One of the first considerations that Pittsboro rental property owners must make is whether to ban smoking in or on their rental property. There are numerous reasons to impose such a ban in place, from limiting 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 for your lease documents.
Can I Legally Ban Smoking on My Rental Property?
The most crucial aspect of no-smoking policies is that smokers are not protected under federal Fair Housing law. That indicates 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. Yet, it’s critical to examine your state and local laws for specific regulations or restrictions.
State and Federal Smoking Laws
Several states have laws restricting or prohibiting smoking in specific areas, like public buildings or multi-unit residences. In those circumstances, it would be required for rental property owners with properties in these categories to add a no-smoking clause in the lease agreement. Furthermore, some states have passed laws specifically addressing where and how tenants can use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. These laws may influence your no-smoking policy and should be considered.
Aside from state laws, federal laws restrict smoking in certain subsidized housing units and buildings with federally-backed mortgages. It’s also worth noting that marijuana use is still illegal under federal law, irrespective of state laws. That includes medical marijuana. To prevent possible federal charges, it may be preferable to prohibit smoking of all kinds on your property.
Creating a No-Smoking Policy for Your Lease Agreement
Making a no-smoking policy for your rental properties begins with several choices. To begin, think about where you want to allow smoking on your rental property (if at all). Some landlords only prohibit smoking inside the house, while others also extend the ban to outdoor spaces.
Then, think about what substances you want to include in your no-smoking policy. Besides traditional cigarettes, will you prohibit vaping and e-cigarettes? Will you permit the use of medical marijuana, even if it’s smoked?
Once you’ve decided on your policy, it’s time to write it down and put it in your lease agreement. Don’t forget to clearly state the rules and any potential penalties for violating the policy, like fines or eviction. It’s also advisable to incorporate language stating that the policy may be amended in the future to conform with any new state or federal laws.
Implementing and Enforcing Your No-Smoking Policy
Once your no-smoking policy is implemented, it’s critical to address it with tenants during the screening process and with those currently renting from you.
Once the policy is in effect, Pittsboro property managers must regularly enforce it for all tenants. This means promptly addressing violations and constantly applying any penalties outlined in the lease agreement. It’s also advisable to occasionally remind tenants of the policy through newsletters or email reminders.
No-smoking policies can aid you in safeguarding your rental property and avoiding conflicts with neighbors. By knowing your rights and making a clear policy, you can easily incorporate a no-smoking clause in your lease agreement.
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.