In addition to health risks, smoking can cause friction in living in condominiums, especially if the apartments are close to each other. When cigarette smoke or other substances start to affect the quality of the air in the neighborhood, residents and administrators have the support of the law to take action, experts explain.
In buildings, residents are allowed to smoke inside their own apartment, exercising their property rights, but without exceeding limits, explains Rodrigo Karpat, a lawyer specializing in condominium issues. According to him, the act of smoking cannot bring disturbance or harm to the peace, health and safety of neighbors.
“Once again, we are back to good and old common sense. Interference in these situations is only when the person has violated the right to neighbor. In this case, he can be prevented or suffer some sanction for smoking inside the unit,” he says.
If you are a neighbor who is bothered by another resident’s smoke or cigarette smell, the first step is to engage in dialogue. Karpat explains that the situation is considered a problem between two units, which means that the manager does not necessarily need to intervene.
“The residents must try to solve the situation in isolation and, if there is no solution or a good relationship, call the manager”, he adds.
If the inconvenience is reported by more than one apartment, the issue becomes a problem of the condominium and the manager is responsible for seeking a solution, being possible to apply warnings or fines to the owner who smokes excessively.
Karpat recalls that smoking in common areas, even open ones, is prohibited under federal and state laws. Thus, spaces such as the old “smoking rooms” are no longer allowed in condominiums.
The professional liquidator Alexandre Prandini says that the lack of a space for smokers can cause problems. “Locals sometimes ask ‘you want me to smoke where? On the street?’ and we are forced to say that yes, it really would have to be on the street”, he explains.
When this happens, it is possible to try to reach an agreement between the residents, defends Prandini. Upon realizing the need, the manager can propose the definition of an area where smoking is allowed, being a completely open place and as far as possible from the building tower.
“You have to take this to a meeting and put it in the minutes. That way, you organize the smoking rules inside the condominium. It’s a risk, because, in fact, you’re not strictly complying with the law, but you create an enabling environment and possible to exist,” he argues.
In addition to the smoke and smell, cigarettes bring another important discussion: butts. Throwing cigarette butts out the window or balcony provides fines to the tenant. “Apart from the risk of fire, it violates the rules for throwing objects in a unit, so it can and should be fined”, says Rodrigo Karpat.
Specialists reinforce the importance of getting along with each other as a factor in solving problems with uncomfortable neighbors. As with smoking, complaints about noise, the presence of animals in the condominium and the improper use of masks, for example, should try to be resolved in the dialogue first. In case it is not enough, the exits can come through the trustee or judicial measures.
Learn more | smoking unit owners
Smoking inside the apartment is permitted
However, there are limits. According to the article. 1,277 of Law No. 10.406/2002, smokers cannot harm:
- the security;
- the quiet;
- and/or the health of neighbors
If a smoking unit bothers:
Only one neighboring apartment:
- Try to resolve it with dialogue between the two units
- Request intermediation from the liquidator, in the last case
Two or more neighboring apartments:
- The situation becomes a problem of condominium, not just between units
- It is necessary to call the liquidator
- The trustee may take the appropriate measures, such as warnings or fines
In common areas, smoking is prohibited by legislation, even in open places.
Throw butts from the balcony or window of the apartment:
- Generates fire hazard
- It is characterized as dumping of garbage or objects, which, as a rule, provides for fines
Resolution of other uncomfortable situations:
- First try the dialogue between units
- Ordinance can also be triggered to solve the problem
- If it persists, the manager must be alerted and may issue warnings or fines
- The rules of coexistence and circulation are provided for in the condominium agreement
- Disturbing the peace, health and safety of neighbors can lead to warnings or fines
- It is necessary to be aware of the hygiene, noises and odors of animals
Inappropriate use of the mask
- At first, the manager can guide the unit owner
- If it persists, the receiver has the support of the law to notify and fine the resident
Sources: Alexandre Prandini, professional liquidator, and Rodrigo Karpat, a lawyer specializing in condominium issues.