The purpose of this article is to guide readers who are inconvenienced by a neighbour’s smoking habits and are looking for an answer to whether or not they can report their neighbour to the local authorities for smoking. To evaluate alternative solutions, we will also discuss in the following paragraphs how you can convince your neighbour to stop smoking if it is the cause of a health hazard or inconvenience.
Can I Report My Neighbour For Smoking?
Yes, you can report your neighbour for smoking. However, for you to do so (and be successful in achieving desired results) either of the following conditions must apply to your situation:
- your neighbour is smoking in communal areas such as shared stairways, hallways or a community garden
- the odour from your neighbour’s smoking is entering your house/flat
- someone in your home is being affected by your neighbour’s smoking
- you have talked to your neighbour politely about the matter but there was no action taken or their response was anti-social
In some cases, this could mean that for a neighbour’s smoking habit to be a matter serious enough to complain to your local council authorities, it must prove to be a “statutory nuisance”; as per the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Communal areas of both privately rented and social housing are smoke-free zones. This is the reason why if you report your neighbour for smoking in an internal communal area, they can be fined up to £200.
Situations, when you may not be able to report your neighbour for smoking, include the following:
- they are smoking within their own house/flat
- the odour from their smoking is contained within their house/flat
- they are not smoking in communal areas
- you are unable to provide evidence of how a neighbour’s smoking affects your (or a household member’s) health
Can I Report My Neighbour For Smoking Weed?
Yes, you can report your neighbour to the local council office if they are smoking weed; even if they do so within their place of residence.
The smell of weed can travel up to hundreds of miles. This is the reason why you can report your neighbour for smoking weed if the smell becomes a nuisance for you or if you have small children in the house who may be affected by second-hand smoke.
Classified as a Class B drug, weed or cannabis is considered illegal for consumption in the UK. This means that if you complain about your neighbour smoking weed in their house, they may be faced with a fine or up to five years in prison for smoking.
Can I Stop My Neighbour From Smoking?
Whether or not you can stop your neighbour from smoking depends on the following:
- if your neighbour is smoking a cigarette, pipe or a drug
- if your neighbour is smoking in their house/flat or a communal area such as a garden or hallway
- if your neighbour’s smoking is causing odour or smoke to leak into other homes
- if the odour or smoke from your neighbour’s smoking is the cause of a health hazard
In most cases, you may not be able to stop your neighbour from smoking if they are smoking a cigarette in their home. However, if they smoke in communal areas such as stairways, hallways, lobbies or gardens, you have the right to ask them to stop smoking.
If your neighbour is smoking weed and the smell becomes a nuisance for you and or you are concerned about small children in your house getting affected by second-hand smoke.
However, this depends upon how close your house (or flats) is, whether you share a community area and if they are smoking inside or outside your house.
If you are unsuccessful in convincing your neighbour to stop smoking you can complain to their landlord, the local council or even the police authorities (if they are smoking weed).
How Else Can I Stop My Neighbour From Smoking If I Don’t Report Them?
There are other ways through which you may be able to stop your neighbour from smoking rather than having to report them to the local council. Some of these include the following:
- you can try talking to your neighbour politely and informing them of the inconvenience or health hazard you face due to their smoking
- you can write an informal, polite and affirmative letter to your neighbour requesting them not to smoke in communal areas of your residence
- you can seek the help of a mediator who can talk to them on your behalf (either in your presence or otherwise)
How Can I Write A Letter To Stop My Neighbour From Smoking?
If you wish to follow up your verbal request with a written word or would rather write a letter than talk face to face with your neighbour regarding their smoking, you can write a letter to them.
Below is a sample draft that you can choose to follow or customise according to your situation:
(insert title and name of your neighbour if you know them, otherwise, you can address them as Neighbour)
You may not be aware of this fact, but when you are smoking in the communal hallway, the odour enters our flat; which is not very pleasant.
Similarly, if you are smoking in the garden, there are often children playing there and it would be a health hazard for them to be subject to second-hand smoking.
(in the case of a more serious impact of a neighbour’s smoking, you can details of how it affects you, how frequently it affects you and at what times of the day)
I would request you kindly avoid smoking in the communal areas for the general well-being of all the residents.
(you can write Your Neighbour or choose to give your name and title)
The above discussion makes it clear that while you may be able to report your neighbour to the council authorities for smoking, they will only be able to take any action if your neighbour is smoking in a communal area and not within the confines of their residence.