Convert To A Smokefree Property

July 21, 2020

Landlords Or Property Managers Can Help Their Tenants During Covid-19.

Tensions are running high as people are losing their jobs and the ability to pay their rent. At the same time, tenants may be more aware of their neighbors’ tobacco use while they are home, and may worry about coming to you with their concerns. Landlords and property managers can take care of their tenants AND protect their property by supporting a tobacco-free environment.

Encouraging tenants to make healthy choices, including not using any form of tobacco, is a caring action property owners can take, especially now during COVID-19 Stay at Home Order. Support and encouragement may make the difference for someone sticking with their quit goals. Sharing quit resources in a newsletter or in a flyer is a good way to provide support. Find free quit resources that you can share at California Smokers’ Helpline. Additionally, converting to a tobacco-free property can save you money.

Secondhand Smoke and Your Property
California law states landlords and property owners of residential dwelling units have the authority to prohibit smoking on the property, in the unit, and on the premises where the unit is located (Civ. Code §§ 1947.5). You can work with your local tobacco control program to create and implement a smoke-free housing policy for your property or city that includes language for making the property completely smoke-free.

Here are some additional steps you can take to begin working towards a smokefree property:

  1. Talk with the tenants who smoke. Discuss how their smoking affects other residents. Ask if they would be willing to smoke at a distance or location away from common areas and the homes of their neighbors.
  2. Review the lease or rental agreement. Does the lease contain any information about smoking? If not, does it mention noise and other nuisance behaviors (smoking can be classified as a “nuisance” behavior in certain situations)? If not, you can draft a new model lease agreement with appropriate language for a smokefree policy.
  3. Research your city ordinance laws. Check to see if your city has any nuisance laws or smoke-free housing ordinances already in place. If so, you can work with the enforcement agency to ensure they are adhered to. If not, you can partner with community organizations such as your local tobacco program to work towards a smokefree housing policy for your community.
  4. Reach out to your local tobacco control program. Your county’s local tobacco control program can help support your efforts by providing educational materials, technical support, and assistance in navigating your particular situation.
  5. Reach out to your local councilperson or board of supervisors representative. Identify your local representative and schedule a time to meet with them and discuss your situation. Provide details on your scenario, and educational materials related to the benefits of adopting a smoke-free housing policy for the community.

DOWNLOAD free educational materials related to adopting a smokefree housing policy.

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