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Tip #80: Nonsmoking, Please
Last week’s blog post, Fair Housing Threat, generated a discussion among our members over whether landlords can legally reject tenants who smoke.
Here are some quick tips regarding nonsmoking policies in rental properties:
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It is not discriminatory to reject an applicant who will not agree to honor a landlord’s nonsmoking policy.
Landlords can be sued for illnesses resulting from second-hand smoke if they have allowed tenants to smoke in common areas or near ventilation systems.
Nonsmoking units are more popular than smoking units and easier to clean.
More and more cities are mandating nonsmoking rentals.
A nonsmoking policy reduces risks of fire.
For more on nonsmoking policies, see our post  Landlords Applaud City’s New Rental Law.
See last weeks Landlord Quick Tip.
American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.

  • Gary Carlson

    As a landlord, I would rather not rent a unit to a smoker. That said, it’s scary to see government intruding in personal matters. And yes, yes, there’s the second hand smoke – there’s the fire safety argument and so on. It’s still scary to watch personal freedoms get shaved bit by bit in the name of “protecting” the public. Who pays for the enforcement of this stuff and how long before the FBI becomes the KGB? Or, has it already happened? I’m a non-smoker.

  • STEVE

    O.K. I AGREE WITH REASONING, BUT WHAT ABOUT GUESTS? ONCE THE SMOKE IS IN THE APT., IT’S HARD TO GET OUT. AND HOW DO YOU “POLICE”(HATE THAT WORD) WHAT THE TENANT IS DOING? WHAT IF APT. WAS EMPTY FOR A LONG TIME AS IN THESE HARD TIMES–DO YOU RENT ?

  • johnthelandlord

    Putting more and more criteria to get applicants approved is not too smart in a weak rental market. Its hard enough to find people with a job and good credit. I would rather have a smoker than a total pig in my rental units.

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  • Georgia

    OK… so yes some of our “personal freedoms” seem to be systematically taken away. How about the same consideration for the other side. It’s my property, I pay the mortgage, upkeep. Don’t I have rights? Like the right to say no to someone who wants to polute my enviorment and have me pay for the damage that is done by it. All it takes is a little common sense. We hade a spoker in one of our upscale properties. After all was said and done, it cost us 200 man hours to strip the property and thousands in lost rent and reconditioning processes. If smokers want their rights, let them go buy their own property and live there, and assert their rights. What has been acceptable in the past was not necessarily right or considerate. Trust me, it isn’t worth the headaches. Weak market or not!

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