For Tenants

Couple outside apt rental

Many landlords and condo owners do not realize that secondhand smoke is a problem in their buildings, so your first step is to let your landlord or condo association know about any issues with secondhand smoke. In addition, please tell them about the landlord part of this website, where they can learn more about the many business benefits of smoking restrictions.

There are important steps you can take to work with your landlord or condo association to reduce secondhand smoke in your building.

Your Rights under the Law

As a tenant in a rental property, you have the right to live free of a significant cause of illness in the home and a major cause of preventable death in the United States: secondhand smoke.

For starters, we want you to know that non-smokers with serious breathing disabilities or smoke allergies may have legal protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act.

Additionally, laws currently exist that you may be able to use to assert your rights to a smoking-restricted apartment.

Here is another important fact: Smoking restrictions are NOT discriminatory. As long as the restrictions are not used to target a protected class or minority, a building manager is legally free to restrict or prohibit smoking in a building.

Furthermore, there is no “right to smoke” under Federal or Virginia law, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Again, have an open dialogue with your landlord if you are having a problem with secondhand smoke. If no one speaks up, landlords assume that there is no problem.

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