If you ever had a tenant or renter that smokes then you most likely had some smoking related damage to your unit. Smoking tenants may be  something you wish to avoid. How do you protect your property from smokers? Can a tenant be told he is not allowed to smoke on your property? Do smokers have legal rights? In other words, are they a protected class they can not be discriminated against?

Let’s clear the air about smoking. There are no federal or state laws or statutes that stop a landlord from prohibiting all forms of smoking in or around any part of the property. Smokers are not a protected class and therefore a landlord/owner can discriminate against smoking tenants.

This means that the Landlord/owner can make policies for all their units, houses, common areas, porches, lanais, gardens, play and swim areas etc….creating entire “smoke-free zones” or “designated smoking zones”.

While for landlords and owners the benefit of regulating smoking is obvious ( no butts littering your property, no accidental fires or burnings or other related injuries, no property damage etc..). Most non smoking tenants will also appreciate having rules against smoking and not being the victim of a smelly or dirty unit or worse yet, second hand smoke.

If you are going to regulate smoking, it is imperative that your lease and/or addendum to lease very clearly addresses smoking and related restrictions. Keep in mind that if you have an existing tenant that smokes, you may not be able to ban a current tenant from smoking, if in their lease or addendum there is no language regulating smoking. Even if the lease allows for the landlord to make future rules and regulations as the landlord deems necessary, the smoker most likely will be grandfathered in. In that case, you will just have to wait out the tenant and address this issue at time of renewals.

Of course, it is one thing to make a rule, it’s totally another to police it. However, your ability to police and ultimately enforce your smoking restrictions begins with proper language in your lease and/or addendum.

About Octazon:
Whether you own a few properties or hundreds of properties in Florida, Octazon Management, LLC is here to bring order and simplify property ownership and management. We can help you manage any and all of your properties. Call us 888-324-9528 or email us info@octazon.com today

Posted by: marvinkatz on January 24, 2013