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law booksCalifornia legislators want to make it perfectly clear: landlords can ban smoking inside rental units.

A bill is moving through the legislative assembly, with nearly unanimous support, that would “authorize a landlord of a residential dwelling unit to prohibit the smoking of tobacco products on the property, in a dwelling unit, in another interior or exterior area, or on the premises on which the dwelling unit is located.”

The measure does not add to the current law, but rather clarifies for landlords reluctant to pursue a non-smoking policy that such a ban is not illegal nor does it discriminate against tenants in any way.

The final bill will spell out certain requirements on notices to tenants of a ban, and how to handle changes to existing leases.

Studies have shown that a smoking ban in rental housing benefits landlords.  Units where smoking is allowed tend to cost significantly more to maintain and can generate more liability for landlords, including higher insurance costs and the risk of lawsuits for injuries and illnesses related to secondhand smoke.

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