Can a landlord force tenants to smoke at the far end of the property instead of on the tenant’s own outdoor patio?

UPDATED: Sep 19, 2011

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Can a landlord force tenants to smoke at the far end of the property instead of on the tenant’s own outdoor patio?

Landlord recently decided to change smoking policies regarding where outside we are allowed to smoke. When we moved in 3 years ago, we were told we could smoke on our patio. Constant rule changes are creating a stressful home environment. I’d like to know my legal rights pertaining to outdoor smoking and the lack of it being mentioned in my lease.

Asked on September 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You say that the rules or policies changed; therefore, the issue is, *can* the landlord make this change? For example, if the lease specifies that the tenants are bound by the house rule and that the landlord may change them more or less at will, it would seem that the landlord could clearly do this. Or if the landlord proposed new rules at the end of one lease term and you agreed to them by signing the lease, that would obligate you to them. Or  if it's a monto to month lease, the landlord can change the rules on 30 days notice, and your recourse, if you don't like them, is to move. The law does not guaranty any rights re: smoking; the issue is what you and the landlord have agreed to, and when and how the landlord may change the rules.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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