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Landlords and Tenants
in British Columbia            

 

 

 

 

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Smoking

BC has the lowest smoking rate in the country. 85% of British Columbians donít smoke and, according to SmokeFreeHousing.bc.ca, a recent survey of BC renters found a majority would prefer to live in smoke-free buildings.

If you are a Tenant who smokes, make sure you make it known to the Landlord.  If you're prepared to only smoke outside, then say so ( read What Not To Tell A Landlord ). Many Landlords will be fine with that.  If you are a smoker and lie to the Landlord, you could find yourself evicted if you're caught smoking inside or even outside the rented premises. Section 47 of the Residential Tenancy Act states that the Landlord may issue a Notice to End Tenancy when the Tenant has failed to comply with a material term of the agreement. 

Smoking by other Tenants

Section 28 of the Resident Tenancy Act states that a Tenant is entitled to quiet enjoyment including, but not limited to, rights to the following:

1. Reasonable privacy.

2. Freedom from unreasonable disturbance.

3. Exclusive possession of the rental unit subject only to the Landlordís right to enter the rental unit in accordance with section 29.

4. Use of common areas for reasonable and lawful purposes, free from significant interferences.

Therefore, the right to quiet enjoyment protects Tenants from unreasonable disturbance and any serious interference with their tenancy, and all Tenants must ensure that their actions or the actions of their guests do not unreasonably disturb other Tenants.

 

In certain circumstances, second-hand smoke can constitute a breach (or loss) of quiet enjoyment. Landlords should be aware that the ability to smoke is not absolute and is limited by the right to quiet enjoyment of neighbouring Tenants. If Tenants can show that second-hand smoke is infiltrating their home from a neighbouring unit or balcony on a frequent and on-going basis, and substantially interfering with their quiet enjoyment, then Landlords have a responsibility to remedy the situation.

 

Are you heading to Arbitration?

Do your research and be prepared. Here are some arbitrated decisions regarding smoking from the Residential Tenancy Branch.

Decision: Landlord issues Notice to End Tenancy for smoking in the rented premises.

Decision: Tenant who is allergic to cigarette smoke, moves into a non-smoking building only to find out that the Landlord has rented a neighbouring unit to smokers.

Decision: Tenant smoked in the doorway of a non-smoking unit, but now says he has quit smoking.

Decision: Tenant is a smoker and rents a non-smoking premises. Landlord says Tenant is smoking inside the rented premises.

Decision: Tenants say the Landlord is negligent in providing a smoke-free environment.

Read more decisions at: www.rto.gov.bc.ca

 

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