According to the American Lung Association, a Deerfield Beach couple, Amaury and Renata Rosa, were expecting a baby. But when Renata was eight months along in her pregnancy, they began to seriously worry that secondhand smoke from a neighbor's apartment could hurt the unborn child. Secondhand smoke has been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and respiratory problems in kids. When the neighbors essentially said, "Sorry, but our lease allows us to smoke here," the ALA helped the couple approach the property managers to suggest transitioning to a smoke-free building. They said no.
So the ALA helped the couple look for a legal way out of their lease.
The ALA has been working in partnership with the Broward Regional Health Planning Council's TOUCH (Transforming Our Community's Health) initiative to encourage buildings to go smoke-free.
According to TOUCH, "Matthew Competiello, Program Manager, American Lung Association in Florida, provided the property managers with information about the dangers of secondhand smoke, the financial and health benefits of transitioning to a 'smoke free' complex, and the relevant information related to the Federal Fair Housing Act. Amaury and Renata were persistent and chose the health of their unborn child over their home -- with a letter from their doctor and using Fair Housing laws as justification -- they moved, finding a healthier, smoke-free living alternative with minimal economic hardship in the process."
If you find yourself in a similar situation, here's info on how you too can try to wiggle out of the lease.
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