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Opinion: Burnaby tenant ‘lawyered up’ because landlord won’t stop smokers

Legal action could be happening to enforce the rules
(via Thinkstock)

“Why do smokers move into non-smoking buildings?” asks a Burnaby renter.

It’s an interesting question. I live in a non-smoking building, but have to suffer with wafting smoke – from cigarettes and pot – that’s getting worse as we open our windows more often.

I’ve complained by since smoke travels it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where it’s coming from.

The Burnaby renter posing the question above has taken things to the next level and is now “lawyered up” to fight management that isn’t doing enough to enforce its own bylaws.

“Upon accepting tenancy and signing the tenancy agreement, I was informed by my building manager that it was a smoke-free building,” the renter writes. “This was great for me, as I suffer from health conditions that could be severely exacerbated by second-hand smoke. There were older longer-term tenants who were grandfathered in, but the tenants in my particular area of the building were not.

“New tenants moved into the unit below me. Almost immediately I could smell cigarette smoke. Sure enough, the tenant was outside on his balcony lighting up a storm. I asked him whether or not he was told there was to be no smoking, and his response was, ‘The manager said I’m allowed to smoke.’ So he’s a special snowflake, apparently, because no one else who’s new here gets that same special treatment. He of course could have been lying, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he were actually being truthful ... I also don’t see why he would lie about that when I could just go and confirm it with the manager. Nonetheless, the rules clearly don’t apply to all. Flouting the rules like this shows your true character. And if mine or my relative’s health conditions worsen as a result of this smoke exposure, I’ll make sure all parties are held responsible.”

Management has denied that it is allowing the tenant to smoke, but also isn’t doing anything to enforce the bylaws so it keeps happening.

The whole thing is so frustrating for non-smokers because we get exposed to this disgusting habit on a daily basis. As the weather gets nicer, many residents are unable to sit out on their balconies because of the smoke.

Look, some smokers are respectful and will go off the property to have a dart, but there are too many who ignore the rules and too many landlords who just throw up their hands.

You would think landlords would want to protect their own units from smoke damage, but I guess not.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.