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

Schenectady Renter Smoking Indoors with an Ashtray Full of Cigarette ButtsSchenectady rental property owners must decide early on whether to ban smoking in or on their rental property. There are many good reasons to have such a ban in place, from reducing property damage to avoiding conflicts with neighbors. No-smoking policies today are a bit more complicated than before, thanks to the popularity of vaping and e-cigarettes and changing laws about marijuana. Let’s look more closely at no-smoking policies and how to write one into your lease.

Can I Legally Ban Smoking in My Rental Property?

The most important thing about 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. However, it’s important to check your state and local laws for specific regulations or restrictions.

State and Federal Smoking Laws

Some states have laws that limit or ban smoking in certain areas, such as in public buildings or multi-unit residences. In those cases, it would be compulsory for rental property owners with properties in these categories to include a no-smoking clause in the lease agreement. Additionally, some states have enacted laws specifically referring to where and how tenants can use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. These laws may impact your no-smoking policy and should be taken into consideration.

In addition to state laws, federal laws restrict smoking in certain subsidized housing units and buildings with federally-backed mortgages. It’s also important to note that marijuana use is still illegal under federal law, regardless of state laws. That includes medical marijuana. To avoid potential federal charges, it may be best to ban smoking of all kinds on your property.

Creating a No-Smoking Policy for Your Lease Agreement

Constructing a no-smoking policy for your rental properties begins with making a series of decisions – making. First, consider where you want to allow smoking on your rental property (if at all). Some landlords only ban smoking inside the house, while others also extend the ban to outdoor spaces.

After that, consider what substances you want to include in your no-smoking policy. In addition to traditional cigarettes, will you ban vaping and e-cigarettes? Will you allow medical marijuana use, even if it’s smoked?

Once you have a clear idea of your policy, it’s time to draft it and includes it in your lease agreement. Be sure to clearly state the rules and any potential consequences for violating the policy, such as fines or eviction. It’s also a good idea to include language stating that the policy may be amended in the future to comply with any new state or federal laws.

Implementing and Enforcing Your No-Smoking Policy

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

Once the policy is in place, Schenectady property managers must consistently enforce it for all tenants. This means promptly addressing violations and consistently applying any penalties outlined in the lease agreement. It’s also a good idea to occasionally remind tenants of the policy through newsletters or email reminders.

No-smoking policies can go a long way toward protecting your rental property and avoiding conflicts with neighbors. By understanding your rights and creating a clear policy, you can confidently incorporate a no-smoking clause in your lease agreement.


The professionals at Real Property Management Teague are well-acquainted with no-smoking policies and how to implement them into a lease contract. Contact us online if you have further questions.

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