Abate Nuisance. If second-hand smoke from a unit is drifting into the common areas or other units, the board can require that smokers abate the nuisance by taking one or more of the following steps:
purchase HEPA filters (at the smoker's expense) and operate them inside the unit at a level that prevents smoke from migrating to surrounding areas
seal all penetrations in walls, ceilings and floors (at the smoker's expense) to prevent smoke from migrating to surrounding areas
install exhaust fans that vent to the outdoors
install weather stripping and door sweeps around their external doors
Architectural Standards. In addition to the above, boards can lessen second-hand smoke problems over time by requiring condominium owners to fire stop all wall, floor and ceiling penetrations whenever they remodel their units. This has the added benefit of reducing nuisance noise between units. Even though city inspectors routinely order owners (at the owner's expense) to fire stop penetrations during remodeling, inspectors sometimes miss this item. By including the requirement in the association's rules, it is easier for boards to enforce it against owners who fail to fire stop.
Amending CC&Rs. Unfortunately, the measures described above are not always successful. If they fail, the association may need to amend its CC&Rs to prohibit smoking in units.
ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.