Do I Have a Right to Smoke Cigarettes and Marijuana in My Rental Unit?
Typically, landlords inform tenants of a no-smoking policy or restrictions on smoking cigarettes and marijuana in a rental unit before signing the lease or rental agreement.
However, does a no-smoking policy infringe upon your rights as a tenant? Do you actually have a right to smoke cigarettes and weed in your rental apartment despite the restrictions in the lease/rental agreement?
Why do landlords prohibit smoking in rental units?
There are multiple reasons why landlords include no-smoking policies in the lease agreements and prohibit tenants from smoking cigarettes and marijuana in their rental units:
- Limit exposure to secondhand smoke
- Prevent fire hazards on the rental property (many rental units are equipped with smoke alarms)
- Avoid stains and odors from tobacco and weed
- Avoid lawsuits (a landlord who does not prohibit smoking may be sued by other tenants for nuisance or failure to keep the rental unit habitable)
Do tenants have a right to smoke tobacco/marijuana in rentals?
As a rule of thumb, no. Tenants do not have a right to smoke in their rental units. Currently, there is no state or federal law that would protect tenants’ right to smoke tobacco or marijuana in their rentals. Also, bans on smoking in the rental unit are not discriminatory since the word “smoker” is not a protected characteristic under the Fair Housing Act (FHA).
However, if you believe that your landlord’s no-smoking policy is discriminatory or you were wrongfully evicted for smoking cigarettes or marijuana in your rental unit, speak with our Tampa landlord-tenant attorney at HD Law Partners to discuss your unique case.
Does Florida law protect marijuana patients’ right to smoke in private?
In 2018, a Florida circuit judge issued an ambiguous ruling that stated that marijuana patients have a right to use “smokable” weed in private places.
Given that Florida legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes, many tenants across the Sunshine State misinterpreted the judge’s ruling as a green light to smoke marijuana in their rentals. However, landlords can still prohibit smoking marijuana – or tobacco, for that matter – on their rental properties despite the 2018 ruling.
Typically, a landlord will tell you about the no-smoking policy before signing the lease or rental agreement. Even if you were not informed of the smoking ban, you should carefully read the agreement to find out if it says anything about smoking cigarettes or marijuana in the rental unit.
Can you be evicted for smoking in the rental unit?
Yes. If your landlord has included a no-smoking policy in the lease or rental agreement, you can be evicted for violating the terms of the agreement if you smoke in the rental apartment.
However, when the no-smoking policy is included in the rental’s rules but are not a part of the rental or lease agreement, the landlord may have a right to terminate your tenancy or evict you if you repeatedly violate the rules after being warned against smoking.
If you believe that your rights are violated or you were wrongfully evicted for smoking marijuana or cigarettes in the rental unit, do not hesitate to discuss your case with our Tampa landlord-tenant attorneys at HD Law Partners. Call 813-964-7878 for a consultation.