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Daily Dilemma- Smoked Out

Dear Kelly,

I live in an apartment and my next door neighbor is a chain smoker.  The building must have horrible ventilation because my place smells like smoke ALL THE TIME.  Even worse, my clothes smell like they did after bar hopping back in the 90's.  I've talked to my landlord about the problem but he suggested I open a window.  I've signed a year lease and have almost 6 months to go, but I don't think I can take it for that long.

Help!

Smoked Out

Dear S.O.,

I googled Charlotte housing laws and unhealthy and unsafe conditions and found quite a bit of information that would be helpful to you.  First of all, poor ventilation is on the list of things the landlord is responsible for maintaining.  The fact that you can smell your neighbors cigarette smoke in your apartment is blatant proof that the ventilation in your building is poor.  And, considering you attempted to get the landlord to fix the problem yet he replied "open a window, it's obvious he's not going to do anything about the situation.  That being said, you can give your landlord written notice of your moving day by providing a letter stating the problem and quoting Article 5 of the North Carolina Landlord and Tenant Law that requires him to provide each tenant with healthy living conditions.  To make your case even stronger, pay a lawyer to write the letter for you.  It's cheaper than you think and worth it in the long run to be able to move today instead of 6 months from now.

Good luck!

Kelly McKay

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