Dangerous Exhaust Fumes – No Response

By Matthew

I live in the lower level of a small apartment building. The parking lot is right outside of my front windows. I’ve lived here for about nine months now and have not had any issues with the cars parked outside. However, other tenants have recently been backing into the parking spots right next to my windows. It’s been cold so they often run their cars for 15+ minutes to warm them up. Because the cars are backed in, the exhaust blows right at the building and seeps into my apartment (mostly through the air conditioner). I’ve politely asked my neighbors to turn their cars around so the exhaust doesn’t blow into my apartment, but they keep backing in anyway. I’ve tried contacting the building’s management, asking them to send out a memo to all of the tenants stating that they are not allowed to back into parking spaces next to the building. After some delay, I did finally get a response saying they would send out that memo. A week and a half later they still hadn’t sent it out, so I called again two days ago and they now seem to be nonresponsive. This is a serious health risk as the toxic exhaust fumes are making me feel nauseous and giving me headaches. I can’t seem to get anyone to realize the severity of blowing car exhaust directly into my apartment. I don’t want to ruin a good relationship with the management of the property and I can not afford to move, but this health risk is unacceptable. I did shoot some video to document the problem this morning. Any thoughts on how I should proceed?

Edited on: Friday, March 22nd, 2013 8:01 am

One Response to “Dangerous Exhaust Fumes – No Response”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


July 10th, 2013 11:44 am

It does not say where u live but in sf ca where i work w a tenants rights (hrcsf.org – check out resources) and we tell them to:
Write to landlord/management stating case plus give idea how to resolve issue (after talking always follow up w writing w the points plus everything they said.

Perhaps you could put up a camera to show cars backing up and the length time they r there.

At the end of that letter give a date when they need to get back to you. Letters are hard copy – a ‘legal’ document – proof that you told then – then send it off certified mail keeping copy of letter and the receipt.

Next call the DBI department of building inspection- although it may not be their jurisdiction they can come out and can refer the problem to EPA or public health – or you can call those groups yourself.

Remember please that renting is business and friendly is not a friend = I don’t know what state you are in but there must be state laws governing renters and landlords+ see if you have rent control or renters rights groups/

Exhaust is compound being burnt – heated up the liquid changes into airborne chemical vapour/not good for health – anything burning is bad for health when breathed in.

Under a 1974 California Supreme Court decision, Green v. Superior Court, all leases and rental agreements are deemed to include an implied warranty of habitability. This means that regardless of any conflicting lease agreement, the landlord is required to keep your unit in a habitable condition at all times.

“Habitable” means that the apartment conforms to the standards set forth in California Civil Code Section 1941.1, as listed above. Even if you knew that a unit was below code when you moved in, you still have the right to demand that it be brought up to habitable standards. Habitability could include a fume free unit

Peaceful quiet enjoyment of ones rental unit is another subject that should be considered. Paying rent to live in a fume filled unit

How much worse can the quality of indoor air be than that of the air outdoors?
Ten times as bad – Enclosed space without proper ventilation can lead to a buildup of hazardous pollutants.

How do combustion gases cause harm?
by preventing oxygen from flowing through your body
Such gases are associated with a host of symptoms, such as dizziness or fatigue. At high levels, inhalation can lead to unconsciousness or even death.

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