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Can a landlord prevent tenants from smoking in their unit?

Can a landlord prevent tenants from smoking in their unit?

| Sep 15, 2021 | landlord-tenant disputes |

People paying to rent a home or an apartment usually expect to have the freedom to decide what they do in their own space. However, the actions of a resident or tenant can impact the value of the property itself and the experience of tenants in adjoining or nearby units. Landlords often have to put rules in place to protect their property investment and make the facilities safe and enjoyable for all. 

Smoking is a personal choice that, while less common than it used to be, is still something many people choose to do. Can landlords in New York actually prevent their tenants from smoking in their own unit or anywhere in the rental property?

Yes, landlords have the right to restrict indoor tobacco use

New York does not have a statewide law prohibiting smoking in residential buildings, nor does it have a rental law preventing landlords from prohibiting tobacco use on their properties. It generally falls to the individual landlord to decide whether they will allow their tenants to smoke in a unit or not. 

Although making a unit non-smoking might reduce the pool of potential tenants, it can also decrease the amount of wear and damage to the property and the amount of cleaning required when a new person moves into the space. Smoking in a unit in violation of a lease could lead to eviction or financial claims against the tenant for damage to the property. 

Knowing what rules apply to different landlord-tenant conflicts can help you resolve the issue you face, whether you rent a property or allow others to rent a property you own.

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