Dover, DE asked in Civil Litigation for Delaware

Q: I currently live in a townhouse, and my next door neighbors currently rent the property. We are having issues with them.

They continue to smoke in the house and we are constantly smelling smoke coming through the walls. I've called their rental company, asking them to stop. They stop for a while, then start up again. They are also on a month to month contract. I've called the rental company 2 times in the past 9 mnths and I'm considering legal action. The homeowners are in Germany and I've been told that they can't afford to kick them out yet they continue to smoke and we can smell it coming through the walls. I'm not sure if I have a case or not?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Snyderman
Charles Snyderman
  • Wilmington, DE
  • Licensed in Delaware

A: Your question raises some interesting questions. Bringing a lawsuit to recover money would not solve your problem, so the best remedy for you would be an injunction. The issue would be whether the Court would consider smoking a nuisance. As far as I know, this issue has not been addressed by a Delaware court. The bottom line, however, is that filing a lawsuit over this situation would be very expensive in terms of legal fees. Therefore, a non-legal solution would be more practical. Despite what you've been told by the rental company, the owners may not know that the tenants are smoking in their property. In fact, the lease agreement might even prohibit it. Do you know the owners? Can you reach out to them directly? You might contact the American Lung Association for tips on how to reduce the smell and more importantly, how you can protect your health.

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