One of the decisions that West Long Branch rental property owners will have to make at the outset is whether to ban smoking in or on their rental property. There are many appropriate reasons to put such a ban in place, from cutting down property damage to avoiding conflicts with neighbors. No-smoking policies today are a bit more complicated than before, thanks to the emergence and popularity of vaping and e-cigarettes and changing laws referring to marijuana. Let’s get to know better about no-smoking policies and how to develop one for your lease documents.
Can I Legally Ban Smoking in My Rental Property?
The most relevant thing about 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. But, it’s imperative to inquire about your state and local laws for specific regulations or restrictions.
State and Federal Smoking Laws
Some states have laws that discourage or ban smoking in particular areas, such as public buildings or multi-unit residences. In those cases, it would be mandated for rental property owners with properties in these categories to create a no-smoking clause in the lease agreement. Apart from that, some states have enacted laws, especially as regards where and how tenants can use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. These laws may have a bearing on your no-smoking policy and should be carefully considered.
Not only state laws, but federal laws also restrict smoking in some subsidized housing units and buildings with federally-backed mortgages. It’s equally crucial to stress that marijuana use is still illegal under federal law, no matter what state laws. That includes medical marijuana. To keep away from likely federal charges, it may be appropriate to prohibit smoking of all kinds on your property.
Creating a No-Smoking Policy for Your Lease Agreement
Putting together a no-smoking policy for your rental properties starts with making a series of decisions. Basically, think about where you want to allow smoking on your rental property (if at all). Many landlords only prohibit smoking inside the house, while others furthermore extend the ban to outdoor spaces.
Subsequently, carefully consider what substances you want to include in your no-smoking policy. Aside from traditional cigarettes, will you also disallow vaping and e-cigarettes? Will you accept medical marijuana use, even if it’s smoked?
Once you have a real and clear idea of your policy, it’s time to write it up and put it in your lease agreement. Make sure to clearly state the rules and any imaginable consequences for violating the policy, in particular fines or eviction. It’s moreover a brilliant plan to include language stating that the policy may be amended in the future to give room for any new state or federal laws.
Implementing and Enforcing Your No-Smoking Policy
Once your no-smoking policy is in place, it’s critical to address it with tenants during the screening process and with those currently renting from you.
When the policy is in place, West Long Branch, property managers need to consistently enforce it for all tenants. This indicates addressing violations right away and regularly applying any penalties outlined in the lease agreement. It’s, in like manner, an excellent idea to sometimes remind tenants of the policy through newsletters or email reminders.
No-smoking policies can make a major contribution toward protecting your rental property and avoiding conflicts with neighbors. You can certainly incorporate a no-smoking clause in your lease agreement by ascertaining your rights and developing a clear policy.
The professionals at Real Property Management Performance are fully informed about no-smoking policies and how to implement them into a lease contract. Contact us online if you have any additional 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.