When you own a rental property, there are certain things that you have to do to protect your property. Sure, a lot of your responsibilities as a landlord are to keep the property in good and habitable condition for your tenant; however, those are not your only responsibilities.
In addition to keeping things in good repair, you also need to protect your property from tenant activity. While most tenants will not intentionally damage your property, there are a number of things that they might do to cause extensive and costly damage.
One big example of this is smoking. Because tenants come to treat your property as if it is their own while living there, they may begin to smoke inside. And in those cases, it could be time for you to send out a non-smoking policy letter to remind tenants about this discretion.
Otherwise, you could end up losing a lot of money on the cost of repairs! Smoke damage is very real and very expensive – don’t wait to send this letter.What is a no smoking policy letter and when is it appropriate to use it? Today, we’ll take a closer look at this letter, an example template, and the conditions in which you will use it. Let’s get started!
A Table of Contents for the No Smoking Policy Letter
- Dangers of Allowing Smoking on Your Property
- No Smoking Lease Addendums
- Types of No Smoking Letters
- Landlord Letter to Tenant about Smoking Templates
It’s possible that you’ve never considered whether or not a tenant smokes on your property. If you’ve never had a smoker as a tenant before, it’s likely that you haven’t thought of the risk of smoking and why many landlords choose to enforce no smoking policies.
The simple fact of the matter is that smoking can be very detrimental to the value and quality of your rental property.
These are just a few of the many ways that smoking can damage your property:
- Yellowing of walls, baseboards, and more
- Difficult-to-remove smell getting into walls and carpets
- Fire risk
- Ash causes damage to carpets
- Health hazard of second-hand smoke for complex residents
- Can damage ventilation systems
- Can make it difficult to rent the property to a non-smoker in the future
As you can see, the risks of allowing smoking on your property are pretty serious. Some states even have second-hand air acts that might require you to stop tenants in apartment settings from smoking.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to allow smoking in your rental properties. Most landlords choose not to allow smoking, however, and use the following information to enforce those rules.
The surest way to ensure that tenants are not allowed to smoke on your property is to set up a no smoking lease addendum that will be signed whenever the tenant moves onto the property. If you want to add this lease addendum later on, the tenant will have to agree to it, which may be difficult if they are a smoker.
You are legally allowed to restrict smoking on your property. The right to smoke is not protected by law, so you are permitted to refuse to rent to smokers or forbid smoking on your property.
Write up a lease addendum which clearly states your policies. You can forbid smoking on the entire property, limit it to a designated area, or require that all smoking is done 10 feet from any structure. Regardless of how you decide to limit the smoking, the rules must be clearly laid out in the lease.
This lease addendum should be signed by both you and the tenant at the time of the lease signing. With those signatures, the tenant will be required to follow the rules or risk eviction.
There are a few different types of no smoking letters that you will want to have on hand to use in situations where a tenant may be smoking on your property. Each of these letter types has a specific situation that you should use them for.
Intro to Policy
A no smoking policy letter is a letter that can be used to let a tenant know that smoking will no longer be permitted at the property.
While you usually need to have the tenant sign off on a lease addendum for this type of change, sending out a policy letter update as well can be a good reminder to tenants about the change that is happening.
Policy Reminder Letter
If you suspect that your tenant might be smoking on the property, it is time to send out a policy reminder letter.
Sending this no smoking memo to tenants serves as a quick and simple reminder that smoking is not allowed and should be sent out as soon as you suspect a violation of the smoking policy.
Violation Reminder Letter
This letter can be very similar to the policy reminder letter, but it includes the violation that will happen if the tenant continues to smoke. This is a great second warning letter as it alerts the tenant about the potential consequence of their actions.
Now that you know a bit more about no smoking memos for tenants, it’s time for you to put your own templates together. We have a few example letters that you can use as the basis for your own letters.
Let’s take a look at the three templates.
No Smoking Policy Letter
First up is the no smoking policy letter:
|No Smoking Policy Letter|
In this letter, the following information is presented to the tenant:
- Effective policy date
- What the policy states
- What will happen if the policy is violated
- Contact point for questions
This is a great letter to send out or give to your tenant right when the lease is signed. As previously mentioned, your lease should already include a no smoking addendum, and this letter should serve more as a reminder than as an introduction to your policy.
Policy Reminder Letter
Next up is the policy reminder letter:
|Policy Reminder Letter|
In this example template, the following information is given to the tenant:
- Reminder of the no smoking policy
- Contact point for questions
This letter is short and sweet. It serves to let the tenant know that the no smoking policy is still in place and can be used as a gentle reminder for tenants that smoking is not permitted on the property.
You can send this letter out to all tenants periodically, or you can send it to tenants when you suspect that they may be breaking the rules. Either way, it is a relatively gentle reminder.
Violation Reminder Letter
The violation reminder letter is very similar to the policy reminder letter:
|Violation Reminder Letter|
While this letter also goes over the details of the policy, it also goes into detail about what type of violation will occur if the tenant smokes on the property.
Think of this letter as a second and final warning. If the tenant continues to smoke after receiving this letter, it will be time for you to put the violation into action. While the letter is still polite, it lets the tenant know that you are serious about the violation and will not allow it to slide again.
Keep Your Properties Protected
Allowing smoking on your property is a fairly risky choice, and for that reason, most landlords choose to make their rental properties no smoking rentals. If you rent to a smoker, you may find that it is difficult to know how to enforce your policy even if they were made aware of it while signing the lease.
For that reason, having these letters and templates on hand as a guide to the policy is essential. When you suspect that a tenant is not acting according to the policy, simply sending out one of these letters will set you both on the path to resolution.
If dealing with the risk of smoking tenants is very concerning to you, ensure that you are doing in-depth tenant screening and watching out for smokers during the process. After all, you’re not legally obligated to rent to smokers!
Your properties are your investment; keep on top of their protection, and you’ll be able to continue renting the property for years to come!