Smoke from next door neighbours fireplace

On the weekend we noticed a strong smoke smell coming into our house. On inspection it is coming from our immediate neighbours side, they must have installed a new fireplace.

Does anyone know if it is illegal if they can't control the direction of the smoke? Do I need to call council?

Thanks
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AdamS 2yrs+
Ive tried looking on your local council website but couldn't really find much information on it regarding the expulsion of smoke.

There is a link to incinerators but not quite sure if it is what you are after?

http://www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/community/yourhouse/incinerators

Anyways good luck with the problem, perhaps a complaint to the local council member?
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CommunityMan 2yrs+
I'd try the EPA - see http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/
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DArgy 2yrs+
I live in a court and behind my back yard , not directly kinda on an angle behind my next door neighbors( if that makes sense : ) there's this guy who has some sort of back yard fireplace , or he probably burns off , which is illegal . Each time he does this it smells of kerosene fumes and its smoky. It drives me crazy !!! Here I am sitting outside on a beautiful clear day and this guy is burning off. He has made some sort of chimney that goes high up so nothing is blown into his property but stuff the neighbors. I once called the EPA and they were of no help ! I was told because its a legal matter I should call the police.
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CommunityMan 2yrs+
The so called authorities certainly like to give well meaning people the runaround... grab your handicam and make a vidoe then call Today Tonight!
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AdamS 2yrs+
Hi DArgy,

I would call the police instantly. If there is something that should be sacred, it's the air that's in and around your home, especially if children are involved.

I am surprised the EPA were of no help, this seems like something they have a duty of care to look into. And after doing a little research, it looks like they WANT you to report infringements:

http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/reporting/default.asp#pollution

Very strange they couldn't help you DArgy.

AJ
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DArgy 2yrs+
Thanks, I'll try again
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DArgy 2yrs+
Well I did and they said they will look into it. I had had enough ! He lit it up again the other day and this thick smelly smoke blew right at my place. I took a picture I'll post it so you can all see what I mean. He has been doing this on average 2-3 times a week .
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DArgy 2yrs+
How do I post a pic ? Just paste it or provide a link ?
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AdamS 2yrs+
Hi DArgy, we don't have the ability to post a pic just yet, but we are working on it (as you can tell by the new panoramio and flickr integration throughout the entire site). What you can do is upload the picture to a street, and then simply post a link here to it for everyone to see.

AJ
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DArgy 2yrs+
I have put a stop to the annoying, health hazard, smelly smoke from my neighbour !!! Hip hip hooray !
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CommunityMan 2yrs+
That's great - you must be relieved!
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DArgy 2yrs+
I am VERY relieved ! He would have the nerve to burn out right in the middle of the day on a beautiful clear day like today. I sometimes cannot understand the way some people think............
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LMM 2yrs+
Are you people stupid? Call the police? Call the EPA? How about knocking on your neighbour's door, introducing yourself and letting them know that there's a problem and if he has to burn off, would he mind letting you know beforehand and perhaps only doing it once a month.

When did we all become so scared of talking to our next door neighbours? Quick! Run to the authorities! They MUST help you. Why should you bother helping yourself?
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CommunityMan 2yrs+
Because people who do these kinds of offensive and possibly illegal things in their yards tend to be wackos and you don't want to confront them or make yourself known to them because they can get nasty. Much better to have the lawful authority deal with the matter.
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LMM 2yrs+
The thread started out with someone complaining about a neighbour with a fireplace IN THEIR HOUSE and the smoke from that fireplace impacting on the neighbour. Nothing illegal about that.

Instead of bothering to knock on the neighbour's door, the poster instead wanted to know what they could do to stop this neighbour and their fireplace.

Instead of bothering to actually COMMUNICATE with the people around them, they'd rather just run to the authorities and have them deal with it. So the neighbour gets a letter from the Council or other authority that says that some anonomous person has complained about them. Hasn't actually bothered to talk to them, just complained about them anonomously.

Which you would imagine would piss off the neighbour even more than someone knocking on the door and saying "Hi, how's it going. We probably haven't met, even though we've both lived in this street for the last few years, about 50m from each other and actually COMMUNICATING with the person about the issue that they have".

The post then moved on to complain again about someone who was doing something in their backyard that annoyed that person. In their own backyard, but it was impacting on the poster. Again, instead of actually bothering to deal with the issue themselves, they pushed it off to the "authorities" to deal with.

Makes for a great neighbourhood. Great community.

People complain about the death of communities and a more intolerant and violent society. Well - this thread is your answer as to why.

People would rather have the "authorities" do something for them than do it themselves. People would rather moan and complain about their neighbours than go an knock on the door and actually deal with the problem.

I know my neighbours well. I had a problem with the next door neighbour's pool filter and it being a bit loud. I didn't write to the local council, or build a big brick fence or complain to the EPA. I went and knocked on my neighbours door. "G'day mate, how's it going. Just wondering if you could set your filter to run during the day when I'm at work. It's a bit noisy next to our bedroom at night".

You know what his response was "No problem mate. Didn't realise that it was running loud".

Problem solved, nobody upset or offended. No need to constantly worry about who's dobbing on who or who's complaining about who.

