Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Bureaucratic 'Illogicality'

Living as I do, in Sheltered Accommodation, it is my practice to leave my front door - open to a communal corridor, together with my external windows - in order to air my flat, being a smoker.

I have received a letter from a 'property manager' of the housing association, my landlord, which reads:

Dear David,

I have recently been informed that the smell of cigarette smoke in the communal corridor of xxxxx is causing some concern. I have also on a number of occasions noticed the smell of cigarette smoke in the corridor when I have visited xxxxx.

As you live in sheltered accommodation which has communcal areas used by all tenants I would ask that you close your door when smoking in order that the fumes do not enter the communal areas of xxxxx. It is important that the comfort of all tenants is considered and therefore you will understand the need to close your door when smoking.

I trust the above is satisfactory, however should you have any concerns regarding this letter or wish to discuss it further please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

xxxxx xxxxx
Property Manager

Having consulted the Direct.Gov website and the Act of Parliament, I am unable to see any regulation which restricts me from smoking in my own home, whilst leaving a 'front door' open. When all is said and done, I am not actually smoking in a communal area........

Were I to shut my door, have a cigarette and then immediately open my door, what is going to it in one - the smell of cigarette smoke will permeate the corridor!

Also, having spoken to all the residents here, not one has expressed a 'concern', nor is 'bothered' by my door remaining open, neither is my smoking - and any 'aroma - a cause of 'concern'.

Without in any way being 'chauvanistic' - the property manager being a female - the phrase 'spin on this, sister', springs to mind!



Mark Wadsworth said...

You mentioned this before. If it's a block of flats, can't they organise it so that the 'fun people' (i.e. smokers) live on one floor with their doors open, and the others on a different floor?

Anonymous said...

Practically speaking, you could get something called an Airwick Freshmatic (Asda's .. one-off payment of about £6) and inside it, use cans of Airwicks 'Odour Stop' (about £4.00). This is the first product I've ever known to completely kill the smell of tobacco smoke. Set at '9 mins', one can should last about a fortnight. (You'll need three penlight batteries too).

I've become quite attached to mine. When it puffs out it's magic, it makes a sound not unlike a cat sneezing .. which, if you live on your own can be quite comforting (in fact, not having a cat of my own, I find myself getting into a bit of a panic if it's 'sneeze' starts turning to a wheezing splutter when it starts to run out).

It works.

So well, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if over time, the phrase 'Old Lady and her Cat' doesn't eventually become 'Old Lady and her Airwick' - as these jumped-up Little Hitlers increasingly decree pets aren't allowed in sheltered accommodation either.

Oh well, no cat hairs all over the place at least.
(Alternatively, just tell her to f**k off)

Anonymous said...

You will find the just one person has made an anonymous complaint (or denunciation, as they should more properly be called).

You will never (officially) find out who it is, but they can make your life a misery.

Why not imagine yourself a teenager again and smoke out of the window? I suppose that's not illegal, yet...