Two of those cases involved smoking near in-home oxygen tanks. In another case, one cigarette caused as estimated $50,000 in damage and displaced 17 other tenants.
City housing officials in Kansas City, Missouri, the scene of a four-alarm high-rise apartment fire started by a cigarette, are considering instituting a smoking ban.
Tenants who found themselves homeless due to the resulting smoke and water damage, support such a ban. They are also calling for more costly safety measures, including the installation of fire sprinklers in units.
The majority of rental applicants favor a non-smoking policy in rental housing. Regulatory agencies like HUD are encouraging landlords to go smoke-free by providing free information about smoke-free leases. Many local housing agencies are providing free rental advertising for smoke-free housing.
Landlords are not required to allow smoking in rentals, and courts have confirmed that smoking is not a legal right. However, if you are thinking of implementing a nonsmoking policy, you may be forced to stage the smoking ban by grandfathering in smokers with existing leases, and including the ban in new or renewing leases.
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