It's pretty simple stuff. Pity so few people actually do it.
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DArgy 2yrs+
LMM you raise some very valid points and in a perfect world we would all love our neighbours and always be considerate to each other BUT when someone has purposely built a chimney in their backyard high enough so as to avoid smoke coming into his property but to be directed into the surrounding properties and lights it at least three times a week then there is a problem. That's like me blowing smoke directly in your face and pretending I don't know I'm doing it ( not that I smoke : )
And like BrianWard said it's not only offensive but possibly illegal, backyard burnoffs have been illegal now for many years so why should I knock on their door if they snub their nose to the law why would they pay any attention to me. I treat my neighbours and friends with the respect that they show me .
I would knock on a neighbours door about a noise issue but this was something completely different, so before you get on your high horse about communities dying it takes two to meet half way. Another neighbour actually did knock on their door and they certainly didn't get a "sorry mate, I didn't realise I was suffocating you" but a "get lost , it's my barbeque "
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SallyB 2yrs+
I live in an apartment building and the guy downstairs smokes constantly and also has a bong which he and his mates smoke most nights. They're unemployed so don't actually have to get up in the morning. I work in the next town though and have to leave early to get there so actually get up at 5.30. Which would be fine if I got some sleep. Unfortunately, his windows are right underneath mine and the smoke just comes straight in. I've tried closing all the windows but it gets really stuffy and I end up with a headache. I've tried sending him a polite note through the door, welcoming him to the area but asking if he could possibly close HIS windows a bit. Well, it's just made it worse - he seems to be a chainsmoker and him and his mates seem to be getting rowdier and rowdier. Have talked to the landlord who really isn't interested. He did have a quick word with the bloke but has now said 'That's all I can do.' He still wants his rent paid on time, though! Any suggestions?
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KZ5 2yrs+
A big friend with a baseball bat tends to cuts through communication barriers quite effectively!
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SallyB 2yrs+
Like it! I may be driven to that quite soon (he he) Actually, I'm looking for a new place. If you're paying rent, you might as well be happy where you're living. More difficult if you own the place, though.
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kat0426 2yrs+
well if you know he is doing weed he probably has it in the house an anonymous tip to the police maybe the way to go or telling the landlord he is an suspected drugdealer with people coming and going all day at all hours, a bit harsh but what the hey you asked nicely the first time and these people are usually a bit stubborn and ignorant to others, leave it with you but good luck.
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SallyB 2yrs+
Thanks Kat. I'm going to see a new place later this week so if the rent's about the same, it may be easier just to move. Tired of these selfish people....!
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DArgy 2yrs+
I would move ASAP !
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melbournefan 2yrs+
Tragic story of a neighbour killed after complaining about dog barking.

Cases like this (although very rare) do not help the communication levels between neighbours, especially those that dont know each other.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/woman-killed-neighbour-over-dog/story-e6freuzr-1225699596186
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mrben 2yrs+
Dargy (and others), I understand the point you are making but i think your example is actually further proof that people aren't making community efforts. If the first point of contact with their neighbour is to complain (no matter how much you might wrap your complaint in nice words or intentions), I'm not surprised they get a negative response.

Neighbourly relations are like an investment - you need to build up the interest before you can make a withdrawal. I feel people don't bother communicating with neighbours prior to a disagreement - get out there now and make contact, even just to say 'hi i'm your neighbour'.
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SallyB 2yrs+
I HAVE already introduced myself to them. I met them in the lift. I said 'Hello, I think I live upstairs from you. I'm Nicky.' They just looked blank and hurriedly got out.
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DArgy 2yrs+
“A good neighbor is a fellow who smiles at you over the back fence, but doesn't climb over it”

“A bad neighbor is a misfortune, as much as a good one is a great blessing”
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Jiyosub 2yrs+
I live with a neighbour whose fireplace is filling my house with acrid smoke. In Camberwell too! How did you get them to stop?
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AdamS 2yrs+
Hi Jiysub,

I'd advise talking to them first about the problem. Perhaps the smoke is not exiting their own house in a proper manner? Maybe there is a very obvious problem that specifically can be fixed.

If that doesn't go well, I would suggest talking to these guys: http://www.disputes.vic.gov.au/reachingagreement/

They obviously can mediate certain problems without seeking legal advice.

Let us know how you go!

AJ
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Esh 2yrs+
I am facing the same problem. I spoke to the neighbor and his some wanted to punch me. I am hiring a lawyer.
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jacksonj 2yrs+
Check out this guy burning off weeds
you CANNOT burn off weeds without a permit and you CANNOT burn off on land under 4000m2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcTm4y8i_vA
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ArpolW May 25, 2016
This neighbour 5 years ago had a chimney fire, that happens when the sooth inside gets inflamed it can reach 900 degrees, I went to complain personally and the lady denied the fact of course even violently our house 40 meters away and blocked by a hill was full of smoke at 2 am I didn't call the fire brigade, days later this lady went into the expense of installing a new chimney rather that installing a gas heater, pushed by our complains to the council started to buy better quality wood, still smokes gets in initially the smoke is lesser but as the soothe inside the chimney builds up again the problem arises again! Council gives statements
as her wood stove "gives nil emissions" which is ridiculous! Even a gas heater gives emissions! We suffer from asthma and a nearby lady has been hospitalized many times, her trigger is smoke!
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dalec3 May 23, 2017
If your neighbours are willing to look at reducing their wood smoke, some neighbours are not so touchy about the possibility of a problem, this product you put in the fireplace cuts wood smoke by 50% and has been around for over 10 years and featured on Better Homes and Gardens. smartburn.com.au. Its available at Bunnings and other hardware stores.
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