What can I do about my neighbor’s smoking? Ask the lawyer – San Bernardino Sun

Q: Can I get the tenant in the unit next to us to stop smoking on his patio? The smoke comes over to us, if we are on our back patio or if we have our patio door open or any windows there.

M.K, San Pedro

Ron Sokol

A: An initial thought is that the rental or lease agreement may prohibit smoking. As of January 2021, landlords in California have the right to restrict or even fully ban smoking on all or parts of the rental premises, common areas and individual units. Hence, it may help to ask your landlord to intervene.

Should you personally approach the neighbor, orally or in writing, be courteous. Avoid creating an incident, but do establish a record. If the smoking persists, despite the landlord’s or your efforts, there are legal claims you may pursue such as negligence, harassment, nuisance and even trespass. A well-worded letter from an attorney to the smoker may help.

Also, if the town in which you reside has an ordinance that prohibits or restricts the smoking, report the situation to the appropriate public agency or official.

Q: Two of my co-workers smoke and neither is very considerate. Are they allowed to smoke in the office?

J.S., Anaheim

A: As an employee, you have the right to a workplace that is free of dangerous, toxic chemicals and smoke. In 1995, California became the first state to ban smoking in the workplace, which also includes public buildings and indoor work spaces. The law has expanded over time to ban various smoking products from use in the workplace, such as e-cigarettes, a hookah, cigars, cigarillos and marijuana.

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