Tenants Evicted for Smoking
A couple was evicted from their condominium for smoking two to three packs of cigarettes per day, even though their lease did not prohibit smoking. The landlord convinced the Boston, Massachusetts Housing Court jury that the heavy smoking created a nuisance to other tenants in the building.
The lease prohibited tenants from creating a nuisance or behaving in a way that interferes with the health, safety or enjoyment of others in the building. The landlord argued that the couple's smoking was excessive, and created a legal nuisance by infiltrating the apartments of adjoining tenants, who complained about the strong smell of smoke. The building owner was being threatened with lawsuits from other tenants, and the condominium association citing health issues related to second hand smoke.
A non-smoking Oregon tenant sued after her landlord moved a known smoker into the apartment below hers. She claimed that she began to suffer asthma and respiratory problems and that the landlord had breached his duty to keep the premises habitable. The Lackamas County, Oregon District Court jury reduced her rent by 50 percent, and ordered the landlord to pay her doctor's bills.
Tenants who were exposed to cigarette, cigar or marijuana smoke from the garage below obtained a restraining order from the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County prohibiting the garage owner from smoking in the garage.
A New York City businessman is suing the owner of a professional building, claiming that smoke from the adjoining suite seeped into his offices, causing employees to suffer from second hand smoke and forcing him to move his offices. Landlords should use lease clauses prohibiting smoking on the premises.