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Smoke or Odor Complaints in Dwelling Units
Chapter 3 of the Montgomery County Code addresses indoor air pollution that crosses an indoor property line or leasehold. However, Section 3-10 (b) specifically excludes smoking in a private home, along with the residential use of personal hygiene products and residential cooking odors. Therefore, DEP's suggestions to address this situation are advisory in nature, and are not enforceable under Chapter 3.

The following recommendations may help in addressing the infiltration of smoke or other odors into other units.

1. Work with your property manager and neighbor to seal plumbing penetrations in the walls and floors, under sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms, and behind toilet fixtures.

2. Check in closets and utility closets for other pipe, duct and wiring penetrations and seal around these as well.

3. Use low odor, water-based caulking or spray-in foam to seal penetrations.

4. Install air-sealing gaskets behind the cover plates of light switches and electrical outlets. Air-sealing gaskets can be found at most hardware stores.

5. Air leaking from outside walls can cause odors to move from one unit into another. Limiting air movement through exterior walls will not only prevent this from happening, but will also reduce drafts and heating costs.

For inquiries requiring the response of a DEP investigator, you will typically be contacted within 3 days although resolution of the issue may take longer depending on the circumstances of the case.

Find more information from the following link(s):
  • Healthy Indoor Air
  • Indoor Air Quality Ordinance


  • To speak with a Customer Service Representative, please call 311 during business hours.