What you do in your unit is your business, for the most part. However, it is important for residents to keep in mind that it becomes other folks business when what you are doing effects a neighbor. What you are eating, what music you are listening too or movie you are watching, or yes – what you are smoking, becomes a problem when your neighbors can hear it or smell it. If I can hear your music clearly or get a buzz from whatever you are smoking in your unit, that is a problem.
You can smoke in your unit, however residents should take reasonable measures to prevent smoke from entering neighboring units. That could be as simple as keeping your windows closed, which when open can force odors into the hall and surrounding units. ALSO, smoking in the kitchen or bathroom (where you are in close proximity to exhaust vents) can help. And finally, if we continue to confirm reports of odor infiltration, you may have no choice but smoke outside. By City Ordinance, the common areas must be smoke free, and consistent with the rules, such odors must not enter neighboring units.
This includes so called “medical marijuana”. While you may be able to purchase and use it lawfully, the Association’s Rules still prohibit it from becoming a problem for neighbors. Think of it this way, you may also get a prescription for Lithium – or any other drug for that matter. However, that does not mean your neighbors need to be forced to ingest it.
From Pages 28 of the PTCA Rules handbook:
“In consideration of and cooperation with others in the Park Tower community, residents agree not to disturb or interfere with the comforts, rights, safety and quite enjoyment of other residents. Disruptive activity shall not be carried out within any residential unit or in the common elements, which may be or become an annoyance or nuisance to the other owners or occupants. While the proximity of the units to each other makes it impossible to filter all noise and activity between the units, any disturbance or activity which would in the sole and absolute discretion of the association be reasonably likely to annoy or disturb other residents is strictly prohibited. Examples of a disturbance include but are not limited to: cigarette smoke, cooking and other noxious odors; domestic disputes; excessive volume caused by a musical instrument, radio, stereo, television or other equipment; social gatherings; and vibrations….Any complaints should be directed to the management office or the building staff responsible for addressing the problem. If a disturbance is not resolved with the assistance of the management or building staff, local enforcement authorities will be contacted.”
From Pages 39 of the PTCA Rules handbook:
“The release of smoke and other toxic gases and particles from cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, marijuana, and other tobacco products used in an individual unit that permeates any other unit or the common elements is hereby classified as a noxious or offensive activity pursuant to Paragraph 11(g) of the Declaration.”
During business hours, contact the office at 773-769-3250. When the office is closed, call the front desk at 773-769-3083. Staff will be directed to the location. They will attempt to confirm what is going on at your door and may ask to enter if the odor can not be identified from the hallway. Whatever the conditions are at the time, our team will do their best address the matter appropriately. Sometimes, they may be unable to verify the condition. For example, locating the source of cigarette smoke is a challenge. And, cigarette smoke can dissipate by the time we are able to respond. (For noise disturbances, our staff is asked to attempt to determine if the conditions are excessive. If loud bass is thumping at 2AM, that is excessive. But the staff will tend to be a bit more forgiving at 3PM.)
Whatever the condition we are addressing, trying to make a determination is always somewhat subjective. So we ask that residents and owners understand that, have patience and let us do our best to balance everyone’s right to live and function as individuals with everyone’s right to peaceably enjoy their homes. It can be a difficult balance. And especially with cigarette odors, it can be hard to trace and verify.
Marijuana complaints? We are not police – we will treat such complaints similar to cigarette odor complaints. However, you can also report such conditions to 911. Unfortunately, over the past couple years it has been our observation the authorities have become somewhat unresponsive to such complaints. And even when they arrive at the scene, and such odors are present, they may do little more than bang on the door and warn the resident to stop.
Should you continue to experience complaints, and we are able to identify the source, generally after the third complaint the Unit Owner will receive a “Notice Of Violation” from the Association. The matter is heard before the Rules and Regulations Committee, and the Board will consider assessing the Unit Owner a fine. The first fine for such violations is typically $250. If the condition continues, it will escalate.
If you have any questions, or if you experience these types of problems, we want to help. Just shoot us an e-mail.