A smoke-free lease addendum is a document a landlord can add to an original lease agreement to ban smoking. Once both the tenant and landlord sign it, this document becomes a part of the original agreement.
- What Is a Smoke-Free Lease Addendum?
- When to Use a Smoke-Free Lease Addendum
- Consequences of Not Using a No-Smoking Lease Addendum
- Most Common Instances to Use a Smoke-Free Lease Addendum (Cannabis)
- What to Include in a No-Smoking Lease Addendum
- How to Write a Smoke-Free Lease Addendum
- Smoke-Free Lease Addendum Sample
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Smoke-Free Lease Addendum?
A smoke-free lease addendum can help you prohibit smoking if your current lease agreement is silent about whether smoking is permitted or prohibited in their rental.
Even if a tenant has already signed the lease or rental agreement, a landlord may later ask a tenant to sign this document to establish a policy regarding smoked substances.
When to Use a Smoke-Free Lease Addendum
A landlord commonly uses a no-smoking addendum when the original lease or rental agreement fails to address the smoking issue or the landlord is concerned about the tenant’s recent use of cannabis or tobacco products on the premises.
Here are some reasons a landlord should ask a tenant to sign an addendum prohibiting smoking:
- The landlord has newly renovated the premises, and they want to protect it from smoke.
- The landlord doesn’t want the tenant to damage the interior of a furnished apartment.
- The tenant only verbally promised not to smoke.
- Other tenants in the building have expressed concerns about a tenant’s smoking habits.
- The state where the lease is has recently legalized marijuana or is considering marijuana ballot initiatives.
- The state allows for the medical or recreational use of marijuana.
Landlords should ensure tenants understand that there is a zero-tolerance policy toward using all tobacco and marijuana if that is what the lease agreement or addendum states.
Consequences of Not Using a No-Smoking Lease Addendum
Without using this document, tenants can take advantage of a lease or rental agreement that is silent on smoking.
Here are some negative effects that a smoke-free lease addendum can prevent:
- Monetary damage
- Legal expenses to evict a tenant
- Costs to find a new tenant
- Property damage
- Replacement cost of furnishings
- Unexpected smoke damage to walls, floors, and ceilings
- Emotional distress
- Managing an upset tenant
- Complaints from neighbors
Most Common Instances to Use a Smoke-Free Lease Addendum (Cannabis)
Landlords who rent premises in one of the below-listed states that have legalized marijuana should consider this form to clarify whether their tenants can or cannot smoke any cannabis products while living on the premises.
The following states (updated as of October 2023) have fully legalized the use of recreational and medicinal marijuana:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
The following states (updated as of October 2023) allow only the use of medical marijuana:
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
The following states (updated as of October 2023) have not legalized marijuana:
- Georgia – not decriminalized
- Idaho – not decriminalized
- Indiana – not decriminalized
- Iowa – not decriminalized
- Kansas – not decriminalized
- Nebraska – decriminalized
- North Carolina – decriminalized
- South Carolina – not decriminalized
- Tennessee – not decriminalized
- Texas – not decriminalized
- Wisconsin – not decriminalized
- Wyoming – not decriminalized
Even if tenants have a medical marijuana card, tenants may not smoke on the rental premises if a landlord broadly prohibits drugs that fall under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative that federal law did not create a medical necessity exception for “seriously ill” patients.
What to Include in a No-Smoking Lease Addendum
A simple no-smoking lease addendum that prohibits or restricts smoking should generally have at least the following:
- Who is not allowed to smoke, including the tenant(s) and their guests
- What is not allowed to be on the premises, including tobacco or marijuana in any form
- Where the prohibition applies, especially on the premises, including common areas
- What are the consequences of violating the addendum, including terminating the lease early
- Why smoking, if disallowed or restricted, is considered a disturbance and nuisance to neighboring residents
- Whether tenants will lose their security deposit or be responsible for any damages if they smoke
If the landlord wants to be comprehensive, the addendum should clarify and strictly prohibit any extract from the cannabis plant in any distilled, purified, or edible form.
How to Write a Smoke-Free Lease Addendum
You can prohibit smoking (tobacco and/or cannabis) on your property by following these steps for writing a smoke-free lease addendum:
Step 1 – Write the Date of the Original Lease Agreement
Enter the date of the original lease or rental agreement.
Step 2 – Fill in the Landlord’s and Tenant’s Names
Provide the full landlord name written on the original lease or rental agreement.
Provide the full tenant name written on the original lease or rental agreement. List all tenants named in the contract.
Step 3 – Identify the Property Address
Note the street (physical) address of the property being rented. Include any unit or apartment number, if applicable.
Step 4 – Fill in Permitted Smoking Areas
Write any areas where the landlord permits smoking on the premises.
Step 5 – Note if the Tenant Will Pay for Smoking-Related Damages
Specify whether the tenant will pay for any property damage prohibited smoking on the premises causes.
Step 6 – Choose Indemnification
Note whether the tenant will indemnify the landlord against liabilities, judgments, costs, or claims by third parties for any injuries or property damages prohibited smoking causes.
Step 7 – Pick the Lease Termination Option
Specify whether the landlord can terminate the lease agreement if tenants or guests violate the terms of this addendum.
Step 8 – Note Security Deposit
Note whether the tenant will forfeit the security deposit upon violating the addendum.
Smoke-Free Lease Addendum Sample
Below, you can find a sample of our smoke-free lease addendum template. Download it as a PDF or Word file:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a smoke-free addendum ban vaping?
Yes. A landlord should define vaping and e-cigarettes in this addendum to make the ban clear to tenants.
How can I tell if a tenant has been smoking?
During a scheduled inspection of the property, you can note if the unit and its carpeting and curtains smell like smoke. You can also look for burn marks on the furniture and smoke stains on the walls.
Can I evict a tenant for smoking?
If you include a no-smoking policy in the lease or an addendum, you can evict a tenant for smoking. However, eviction is usually a last-resort punishment for smoking. Instead, you can issue a warning and try to get the tenant to stop the behavior.