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Other Legal Options

Public knowledge of the dangers of secondhand smoke has increased.  Concern about unwanted exposure to secondhand smoke in apartment buildings has also grown.

All over the country people are speaking up about secondhand smoke produced by neighbors seeping into their apartments.  The smoke causes annoyance, discomfort, and in some cases illness. When concerns cannot be resolved between neighbors and building mangers through discussion, legal action may be needed.  Legal actions are sometimes settled out of court, while others lead to verdicts in favor of one of the parties.

Possible legal options available to you if you are exposed to secondhand smoke against your will

  • Common Law Theories- Tenants can bring leagal action against a landlord or against tenants who smoke under common law, including breach of covenant of quiet enjoyment, negligence, nuisance, breach of warranty of habitability, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, trespass, and constructive eviction.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Housing Act, and Maine Human Rights Act- Nonsmoking tenants who have breathing disorders may use the ADA, Fair Housing Act, or the Maine Human Rights Act to bring legal action against landlords for not making reasonable accommodations to protect them from secondhand smoke in common areas or in their apartments.  See the Laws page for more information.


Additional Information


The information and materials provided by the Smoke-Free Housing Coalition and the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine are for information purposes only and are not offered or intended to be and should not be construed to be legal advice nor to be a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed attorney.