Can a landlord impose a no-smokingban after you move in andthere isn’t a”No smokonig” clause in your lease?

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Can a landlord impose a no-smokingban after you move in andthere isn’t a”No smokonig” clause in your lease?

I just rented an apartment in a 2-family home. Landlord is not occupant. I told him that I smoked and he didn’t say no. Also, I signed a 1-year lease. 3days after moving in he came to speak to me and said that the upstairs tenant is threatening to move if I don’t stop smoking. Therefore he is prohibiting me from smoking anywhere in my apartment. He said the other tenant is also threatening to sue him if I don’t stop smoking. I’m permanently disabled – a walking problem and the only place I can smoke is outsideaway from the house. Is this prohibition legal? What are my rights?

Asked on November 11, 2010 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This question raises many issues that can not be decided in this type of forum.  You are going to have to seek help from an attorney in your area.  First, your rights here are going to be weighed against the other tenant's rights, and some states have allowed tenants to claim the right to a smoke free environment.  So the landlord may well have to do something or he will be in violation of the law.  Next, you have rights as per your lease agreement PLUS you appear to be disabled and that gives you a whole host of other rights as well. How these are going to be balanced no one can tell you for sure. But you may have the ability to negotiate a deal for yourself here depending on what you want.  Good luck. 


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