Good Questions: Is Downstairs Neighbor’s Venting Legal?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Hello AT,

I live on the seventh floor of a twelve story condominium in Queens. My downstairs neighbor has remodeled his/her kitchen vent to vent to an internal shaft that is meant to vent our bathrooms. Now every time they cook my bathroom ends up smelling like a greasy fast food place.

How should I confront them about this? Is this even legal? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Venting In

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Dear Venting,

That sounds horrible! While we don’t know the legality of this, it certainly seems incorrect and possibly illegal. Bathroom vents are designated as such and are not designed to carry kitchen, dryer or other venting. Obviously, your neighbors have cut some corners and possibly jerry-rigged their solution, which they were probably driven to do because the smell was too much for them!

While others may disagree, we always advise beginning with a polite phone call or knock on their door to alert them to the issue in your apartment that they probably don’t know about. If they won’t do anything about it, we would then go to the super. Last, but not least, you could install a fan in your vent that is always running to keep any air from entering your bathroom or block the vent entirely.

Anyone else?