Neighbours making the shared corridor smell unbearable

(30 Posts)
SummerOfLadybirds Wed 06-May-15 11:59:04

We share a corridor with one other apartment. Our neighbours kept leaving bin-bags in corridor overnight. Always very smelly bin-bags (soiled nappies, rotting food stench). The smell was coming into our apartment so we started taking their bin-bags downstairs to bin-store ourselves and they soon got the hint and stopped leaving them there.

But the last 4 days our shared corridor REEKS! The smell of dirty nappies is so strong it's seeping into our apartment. When we open our front door it's overpowering. I can't see any bin-bags around so either they've been leaving them in corridor overnight then removing them very early, or they're concealing them (they keep bits of old furniture etc outside their door so could put bin-bags out of sight) or possibly their toddler had an accident on the corridor carpet or a bag leaked (no stain that I can see but noticed a bottle of cleaning-fluid near their door).

The smell is horrendous and is making my morning sickness much worse. AIBU to think it's disgusting to contaminate a communal area in this way? How do we raise it with them without offending them, especially as there are no visible rubbish-bags anymore just the horrendous smell? I'm tempted to put a note under their door or a general notice on the front door downstairs e.g. 'for hygiene reasons please do not leave rubbish-bags in communal areas'...

FenellaFellorick Wed 06-May-15 12:00:18

could you talk to whoever manages the flats?

Vomit on their door?

Seriously, I don't blame you at all for hating this - and yes, it is disgusting to contaminate a communal area this way. Could you approach them in person - a note or notice might just get their backs up, where a personal approach (especially if you are looking rather green around the gills) might arouse their sympathy.

WorraLiberty Wed 06-May-15 12:03:19

OMG I thought you were PA enough to begin with when you said you started taking their rubbish down, so they got the hint...rather than simply having a polite word.

But putting a note under their door or on the front door downstairs? Really?

Just have a polite word, asking them if they've noticed the sickening stench and if they have any idea what's causing it.

QueenBean Wed 06-May-15 12:12:39

Why are you worried about offending these people?

Just go and knock on their door and have a conversation about it for heavens sake. I can't quite believe that you posted here for advice rather than just going to speak to them!

SummerOfLadybirds Wed 06-May-15 12:14:07

I don't mean to come across as passive aggressive, I'd just rather avoid the mutual embarrassment of a face-to-face confrontation about this. How do you imply someone is making the shared corridor smell awful without making them feel very embarrassed and upset? Even asking if they know what's causing the smell is akin to accusing them, as there are no other apartments on this floor. It's a wide corridor with storage area by their door, so I'm wondering if they've left a soiled cot mattress or dirty clothes or something in storage bit.

I feel like it's too vague to contact management committee (just a smell no visible source of smell though it's clearly the smell of dirty nappies).

Maybe I should get a very very pungent air freshener and keep spraying it in corridor?

FenellaFellorick Wed 06-May-15 12:15:22

is there adequate ventilation in the corridor?

QuintShhhhhh Wed 06-May-15 12:16:24

Surely leaving human waste outside their front door, in a shared carpeted corridor is against management guidelines? I would call up the management company and talk to them.

Better you do it before they discover it themselves, and blame both of you.

WorraLiberty Wed 06-May-15 12:16:41

Yes get an air freshener

But what are you talking about face-to-face confrontation for?

They are your neighbours. The smell affects everyone. You don't actually know where this new smell is coming from and actually, they might not know either.

So simply asking them a friendly question about it, is surely the way forward?

SummerOfLadybirds Wed 06-May-15 12:18:13

Its quite well-ventilated, high ceiling, spacious, and a door at bottom of stairs, though no window that can be opened.

WorraLiberty Wed 06-May-15 12:19:18

Actually I don't think it is too vague to contact management committee.

You're assuming this smell is caused by your neighbours, but there could be some other problem in the building that's causing it.

Let them investigate it.

abigamarone Wed 06-May-15 12:22:36

Does anyone else find the smell as overpowering as you do? I say this because during the entire span of my first pregnancy my sense of smell became incredibly acute and I had to avoid Asda because the smell of donuts overwhelmed me everytime I went in.

MaidOfStars Wed 06-May-15 12:23:19

Perfectly reasonable to contact management company.

"There is a strong/overpowering smell of human excrement in the hallway. Can you come and investigate/sort out immediately, before it becomes a serious (and notifiable) health and safety issue? I'm worried that a drain or toilet might have broken."

