Ogden, UT asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Utah

Q: Is there anyone who can help with secondhand smoke coming into our private home from a duplex next door?

There is all kind of help for landlords and tenants relating to secondhand smoke, but we are finding it difficult to find help for secondhand smoke coming from a duplex next door, and entering into our home. It is so bad, that our family is experiencing everything from eye irritation, nasal and throat drainage, fatigue, to neck tension and headaches. According to real estate history, the duplex has always been nonsmoking except for one instance, since it was built over twenty years ago and now with a new manager, they have changed that to allow tenants to smoke. We can deal with a few cigarettes, but these people are 'chain smokers' with someone smoking almost every hour of the day and night. And once that smoke enters our home, it can get so bad that we even see a haze! We have tried everything to either stop the smoke entering our home and clearing it out, but nothing helps. We tried to talk to the new management but they just brushed us off and the tenants of course are even worse.

1 Lawyer Answer
Margaret Olson
Margaret Olson
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: Under Utah law, environmental tobacco smoke is a statutorily defined nuisance. See Utah Code Ann. 78B-6-1105. While this statute is expressly directed to condominium units and apartments, it should also apply to a duplex that you are renting. You may need to have a lawyer assist you in evaluating whether it is worth pursuing an action. See also Utah Code Ann. 78B-6-1106.

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