RealEstate Ke > Neighborhood smell > Chemical Smell Coming from Neighbor’s Apartment (What to Do)

Chemical Smell Coming from Neighbor’s Apartment (What to Do)

Have you ever caught a whiff of something funky coming from next door? That acrid, chemical-like smell wafting through the vents or under the door?

I’m talking nasty.

We’re talking stanky. It’s not exactly how you want your place to smell. I feel you. Dealing with strange odors from a neighbor‘s pad can be unpleasant and concerning.

According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is responsible for 6.7 million premature deaths every year. So, hazardous fumes and odors are no joke.

If you’ve dealt with this, you know how troubling it can be.

But what should you do if it happens? How can you get to the bottom of the stench and protect yourself? I’ve got you covered.

In this post, we’ll walk through the steps to take if you notice a chemical odor coming from the apartment next to yours. I’ll provide tips to identify the smell, communicate with your neighbor, inform management, reduce the funk, and more. No one should have to live with nasty mystery smells from next door.

Let’s dig in and learn how to clear the air!

1. Identify the smell

When you first notice that noxious odor wafting through, take a few good whiffs to try and pinpoint it.

Is it sweet and sickly? Sharp and pungent? Foul and rotten? The specific characteristics of the smell can provide clues to what’s causing it.

For example, solvent-like chemicals may have a strong, headache-inducing stench. Mold or mildew tends to smell earthy and musty.

A sweet, fruity odor could indicate a gas leak.

Rotten egg or sulfur scents signal sewer gas. By identifying the smell, you can start narrowing down the possible culprits.

2. Assess the situation

Once you’ve gotten a good whiff and noted the characteristics of the smell, it’s time to determine if it seems potentially dangerous or just annoying. If you suspect the odor might be a gas leak, sewage leak, meth lab, or other hazardous materials, don’t hesitate – call 911 immediately.

Don’t try to investigate it yourself, and don’t wait around. Better safe than sorry when it comes to fumes that could indicate serious danger!

If the smell seems concerning but not an immediate emergency, notify your building manager or landlord.

Unusual scents in an apartment complex could signal an issue like:

  • a broken vent system
  • plumbing leaks
  • mold outbreak
  • or improperly stored chemicals leaking fumes

The property owner needs to know about the building’s safety hazards and maintenance problems.

Of course, not every odd aroma from a neighbor’s place means there’s a disaster next door.

But unfamiliar scents should still be checked out in case repairs or removals are needed. Document when you notice the smell and report it to management ASAP.

SmellPotential Issue
Rotten eggs, sulfurSewer gas leak
Moldy, earthyMold outbreak
Gasoline, natural gasGas leak
Sweet, fruityGas leak
Chemical, solventsImproper chemical storage
SmokeElectrical fire
Unusual scents & potential building issues

3. Talk to your neighbor

If the smell doesn’t seem perilous, try chatting with your neighbor first before getting the landlord involved.

Pop by when they’re home and politely ask something like, “Hey, have you noticed any strange smells in the building lately?”

Maybe they spilled some cleaners and didn’t realize the fumes were spreading. Perhaps they tried a new scented candle that’s seeping through the walls. They could have a pet (ferret? or iguana?) with an…aromatic cage. Or are you cooking up exotic dishes you’re not used to?

Opening a friendly dialogue gives them a chance to become aware of and address the issue. And who knows – you might learn something interesting about their hobbies!

But make sure to stay positive and non-confrontational. You don’t want to start a feud over your right to fresh air.

4. Seal up your space

If the smell persists, take steps to contain it by sealing up potential entry points to your apartment.

Target air leaks around doors, windows, electrical outlets, and any cracks or gaps in the walls. This could help block the odor from wafting in from your neighbor’s unit.

Also, look at your HVAC system – does it circulate air between apartments? If so, ask the landlord to adjust the ducting. You want your unit contained so you’re not breathing in air from other people’s homes.

Finally, use fans, air purifiers, baking soda, or charcoal to absorb odors inside your own place. And avoid things like burning candles or incense, which could interact with the mystery smell in weird ways.

The goal is to isolate your living space, so you have a refuge from the stank! With some TLC and elbow grease, you can minimize unwanted scents from next door.

