How to Write a No Smoking Letter to Tenants
Here's How You Handle a Rental Agreement Violation
If you've caught someone smoking inside their rental apartment or you can clearly see evidence of smoking behaviors, such as ash trays filled with cigarette butts, then you can serve that tenant with a notice to quit. In effect, you will be telling that tenant that they must cease the behaviors with a certain amount of time or face the eviction process.
Depending on your local laws, the amount of time someone has to correct the issue may be 72 hours or up to 10 days. Correcting the problem doesn't necessarily mean that the tenant just needs to stop smoking inside the rental property. You may also require a tenant:
• To deodorize the entire rental property so that there is no smoking smell detectable within it.
• Repair any damage that has occurred because of the smoking behaviors.
• Provide receipts or other evidence that the work was completed by a professional.
Also of note: depending on how the rental agreement is structured, smoking may be a cause for an immediate eviction because it breaks the terms of the lease. Instead of a no smoking letter, some landlords may find that starting the eviction process is more beneficial.
What About Switching To a No Smoking Policy?
If you're converting a rental property to a no smoking rental, then you'll need to compose a letter informing the tenants of the policy changes. You can ask people if they'll voluntarily conform to the new policies immediately, but landlords are bound by the same laws that the tenants are regarding a lease. If smoking has been allowed in your rental agreements, then those agreements must expire before a new no smoking policy can be enforced.
Once you have written a letter informing people of the lease updates that will occur, you will need to include this specific policy update on any lease extensions that you have current tenants sign. You can immediately change the terms for new renters to include the no smoking policy, however, so you can begin the transition immediately.
Remember to give all tenants at least 72 hours leeway at minimum if you are mailing any of these letters or notices to them. You may also wish to consider sending these items by certified mail to prove that they were received. In doing so, you'll be able to transition to or keep a smoke-free environment on your rentals and that will make sure you can keep the maximum value on your real estate.
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