One of my pet peeves is stale cigarette smoke in cars, hair, clothes, and furniture. It lasts forever, giving everything in the vicinity a distinctive odor. When I was looking for a place to live, and finances were limited, I had to rent an apartment on a budget. This meant that I had to put up with the neighbors and their nasty habits. And I don’t mean the yelling coming through the thin walls, nor the barking dog who kept me awake all night. I mean the telltale signs of smoking around the building—cigarette butts left without thought. When I think back at this tough time in my life, I am motivated to write a blog on advice for tenants. Here is what I have to say:
Be sure to visit the building under consideration at different times of the day or night to assess the noise level. Are there horrid cooking smells permeating every inch of the premises at six o’clock at night? Well, that could be coming from your kitchen, too. Is smoking permitted insider and out as part of the tenant rules? Or are there any rules at all? No rules means lack of concern by the landlord for your rights and well-being.
When you make a decision and sign the lease, be sure to commit yourself to a good on-going relationship with the owner or manager. It will serve you well long term when you need assistance and support. Don’t be a pain and a complainer who makes the landlord turn a deaf ear. You don’t have to be best friends; just a cordial, neutral relationship will do. Let little things slide so he or she will jump on the important matters like a broken water heater or defective stove.
If you are a non-smoker, ask for a unit far from those who do smoke to minimize stale smells. You will want to select an apartment that is odor free, meaning the furniture is clean and hygienic. Check the drapes and carpets as they also absorb smoke. A good landlord will have the place fully scrubbed and scored before a new tenant moves in. There are effective ways to rid a space of all cigarette residue.
If you are a smoker, consider yourself lucky that you have found a place that tolerates it indoors. As a courtesy to others, use air deodorizing spray and keep the windows open (Source: No More Smoke Smell). Of course, never leave any irritating evidence outside for others to dispose of. If all smokers did this, the subsequent tenants, smokers or not, will have a better experience.
There are many other “must dos” for rental tenants that will enhance your reputation as a cooperative and respectful neighbor.
- Wrap your trash in plastic bags tied at the top
- Clean up after your pet outside
- Don’t use someone else’s parking space
- Don’t remove other’s laundry from the machines. Wait until the load is finished.
- Don’t leave towels and soda cans by the pool