed 20-Jul-11 00:03:46

having lived in a victorian terrace myself i'm struggling to see how this has happened tbh.
esp as most have been modernised and extended.
op did you have a full survey prior to buying your house?

HowlingBitch Wed 20-Jul-11 00:05:43

<Puffs a cigar> Eh?

was this thread not done some time ago not a lot you can do about it until smoking is banned from your own home as well sad

TastyMuffins Wed 20-Jul-11 00:07:34

I certainly won't be buying air freshner and would/did have the same problem when it was food smells. I rarely get food smells now but have had with previous tenants, that is not near as bad.

I have stripped floor boards so their are small gaps, next door also has stripped floor boards in the kitchen - actually worst smell was when they were varnished!

The problem is not an obviously visible gap but something under the houses in the middle which is where the hearths were. If I could see or access a gap, I could attempt to fill it.

I meant thier home not yours by the way

garlicbutter Wed 20-Jul-11 00:13:45

Fill the gaps in the floorboards, you nutter! You can't complain of seeping pongs when you've got holey floors. It'll also improve heat retention. You do it with sawdust and glue, the instructions are all over the internet.

I bet you've left gaps by the skirtings, too. Go on, you have, haven't you grin

AmaraDresden Wed 20-Jul-11 00:15:18

It's their home, are you saying you'd tell them what perfume to use as well? I get that it's annoying but because they rent you seem to think you have more rights than they do. As a private tenant this annoys me deeply. Also a smoker (though I choose to smoke outside).

AmaraDresden Wed 20-Jul-11 00:15:18

It's their home, are you saying you'd tell them what perfume to use as well? I get that it's annoying but because they rent you seem to think you have more rights than they do. As a private tenant this annoys me deeply. Also a smoker (though I choose to smoke outside).

agree amara, I smoke although outside, other neighbours smoke inside, i smell it when i come out of flat but that is thier business simple as that so OP YABVU and sorry to add but where does the " i own and they are renters" come into it, chances are they are paying more in rent than you are paying mortgage. Getting bored with the renting/mortgage stuff to be honest

HowlingBitch Wed 20-Jul-11 00:21:25

I can remember sleeping next door to my brothers room and there was a HUGE gap in the skirting board. Needless to say my bed was against that wall and the stink that would seep through was awful.

I would hear the fart then brace myself (or cover my face!) Yuck.

TastyMuffins Wed 20-Jul-11 00:22:59

The gaps in the floorboards have been filled both with PVA and sawdust for the smaller ones and wooden tappets for the larger ones, these of course come and go, some have fallen out. It isn't the floorboard gaps that is the problem, it is the gap underneath the party wall that allows the smoke that goes through the floorboards to pass under and up my floorboards. Silicone sealer actually works better as it's more flexible so won't drop out.

The skirting boards are new, no gaps.

Actually I wonder why I haven't had cooking smells for years? Maybe no one has cooked for 3 years?

garlicbutter Wed 20-Jul-11 00:31:09

That makes sense about the silicone sealer - love that stuff! Thanks for the tip.
However many molecules escape from next door, they still need ingress to your house so as to bother you. Whether it's the hearth, the roof or a mousehole, there's something you haven't finished properly. Having said that, I wouldn't be as bothered about it as you ... these houses have still got the old fireplaces (non-functional) so it's like sharing, as far as sounds & smells are concerned!

You could always go round and ask if your cooking smells bother them wink
Or fart near the skirting board!

worraliberty Wed 20-Jul-11 00:32:19

Maybe you're more anal about fag smoke than cookery?

TastyMuffins Wed 20-Jul-11 00:52:30

Sorry Amara that you think I 'seem to think you have more rights than they do'. Not sure why you think that. The difference between me owning my house and them renting is that I am responsible for repairs to my house their landlord is responsible. Because the house is rented, tenants come and go more frequently than when it was owner occupied so when their are non smokers in the house I am unaware of the problem. I am also aware that I need to find the landlord to ask about the problem of the gap rather than the tenants who have just moved in and don't know the history. The tenants didn't have the hearth removed, the landlord did so they are not responsible.

They probably pay twice what I pay for my mortgage. Not sure what that has to do with it though, these are very different houses.

Not sure what the issue is over renting/mortgage.

I have never wanted to tell them what perfume to wear or what to do, daft idea. I just want to prevent their cigarette smoke transferring through the houses, I don't want to stop them smoking, that's not my job.

If my smells were reaching them, I would expect them to want me to do something about it. Same sort of reciprocal approach as noise problems.

TastyMuffins Wed 20-Jul-11 00:58:20

Garlicbutter, the silicon sealant was actually a tip from the builder working on the house nextdoor years ago (never checked if that's what he used on that house though).

My kitchen has a concrete and tiled floor so the smells don't go through that!

Both houses have very different lay outs now. Adjoining fireplaces, chimney breasts and hearths were removed when both houses were renovated separately. Their fireplace was where their kitchen is now, mine was where my bathroom and living room are now.

Personally I'd prefer fart smell over fag smell but someone would just call me anal if I said that. grin

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