There is no constitutional right to smoke. Although smoking is a legal activity, people do not have the right to smoke in any manner they choose. Maryland has long recognized a landlord’s authority to restrict certain activities within his or her property. Apartment owners and management companies are free to set restrictions upon the lease of their property, including making apartments, wings, or entire buildings smoke free, but no law requires them to do so.
It’s Your Choice. You have the right to institute a smoke-free policy. If tenants are smoking in your apartment building, and you wish to eliminate the health risks of secondhand smoke, smoke damage and fire hazards, then it is completely up to you as a landlord to make that choice.
Existing Smokers May Stay. If you decide to go smoke-free, you may prefer to make certain exceptions for those smoking residents currently residing at the property. Such grandfathering may be required in HUD-Section 8 housing. To help with this, you can convert your property over a period of time, e.g., instituting the smoke-free policy at the time of lease renewal.
Your Opinion Counts.Take the landlord survey and let us know what you think.