Landlords usually develop the smoking policies for their rental houses and apartments and incorporate the policy into the written lease document. All tenants must agree to the policy by signing the lease before moving into the rental unit. If you are unsure about how best to create and enforce a smoking policy, get legal advice to ensure the lease clearly states what is allowed. Also, make sure your policy adheres to relevant state and local laws.
Develop the Policy
Although it sounds simple enough, a good first step is to define smoking. A typical definition of smoking includes inhaling, exhaling, or burning any lighted tobacco product. State clearly on the lease if smoking is banned in individual units, in common areas shared by all tenants such as lobbies or pool areas, or both, or whether it is banned on the entire property both inside and outside. If you choose to designate a smoking area, be specific about where it will be. For example, you might say that smoking is only allowed outside at least 25 feet from any doors, windows or walkways. State whether the no-smoking policy applies to all tenants, guests and visitors. Clearly state the consequence if a tenant breaks the no-smoking policy. For example, you might say that tenants must pay for the necessary cleaning and maintenance to bring the unit to a rentable condition. Incorporate the no-smoking policy into the lease.
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