WhoNickedMyName Wed 06-May-15 12:27:35

I'd just knock and say "have you noticed it stinks out here? I'm wondering if it's the drains or something. I'm going to give the building management a call about it - do you want to just have a look amongst that stuff of yours piled in the corridor to see if a dirty nappy or something is hidden amongst it before I call them".

TheCraicDealer Wed 06-May-15 12:33:16

If you're not allowed to have buggies in communal areas (see various previous threads) then you're not allowed bin bags. Aside from the fact it's anti-social letting your rubbish stink out a corridor, it's a fire hazard. You're supposed to keep fire routes clear of combustible material at all times.

Speak to them first and say that the smell might be stronger than they think. Yes, it'll be embarrassing, but if it bothers you that much you'll do it. If they're rude or fail to stop, approach the property agent with the 'fire hazard' route.

SummerOfLadybirds Wed 06-May-15 12:33:19

Abi, yes my DH finds it overpoweringly awful as well, so it's not just pregnancy hormones. Also our friends commented on it when they visited last night.

We're fairly sure it's the neighbours as it used to be terrible every time they left rubbish-bags out, then it would fade away when bags were removed.

I've just sprayed copious amounts of very strong pine air freshener out there, so hopefully they'll get the hint! Yes its a good idea to contact management on basis it might be a drain/broken toilet, didn't think of that and sounds better than complaining about a random smell of dirty nappies!

Instituteofstudies Wed 06-May-15 12:37:22

I wouldn't beat about the bush asking where they think the smell if coming from. If they're leaving bin bags full of household waste in the corridor then that's where it's coming from. There are bins and they should use them. If everyone else left their bin liners full of waste in the corridors, it would be like a landfill site.

I hate confrontation too but to me this is non negotiable and they need to be told to not leave it out in shared areas and to put it in the bins because it is very unpleasant at best, and a health risk at worst. Yak.

WorraLiberty Wed 06-May-15 12:40:00

This is not confrontation though, this is asking a polite question Institute

OP, another reason I would ask them if they've noticed it/know where it's coming from is because if it's not actually them causing the smell this time, they might be assuming it's you.

annielouise Wed 06-May-15 13:16:01

Just speak to them. If they're nice/decent/fair they'll realise they need to sort it and apologise. If they're not they're counting on you not making a fuss so they can carry on. Just knock the door and say "The smell in the corridor is horrendous. Have you noticed?" If they say no push it further and say "Well it's just that before bin bags were being left out... so we were wondering if that's still happening". Don't shirk doing this. You're far more polite than I.

MrsNextDoor Wed 06-May-15 13:20:34

I have this but slightly differently in that my elderly neighbour mops the shared corridor EVERY week without fail with a dirty stinking mop.

I have no doubt she's not aware that her mop stinks...and she's so old I feel mean. So what I do is sneak out after her and re-mop with bleach! She must be covering the floor with bacteria!

wigglesrock Wed 06-May-15 13:27:49

Contact the management company, tell them the stench is so bad, you're worried an animal has died behind something or something is rotting in the walls. I'd just talk to your neighbours but if you don't fancy that.

AyMamita Wed 06-May-15 14:01:33

MrsNextDoor in your position I would buy your neighbour a new mop "as a thank-you for always cleaning the corridor". Problem solved, and you won't have to mop it yourself any more grin

FuckingLiability Wed 06-May-15 14:08:10

That's gross. Definitely speak to your managing agent as most blocks of flats don't allow rubbish to be stored in hallways.

Skiptonlass Wed 06-May-15 14:11:05

Carpeted entranceway, oh, Britain, I despair...

I've had neighbours like this (antisocial idiots from hell who ruined the mixed HA/private block we lived in) they will never listen or change,

I had neighbours with two very neglected, under walked, very elderly dogs. The dogs frequently soiled the corridor. The neighbours left bin bags there, never cleaned up after their dogs etc. it was hell. They also openly conducted drug deals and their side business of selling smuggled fags in the corridor.

You need to call whoever owns the flats and get it sorted. And quietly suggest to the owners that hard flooring would be easier to keep clean. If they don't fix it, call environmental health.

britnay Wed 06-May-15 14:24:12

Regardless of the stench, bits of broken furniture and bin bags are a fire safety hazard. The corridors should be kept clear at all times.
If they don't clear the area, speak to the management company. If nothing happens, call the local fire brigade to have a word with them.

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