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Update: Smoking Tenants in Non-Smoking Unit - Landlord Forum thread 246049

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Update: Smoking Tenants in Non-Smoking Unit by Anonymous on January 23, 2012 @14:07

About a week ago I posted about my tenants smoking in a non-smoking unit. I went to speak to my lawyer last week. Though you can smell the smoke seeping into my house and in the common area, the lawyer confirmed what I thought. The lawyer beleived us but we needed to cath them in the act. However, he did send them a letter warning them to stop smoking in the apartment immediately and that we are prepared to evict them if they violate this provision or any other provisions of the lease again. I was on my way out when the mail man knocked on their door and one of them signed for it. We haven't smelled any smoke since they received the letter. In fact they have been extremely quiet. Their parents are co-signors on the lease so if it came down to evicting them I beleive not only the tenants credit will be affected their parents credit will be affected as well.

I don't need to tell this to other landlords on this site. Documenting EVERYTHING is key. I had documentation for each time we talked to them and a copy of the written warning that was handed them with me when I met with the lawyer. The lawyer also wrote in the letter to contact him not us for any questions or concerns regarding the lease and letter that was sent to them. The lawyer advice us that if they have any problems with the apartment going forward they are to put it in writing. Verbal interactions with them is to stop immediately.

My approach with my previous tenants was always nice. My previous tenants not only maintained their unit and my property, they would inform me right away about small problems because they didn't want it become bigger and cost me any money. Because of that I never raised their rent and they would be first to tell me they want to renew. But this batch that I have now. WOW!!! They are under the impression that they own my property.

It in is the lease that one of the tenants help with shoveling the snow. It snowed this weekend. When it stopped my family and I like we always do went out to shovel the snow. One of the tenants came home and told me that the other tenant called her to tell her that he would shovel the snow when he came home that night. WHAT!!! I am not waiting around for him to shovel ANYTHING. This is my property not yours! We live a "I will sue you" nation. She looked extremely scared when she was talking to me and couldn't wait to get into her apartment. She out of the three always tells me how beautiful the apartment is. Oh well! Start looking for a new one because we are not renewing the lease. Needless to say they have to know this.

Thank you to all the LL's on this site that gave me great advice.

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Re: Update: Smoking Tenants in Non-Smoking Unit by Lise on January 23, 2012 @14:16 [ Reply ]
Documenting is the key, and this is true for a lot of issues, thank you for coming back to us with the (almost) end of the story. I know it's really hard to convince a judge the tenants were smoking, if they said "NO, we did not ... "
Hope your next tenants will be better.
Re: Update: Smoking Tenants in Non-Smoking Unit by Anna Mouse on January 23, 2012 @16:49 [ Reply ]
Wondering what the end result you wanted from the lawyer. My first thought was to return it back to the same condition it was prior the smoking. Is it that you wanted to make them stop?

Then I realized you lived in the same building. Before I was wondering how in the world you would catch your tenant smoking. I hope you have a good deposit from them so in the end you can pay someone to repaint before the next tenant.
Re: Update: Smoking Tenants in Non-Smoking Unit by Bryan (Ia) on January 23, 2012 @17:12 [ Reply ]
Googling "cigarette detectors" shows several. The one from has an option to send an email or text to your cell phone when cigarette smoke is detected, others may too.
Re: Update: Smoking Tenants in Non-Smoking Unit by MrDan (Georgia) on January 23, 2012 @20:37 [ Reply ]
Restoring a Tobacco Smoke-Damaged Apartment

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