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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Handling a stinking neighbor

If your business is located in rented space above or alongside a neighbor that creates an odor causing discomfort for your employees, clients and/or yourself, what do you do?

Let me describe one such situation by way of example.

In this example the business that moved in below was a nail salon generating noxios and potentially dangerous odors. The effort started by working with the new business owner, who attempted to mitigate the odors without success. The next step was to work with the landlord, who initially refused to recognize the issue, then came around and began working with his new tenent, again without success. The property was part of a condominium, so the next step was to the condo management, who was aware of the issue but took no action to this point. They wrote a letter to the landlord requesting a meeting. Step four was to get the state environmental group engaged, even though they said they only deal with odors in the “external” environment, not inside a building. So they engaged the town officials to deal with “inside” issues. However, when it became clear that any mediation would move the odors outdoors, the state agreed to investigate.

When the town and state officials engaged with the salon business owner, he agreed to relocate his business where he might be able to successfully mitigate the issues. This process took some six weeks with both businesses and the landlord taking losses. There was another step planned but not implemented: legal action.

How would you handle this type of issue?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor



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