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

Mansfield Renter Smoking Indoors with an Ashtray Full of Cigarette ButtsOne of the choices that Mansfield rental property owners should make at the beginning is whether to ban smoking in or on their rental property. There are a lot of valid reasons to put such a ban in place, from decreasing property damage to avoiding conflicts with neighbors. No-smoking policies today are a bit more complicated than before due to the rise of vaping and e-cigarettes and changing laws about marijuana. Let’s take a closer look at no-smoking policies and how to establish one for your lease documents.

Can I Legally Ban Smoking on My Rental Property?

The main 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. Nonetheless, checking your state and local laws for specific regulations or restrictions is important.

State and Federal Smoking Laws

A few states have laws that limit or disallow smoking in specific areas, like in public buildings or multi-unit residences. On those occasions, it would be necessary for rental property owners with properties in these categories to add a no-smoking clause in the lease agreement. In addition, some states have instituted laws specifically tending to where and how tenants can use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. These laws might affect your no-smoking policy and should be acknowledged.

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

Establishing a no-smoking policy for your rental properties starts with making a series of decisions. 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. On top of traditional cigarettes, will you disallow vaping and e-cigarettes? Will you permit medical marijuana use, even if it’s smoked?

Once you have a full understanding of your policy, it’s time to write it and put it in your lease agreement. Make sure to clearly state the rules and any possible implications for violating the policy, such as fines or eviction. In addition, it is advisable to include 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 in place, it’s essential to address this policy with tenants both during the screening process and with those currently renting from you.

Once the policy has been established, Mansfield property managers should consistently enforce it for all tenants. This implies swiftly addressing violations and consistently applying any penalties outlined in the lease agreement. In addition, it is recommended to periodically remind tenants of the policy using newsletters or email reminders.

No-smoking policies can go a long way toward securing your rental property and avoiding conflicts with neighbors. By learning your rights and establishing a clear policy, you can safely incorporate a no-smoking clause in your lease agreement.


The specialists at Real Property Management MidTown are well-grounded in 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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