The laws regarding smoking in apartment buildings across Canada are varied, but the fact remains that cigarette smoke can cause serious issues both for tenants and landlords alike. According to the website Smoke-Free Canada Housing, “Landlords have the legal right to designate specific apartment units or entire buildings as smoke-free, yet many landlords are unaware of this important fact. Landlords may legally include “no-smoking” clauses in all new tenancy agreements by banning smoking in individual units, including outdoor patios and balconies, or any areas of the residential property.”
The website goes on to explain, “There is no right to smoke enshrined in Canadian law. Further, smoking is not identified under provincial human rights laws as grounds for protection from discrimination.”
This can make the issue of smoking in ones apartment rather murky and difficult to address. While common areas of an apartment building could (and should!) be designated as smoke-free, a tenant can choose to smoke in their own apartment or on their own balcony if there is no stipulation in their lease that says they cannot.
However, once the smoking of a tenant begins to affect others in the building it can become a very large problem. This can range from affecting people who have allergies or sensitivities to smoke to the general odour of cigarette smoke getting into carpets and even staining walls over time.
Make the Rules Clear:
If you would prefer that tenants do not smoke in their units, you must include this in the lease. In addition, ensure you point it out to them before they sign so that there are no surprises.
You have the right to ensure that people do not smoke in the units of your building, while the potential tenant has the right to decide if they would prefer to live in a building where smoking is allowed.
This goes for tenants who smoke – try to imagine yourself in the shoes of another person who lives in the building that may be affected negatively by your smoking. If, for example, the tenant above you played music loudly into the night you probably would not be very happy – the same theory applies to your smoking.
A little courtesy goes a long way to ensuring the health and comfort of everyone in the building. Go for a walk or simply step outside into the (outdoor) parking lot. You may also want to inquire with your landlord if a designated outdoor smoking area can be set up for your building that includes “Butt-Stops” that you can use to dispose of your cigarettes.
Here’s a great blog post to read by Oh My Apartment about Second Hand Smoke in Your Apartment:
We hope that the advice we have listed above will help you to resolve any issues you may encounter when it comes to smoking in apartment buildings.
The RentSeeker.ca Team