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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71048
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hello I live in a semi-detached house and seem to be getting

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I live in a semi-detached house and seem to be getting cigarette smoke penetrating the joining wall causing a smell in my home. I own my property but next door is rented.

I have been in touch with the landlord and he doesn't seem to want to help.
My local council say that if he is unwilling to fix the problem there is nothing they can do?

Is this correct?
I find it hard to believe that I just have to except them polluting my house?

What are my legal right?

Kind Regards

Will Peters
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Are you able to establish where the smoke is getting into your house?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Jo

No we think it might be coming in under the floor. But don't really know.
We can't see the smoke but can smell it. It can be very strong sometimes.


This is going to be a very difficult to resolve partly because you are going to have to find out how the smoke is getting in and whether it is a defect in your property or the neighbours or both.

The neighbour is entitled to smoke in their own property. If the smoke was coming out of a window and over to your property, you have a claim in private nuisance provided you have some evidence from an independent third party regarding the smoke.

If these are relatively old houses, it is not uncommon for the fireplace, (if it has been used for coal fires for years), to have leakage between properties.

It is also not uncommon for the smell get in around floor joists and threw bricks which are missing under the floor.

Unfortunately you cannot do anything about the neighbours smoking in the house and you are faced with finding out how it is getting in.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Jo


Just so I'm 100% clear


Am I correct that unless we undertake an investigation of where the smell is getting in we have to just put up with the smoke polluting my house?


If there is no problem on my side of the wall how can I investigate or even fix it if the problem is on their side?


No I legally have no right to expect the landlord of next door to stop it?

How is it ok for them to pollute my house with fumes harmful to my health?


I understand they are within there rights to smoke next door but is it not down to them fix the problem?


Kind Regards



There must be a defect in both walls to allow a smell from one building to go into the other.

If you can find a defect in your house, the landlord is likely to be in the same place and once you know that, you can fix yours and take action to make him fix his.

You have every right to expect the landlord next door to stop it but until you have proof that it exists, that you can place in front of the court, there is no point in bringing a court action if the landlord ignores you.

The first thing that you are going to have to do and I know it will be difficult is to find out how this smoke
is getting in
Remus2004 and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks very much

No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile