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
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
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
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.
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.
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
more decisions at: