New apartment smells like a bar... cigarettes!

Dear AL:
Me and my family just moved into a new apartment that smells like a bar. We didn't notice the cigarette smell before since the previous couple that lived here burned 2 sticks of incense in every room, which should have been a big warning sign. I complained to the landlord, and he showed us in the contract we signed that we're responsible for cleaning and painting the apartment. Like no duh! But this place should have been cleaned up right before we moved in. We haven't started painting because a professional told us that there's no paint on the market that can cover cigarette smoke of this extreme. We tried soap and water and some bio safe products, but our apartment still stinks. Do you know of any non-toxic way to get rid of this smell? We have kids.
-- Meredith, New York

Dear Meredith:
A bucket or two of water and half a bottle vinegar per bucket will do the trick. The rooms will smell for about an hour or so like vinegar, but at least the smell of cigarettes will be gone. Make sure you clean the radiators good, or the place will stink when you turn them on. I went through the same shit myself!

Dial the 311 Call Center, an operator should be able to help you find out if that landlords contract is legal. If not, you might be able to take legal action again'st Mr. Roper for putting yours kids health in jeopardy! More than likely that contract is different than the other tenants in your building, probably because he didn't want to clean up your apartment before you moved in. Second hand smoke, even on the walls, radiators, ect... is just as bad as being in the presence of a smoker.

In the Tenant's Rights Guide for the State of New York it states that landlords of buildings with three or more apartments must keep the apartments and the buildings' public areas in "good repair" and clean and free of vermin, garbage or other offensive material. Landlords are required to maintain electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating systems and appliances landlords install, such as refrigerators and stoves in good and safe working order. Tenants should bring complaints to the attention of their local housing officials. (Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL) §78 and §80; Multiple Residence Law (MRL) §174. The MDL applies to cities with a population of 325,000 or more and the MRL applies to cities with less than 325,000 and to all towns and villages.)

I hope this helped!

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Anonymous said...

Cloud the place out with some kine ass reefer smoke & the cig stench will be gone...presto!

Webmiztris said...

i like Anonymous's suggestion. ;)

i only smoke in our basement. nobody would ever guess that a smoker lives in THIS house! :D

TheTorch said...

As always, Al is correct...Vinegar will work wonders...or try some PineSol.

Sharon said...

Al is good, Al is wise.