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Burning Incense sticks in a non-smoker apartment - Illinois

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Latest post Mon, Sep 28 2015 6:08 PM by karen2222. 8 replies.
  • Sun, Sep 27 2015 10:03 PM

    • The_Asker
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Sat, Jul 11 2015
    • IL
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    Burning Incense sticks in a non-smoker apartment - Illinois

    I just moved into an apartment classified by the Landlord as a non-smoker building, but my downstairs neighbor burn incense sticks almost every night. The strong smells goes out from windows and balcony and takes over my whole apartment, and irritates my respiratory tracks, and I am becoming alergic. Do I have any legal resources in Illinois to ask the landlod/neighbor not to burn these incense sticks anymore? Thanks!

    As extra info I found:

    In a study published in the medical journal Cancer in 2007, Dr. Jeppe Friborg of Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen followed 61,320 Chinese men and women who had nearly daily exposure to incense smoke. His findings revealed that they had an increased risk of getting squamous cell carcinoma and cancers of the upper respiratory tract, mouth, sinus, throat, and larynx. Numerous other studies over the past decade have confirmed the toxic constituents of incense smoke, and the American Cancer Society has likened incense exposure's impact to second-hand cigarette smoke. One disturbing study found that pregnant mothers who are exposed to burning incense at least once a week double the chance that their child will develop leukemia.


    Incense manufacturers are not legally required to list product ingredients on packaging, so it's impossible to discern what you might be combusting. And because you can pick up your joss sticks at reputable health food stores like Berkeley Bowl, Rainbow Grocery, and Whole Foods, the myth that incense purifies the air and promotes healthful practices is perpetuated. But not all incense is equally toxic. If it's made entirely from organic materials it isn't likely to contain carcinogens. But since it is still not smoke-free, it's as hazardous to your health as any wood-burning fire.

     

  • Mon, Sep 28 2015 6:59 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,431

    Re: Burning Incense sticks in a non-smoker apartment - Illinois

    i doubt your Ll has much say as to incense or cooking smelly fish or choice of stinky perfumes...



  • Mon, Sep 28 2015 7:57 AM In reply to

    Re: Burning Incense sticks in a non-smoker apartment - Illinois

    The_Asker:
    Do I have any legal resources in Illinois to ask the landlod/neighbor not to burn these incense sticks anymore?

    You might.

    Depends on just how far you are willing to go with it.

    Every tenant has a right to quiet enjoyment of his residence. That doesn't just relate to noise. You can read the basics at:

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Quiet+enjoyment

    You can also study Illinois appellate case decisions regarding quiet enjoyment at:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=quiet+enjoyment&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=4%2C14

    I suggest you read the Illinois landlord-tenant statutes for the duties and obligations of a landlord.

    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs2.asp?ChapterID=62

    Once you have thoroughly educated yourself it will be time to put the landlord and the neighbor on written notice as to your complaint and the potential consequences of litigation.

    You'll need to put a lot of scary legal stuff in the letter if you expect even the remotest chance of success so it might be worth a few hundred to you to have an attorney write it.

    Nothing changes unless you go "all in."

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Mon, Sep 28 2015 8:21 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,431

    Re: Burning Incense sticks in a non-smoker apartment - Illinois

    I think it's a very long shot ......next it will be LLs problem if wind shifts and odors from cross town blow in? 



  • Mon, Sep 28 2015 9:38 AM In reply to

    Re: Burning Incense sticks in a non-smoker apartment - Illinois

    The_Asker:
    Do I have any legal resources in Illinois to ask the landlod/neighbor not to burn these incense sticks anymore?

    I don't know what you mean by "legal resources . . . to ask."  You certainly may ask the neighbor to do something and also may ask the landlord to do something.  Your ultimate recourse if this problem continues will be to move (although it's not clear why this can't be solved simply by closing your window.

    Can you clarify your question?

  • Mon, Sep 28 2015 10:47 AM In reply to

    • The_Asker
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Sat, Jul 11 2015
    • IL
    • Posts 8

    Re: Burning Incense sticks in a non-smoker apartment - Illin...

    Thanks for all the responses, I did not want to enter in details about the issue. However, you asked:

    1) The apartmets has a nice window in the kitchen and a nice balcony on the other side, so the smells comes from both sides. One is the nicest things about the layput is felling the air crossing thruout our living room. So, closing the window and balcony is no a solution. So, I will not be free to open my windows when I want to do it in a quite Sunday afternoon.

    2) These apartments have gas chimeney, with ceramic fake logs, but also have a kind of common exahust airways, so if I close all windows the incense stills gets inside my apartment coming from the chimeney. In winter it will be much worst!

    3) I cannot complain about the smelly food they cook, but the incense is too much! 

    4) I just signed a contract for 12 months. Yes, I can move out in 12 months!

    I will contact the Landlord and see what happen.

    Adjuster Jack, thank you for your long and complete response!

    I appreciate any other comments!

     

  • Mon, Sep 28 2015 11:17 AM In reply to

    Re: Burning Incense sticks in a non-smoker apartment - Illinois

    Hi, I am not a lawyer, but I do feel for you.

    Smoke bothers me also.  My ex wife and ex girlfriend both smoke.  Some people don't have a problem with it, but that smell gets into their clothes and everything else.  No amount of anything gets that smell out of things.

    Unfortunately, I think as others do, you have an uphill battle.  My first approach would be talk to the neighbor and just explain and see if it's a big deal not to burn the thing.  I don't think that's gonna work, but it's worth a first try.

    After that, you have to decide to either take Jack's advise, or you will need to move, or hope they move.  

    Unfortuntealy, unless you want to live on an island by yourself, or in the woods somewhere in the middle of nowhere, most of us have neighbors that can sometimes be annoying.  It might be the neighbor weed whacking or mowing and dust and noise or whatever.  

    A fan could maybe help to blow out the windows and maybe an air freshiner.  

    Anyway I wish you luck!

     

  • Mon, Sep 28 2015 12:22 PM In reply to

    Re: Burning Incense sticks in a non-smoker apartment - Illin...

    The_Asker:
    Adjuster Jack, thank you for your long and complete response!

    You're welcome.

    My idea is based on the old saying "The squeaky wheel gets the grease."

    Hassle the landlord often enough with legalese and he might

    a) offer you a different apartment

    b) allow you to break your lease with no consequences.

    But I strongly suggest putting everything in writing and making a paper trail.

    You might not be successful in suing for anything, but if you have to move, you could have a defense to any action the landlord takes.

    Again, thoroughly educate yourself. Knowledge is power.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Mon, Sep 28 2015 6:08 PM In reply to

    Re: Burning Incense sticks in a non-smoker apartment - Illinois

    The_Asker:
    my downstairs neighbor burn incense sticks almost every night. The strong smells goes out from windows and balcony and takes over my whole apartment, and irritates my respiratory tracks, and I am becoming alergic.

    I assume you've already tried to deal with this the easy way, right?  Simply explaining your predicament to your incense-burning neighbor and asking him/her nicely to either stop burning the incense or to close the windows when they do?  I would HATE it if any of my neighbors complained to the landlord about me (or worse yet, to the police) without first coming to me and asking me nicely to change whatever was bothering them.

    Of course, it was funny in a way when the police came to our house last winter and told us a neighbor complained about our barking dog.  We don't have a dog, which is something they could have learned easily if they'd come to us first before calling the police!

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