5. Document everything

As you’re dealing with the situation, keep a paper trail documenting all the details. Make notes about:

  • When you first noticed the smell
  • How often it occurs
  • Where it seems to be coming from
  • What you think it smells like
  • Any conversations with your neighbor about it
  • Calls and emails to your landlord
  • Steps taken to isolate your unit
  • If the smell ever made you feel ill

Having all this info recorded will help show the history of the issue, your attempts to address it, and the impact on your living situation.

If the problem continues unresolved, you’ll have solid documentation to back you up if you need to escalate to authorities. Which brings us to…

6. Notify building management

If the smell doesn’t seem like an immediate emergency but is still concerning, your next step should be to inform your building manager or landlord. Make them aware of the unusual odor and potential safety hazards.

Unfamiliar scents in an apartment complex may indicate an underlying maintenance issue that the property owner needs to investigate and address, such as:

  • Faulty plumbing or leaks
  • Ventilation system malfunction
  • Pest/wildlife infestation
  • Mold outbreak
  • Improperly stored chemicals

Document details about the smell – when you first noticed it, where it seems to be coming from, and how strong/frequent it is.

Ask other neighbors if they have noticed it, too.

Providing this information will help building management look into the cause and take appropriate action if repairs or removals are needed. Maintaining safe, hazard-free premises is their responsibility as owners.

7. When in doubt, get out

At the end of the day, your top priority is making sure you and your family breathe clean, healthy air in your own home.

If the smell persists and is making you ill or dizzy, don’t stick around. Pack up and temporarily stay elsewhere until the issue is identified and resolved.

Crash with friends or family or book an Airbnb for a couple of weeks.

Don’t keep subjecting yourself to mystery fumes from next door. Take control of the situation and remove yourself if needed. Safety first!

8. Use odor-absorbing materials

If the smell is persisting inside your unit even after sealing up potential entry points, try using odor-absorbing materials to lessen it.

Baking soda, activated charcoal, vinegar, and essential oils can help trap smells and clear the air in your apartment.

Place bowls of baking soda around the rooms or set out charcoal bags. Simmer vinegar on the stove to absorb odors through the air. Diffuse cleansing essential oils like lemon, peppermint, or tea tree.

Test different odor absorbers and use whatever works best to freshen up your space.

9. Contact local authorities

If no amount of communication, blocking, documenting, or absorbing solves the problem, reach out to local authorities to investigate.

Call your municipal health department or environmental protection office for guidance.

Explain the persistent chemical odor from the neighbor’s apartment and your failed attempts to resolve it. They may be able to send inspectors to assess if hazardous materials are being used or stored improperly next door.

Getting the authorities involved can prompt formal action to identify and stop the smell at its source. Don’t hesitate to call in help if the odor remains a lingering issue.

Summary of action steps

Welp, we made it through the post without passing out from the imaginary stank! Let’s recap what we covered:

  • Identify the smell – Sweet? Rotten? Sharp? Pinpointing the odor can provide clues.
  • Assess the severity – Is it an emergency like a gas leak? If so, call 911 pronto.
  • Talk to the neighbor – Maybe they spilled something and didn’t realize it. Open dialogue gives them a chance to address it.
  • Seal up your space – Block unwanted smells from entering by caulking cracks and sealing vents.
  • Document everything – Keep detailed notes to support your case if the issue persists.
  • Get authorities involved – If all else fails, file complaints with local health and inspection departments.
  • Remove yourself if needed – Your health comes first. Temporarily stay elsewhere if it’s making you ill.

Welp, we made it through the post without passing out from the imaginary stank! Let’s recap what we covered:

Dealing with stinky neighbor smells is no fun. But now you’re armed with steps to clear the air if those mystery odors start wafting through. Don’t suffocate – take action to breathe easy!

Have you ever had to deal with foul smells from next door? Share your stories and advice in the comments! Let’s help each other tackle stenchy situations. And if you found this post helpful, be sure to share it around so more people know what to do about chemical neighbor smells.

Stay safe and smell ya later!

Zebedee Nambaleo
Zebedee Nambaleo

Zebedee is the founder of RealEstate Ke. He creates content by carefully examining and analyzing the real estate market, home improvement resources, and government data. His analysis is based on the principle of supplying high-quality, relevant, and in-depth information to his audience. By evaluating the current conditions and predicting future trends, he provides his audience with invaluable insights that allow them to make better decisions.