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A Rental Property Owner’s Guide to No-Smoking Policies

Fullerton Renter Smoking Indoors with an Ashtray Full of Cigarette ButtsOne of the decisions that Fullerton rental property owners shall have to make first is whether to ban smoking in or on their rental property. There are great reasons to put such a ban in place, from minimizing property damage to avoiding conflicts with neighbors. No-smoking policies today are a bit more complicated than before, thanks to the recent prominence of vaping and e-cigarettes and changing laws concerning marijuana. Let’s look attentively at no-smoking policies and how to set up one for your lease documents.

Can I Legally Ban Smoking in My Rental Property?

The most necessary thing to understand regarding no-smoking policies is that smokers are not protected under federal Fair Housing law. That means that as long as the ban is applied consistently to all tenants and does not discriminate against a protected class, you can include a no-smoking policy in your lease agreement. Notwithstanding, it’s critical to check out your state and local laws for specific regulations or restrictions.

State and Federal Smoking Laws

A small number of states have laws that ward off or ban smoking in different areas, such as in public buildings or multi-unit residences. In those cases, it would be obligatory for rental property owners with properties in these categories to provide a no-smoking clause in the lease agreement. Likewise, some states have enacted laws, especially as regards where and how tenants can use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. These laws may have an impact on your no-smoking policy and should be taken into account.

Not just state laws, federal laws restrict smoking in a small number of subsidized housing units and buildings with federally-backed mortgages. It’s similarly relevant to mention that marijuana use is still illegal under federal law, notwithstanding state laws. That includes medical marijuana. To prevent possible federal charges, it may be ideal to not allow smoking of all kinds on your property.

Creating a No-Smoking Policy for Your Lease Agreement

Putting up a no-smoking policy for your rental properties begins with forming a series of decisions. Mainly, assess where you want to allow smoking on your rental property (if at all). Plenty of landlords only restrict smoking inside the house, while others, on the other hand, extend the ban to outdoor spaces.

Afterward, take into account what substances you want to include in your no-smoking policy. Apart from traditional cigarettes, will you likewise discourage vaping and e-cigarettes? Will you permit medical marijuana use, even if it’s smoked?

When you have a true and clear idea of your policy, it’s time to draft it and impart it in your lease agreement. Bear in mind to clearly state the rules and any conceivable consequences for violating the policy, like fines or eviction. It’s equally a great idea to include language stating that the policy may be amended in the future to keep up with any new state or federal laws.

Implementing and Enforcing Your No-Smoking Policy

When your no-smoking policy is in place, it’s imperative to address this policy with tenants both during the screening process and with those currently renting from you.

If the policy is in place, Fullerton, property managers should unfailingly enforce it for all tenants. This involves quickly addressing violations and consistently applying any penalties outlined in the lease agreement. It’s additionally a brilliant idea to, from time to time, remind tenants of the policy through newsletters or email reminders.

No-smoking policies can make a world of difference in protecting your rental property and avoiding conflicts with neighbors. By being aware of your rights and developing a straightforward and clear policy, you can successfully incorporate a no-smoking clause in your lease agreement.


The professionals at Real Property Management Caliber are fully knowledgeable about no-smoking policies and how to implement them into a lease contract. Contact us online if you have any other questions.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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