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2007-07-23 08:40:00

Questions and Answers: Can Landlords Restrict Smoking?

Q  Can I have a non-smoking building? Or a non-smoking floor or section of a building?

Most likely. There are no laws specifically on the subject, but landlords could make a good case for business reasons not to allow smoking. Fire, smoke damage, burn marks on carpets and floors, Proposition 65 issues, disability issues, the list goes on and on.

Can I refuse to rent to smokers?

Probably not, since to do so may entail arbitrary discrimination. You could, however, have a lease provision that prohibits smoking inside or in the common areas of the premises.

What do I do if one resident's smoking bothers another resident? What if the other resident says she is allergic to smoke?

You need to investigate and find out if the person complaining is extra sensitive to secondhand smoke. It may be necessary for you to allow the complaining resident to get out of her lease or move her to another unit. Document the entire process and seek legal assistance before acting. 

(LegalEase is intended to provide general information and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact the nearest office to discuss the facts of your particular situation. Kimball, Tirey and St. John makes no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, with regard to this information. Kimball, Tirey & St. John shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising out of, the use of any information herein contained.)

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