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Document the Problem
All tenants are entitled to the right to quiet enjoyment in their home. However, if second-hand smoke is infiltrating your home, it is important to know that based on past decisions at the BC Residential Tenancy Branch, the bar is very high to prove that the amount of smoke is an unreasonable disturbance.
It is not enough for smoke to be simply entering your apartment to be considered a breach of quiet enjoyment. You must convince the adjudicator that its presence is having such a negative effect, that you are not able to use your apartment in a normal way, or that all or parts of your unit are uninhabitable because of the smoke. Temporary discomfort or inconvenience does not constitute a breach of quiet enjoyment.
Unfortunately, there are no guidelines in BC on what amount of smoke constitutes an unreasonable disturbance, and thus it is unclear as to what evidence is required in order to meet this test. This is why it is so important to document the extent, severity and impact of the problem and to collect as much evidence as possible to argue your case. Further, if your landlord refuses to take steps to address the problem and you choose to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for adjudication, you will need ample evidence to successfully argue your case.