Your Rights

Understanding your legal rights - and the legal rights of smokers - is the first step to implementing smoking restrictions in the apartment building where you live.

Here are some important things you should know:

Smoking restrictions in apartments are permitted under federal and Maryland law.
 
 Remember, smokers are not a protected legal class - meaning that there is no "right to smoke" under law.
   
 Laws currently exist that permit you to assert your rights to a smoking-restricted apartment.
 
 Tenants with serious disabilities caused or exacerbated by secondhand smoke may have legal protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. If secondhand smoke seriously affects your health, consult a doctor to have your condition documented.
 
 If your landlord decides to change or convert the entire building or just some units or portions of the building into smoking-restricted areas, your landlord can grandfather in those smoking residents currently residing at the complex until such time as the smoking policy can legally be changed under the terms of the lease/rental agreement and Maryland law, such as at the time of lease renewal. 

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