A series of stupid and irrelevant things have been leading towards an eviction notice for myself and my son, and I have been nervously waiting for the other shoe to drop. It all started with a threatening tone in a text from my landlord concerning a clause in my rental contract about smoking in my apartment, and mentioned a $50 fine. I had to dig up that rental contract to find absolutely nothing in regards to smoking (I’m assuming he was referring to tobacco smoke).
Apparently, someone (pretty sure it’s our new upstairs neighbor) has been complaining that someone in my apartment is creating enough smoke to really bother them. I don’t allow tobacco smoke in my home, and tolerate very little pot smoke (it’s legal here). So it’s not us, and I told the landlord that.
The next day, the landlord showed up at my door with a 24-hour notice to enter to inspect my smoke detectors, and stated he’d be back the next afternoon. This was BS, because he’d just installed and tested several brand new smoke detectors back in June. He didn’t show up until 8pm two days later, and after I pointed out the date and time, and mentioned I was not legally required to let him in at this hour, he said it had just been too hot. He was talking to my next door neighbors and said he would be back; I shut my door and ignored his knock.
In a subsequent text message, I said my next door neighbor regularly smoked both tobacco and marijuana, and a LOT of it blew between our apartments through two holes in the wall. It made my eyes water when I was preparing dinner right next to the dishwasher, in front of one of those holes. Over the years I had told the landlord as well as several maintenance persons about this problem, and nothing has been done. It got worse when recreational pot became legal, and my neighbor happily enjoyed hash oil, wax, and several other high octane marijuana products that burned the hell out of my eyes and made me cough.
The landlord still has not been over to investigate any holes in the wall. And there have been several more texts about complaints from the neighbor. However, those complaints stopped about a week ago, maybe because he’s getting tired of hearing about it. In the meantime, my nerves are shot, I don’t go out in daylight because I don’t know which neighbors are saying what to the landlord, and I don’t want to give ammunition to anyone who wants me out of here.
‘Cause I’m not financially ready to leave. I thought I had enough money stashed, and I thought I had plenty of time to be picky about where I wanted to live. The truth is that application fees amount to over $100 for two adults, and security fees and deposits vary wildly. While the Housing Authority will authorize a reasonable amount for monthly rent, prospective tenants are required to pay the entire amount of any deposits and fees. I am looking into getting help with deposits and fees, but so far what I’ve found has only been available to people facing certain eviction, or are already homeless, and I’m trying hard to avoid either option. I don’t want to have to move into the first place that will accept me; that’s how I ended up here.
This all boils down to what, exactly, are the laws concerning pot smoke that is strong enough to be considered a nuisance. The answer to that question is it depends on where you live, because there is no federal or state law for this. It varies from city to city, town to town. And it concerns the physical location and building, not the people living there; the actual walls and contents of the location have to be causing the odor for there to be cause to execute a legal complaint for noncompliance with a city ordinance. And then I don’t know if the landlord has to prove we’re causing the problem, or if we have to prove we’re not.
If you like my work you can support me at: PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org Pamela Becker