18 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Going Smoke Free in your Ontario Rentals – Advice for Landlords

Smokers are in the minority these days in Ontario – 85 per cent of adults in the province don’t smoke and these non-smokers dislike having to breathe the second-hand smoke of the 15 per cent that still light up.

For example, in the Peel region of Ontario (which covers Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga), the Public Health department has received significant numbers of complaints from apartment tenants about other people’s cigarette smoke drifting into their homes.

smokers and non smokers tenants

As a result, Peel officials are lobbying to ban smoking from apartments and condos to reduce the health problems caused by second-hand smoke. If their initiative is successful, it could mean that apartment dwellers in the region would not be allowed to smoke in their own homes!

If you are an Ontario landlord, it makes sense to consider introducing a no-smoking policy in your rental apartments now, in advance of any legal action by the regional or provincial authorities. A no-smoking policy is a clause in the lease that prohibits smoking in the unit, part of the building, the whole building or the entire property.

It is perfectly legal for landlords in Ontario to introduce these rules and they can be enforced. However the conditions can only be written into new lease documents.  You cannot add no-smoking conditions to the leases of any of your current tenants. Instead you must wait for the existing leases to expire before making a fresh document with the new conditions clearly set out.

Some of the main reasons for introducing a no-smoking policy in your Ontario rental are:

  • There is an increased demand for smoke-free housing but only a fairly small proportion of rental units in Ontario are currently smoke-free. Offering smoke-free housing makes business sense.
  • If you own multiple rental units in one building and allow smoking, then you may get conflicts between the smokers and non-smokers. The non-smokers may hold you responsible for the fact that their enjoyment of the property is impaired by smoke seeping from other apartments. Smooth management of the premises may be adversely affected.
  • Tobacco smoke affects air quality, can stain paintwork and give furnished apartments an unpleasant musty smell.
  • Cigarette smoking in an apartment increases the risk of fire.
  • A no-smoking building will have happier, healthier tenants, which is better for your business!


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Image By:  meddygarnet

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