Building Code and Building Construction - Questions and Answers
Or when you want to know how construction is supposed to be done.


Custom Search

Apartment Ventilation

Apartment Ventilation

New postby mmiles on Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:14 am

I recently moved into an apartment building in La Mesa, CA. Every night, and sometimes during the day, the smell of marijuana comes wafting in through the bathroom ceiling vent and stinks up my whole apartment. I've also had bugs (they look like termites) coming out of that same bathroom vent (they are nowhere else in my apartment). I've found out that the tenants in the two apartments directly beneath mine are major smokers, and I've seen the exact same bugs in one of their windows. It's clear that our venting system is connected in the building. I am getting very frustrated with the situation because the smell makes me nauseous and gives me headaches, and I certainly don't want termites in my apartment with lots of custom wood furniture.

My question is...isn't there some kind of code stating that the venting system can't be connected? I understand that sometimes the smell can penetrate the walls, but this is extremely strong, it is coming in directly through the venting. Is there anything my landlord is required to do in order to prevent this?

Info on the building: It's a 2-story building, I am on the 2nd floor. There are 8 units connected in my section of the building complex. The building is a bit old from what I can tell, maybe 1960-1970's? (I'm bad at judging that).
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:47 am

Re: Apartment Ventilation

New postby Jerry McCarthy - California Codeman on Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:03 pm


Sorry to hear about you dilemma, but I doubt there is very much you can do about it? I would recommend you go to the local city building department and/or city code enforcement people and explain your problem. Code wise there is no way bathroom exhaust fan ducting should be interconnected between apartment units. If nothing else it provides a serious fire hazard. The insect invasion is also unacceptable and have you spoken to your landlord about both problems? Again, while you’re at the local city hall inquire about their ordinances regarding smoking in apartment complexes and see if there is any help there.
I suspect the bottom line for you is planning to move as I think over the long haul it’s probably the best solution. Before you sign a lease on your next apartment confirm what the rules are on smoking and check out the neighbors the best you can. Find a senior citizen in the building and ask questions as usually they know what’s going on and I would also try to find a top floor unit.
Jerry McCarthy - California Codeman

Return to Interior Environment: Light, ventilation, ceiling height, etc.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest