Rental Basics in Pittsburgh>Question Details

Lkay, Home Owner in Bridgeville, PA

while screening for tenants can you request that they be non-smokers?

Asked by Lkay, Bridgeville, PA Mon May 27, 2013

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You can advertise that you are looking for non-smoking tenants. You could also consider designating a specific area for smoking outside if your property if you want to be more lenient. Let the prospective tenant know that you are serious by stating in the lease- any repairs that you may need to do such as carpet cleaning, wall washing, painting, and ductwork cleaning will be taken from the security deposit if they were smoking in the unit.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 28, 2013
Thanks, concerned from the Landlord perspective.

Should I put in the lease as one of the rules that I don't want smokers in the house or can I screen them before I even walk them throught?

My parents are property owners/managers and just had a tenant move out after five years who was an excessive smoker and slob to boot who likely never cleaned the house that entire time.

Until then, I've never dreamed what damage a smoker could do to a home. They're having to have ductworked professionally cleaned, walls power-scrubbed prior to paining and carpeting replaced as a result and I just want to be be covered. Thanks!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 28, 2013
Smoking is not a protected class. You can request that they be non-smokers.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 27, 2013
Yes you can. As long as you are not breaking the protected classes Civil Rights Law you are fine. I would put it in the lease agreement and ask for extra security deposit. I agree with Virginia that it might be
tough to enforce this with guest or with the tenant.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 27, 2013
Yes, you can request anything, as long as it is not something associated with the protected classes of the Civil Rights laws. You should realize that you might have trouble enforcing this with the tenant or the tenant's guests. You might ask for an addition security deposit, similar to when landlords ask for an extra security deposit for tenants with pets.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 27, 2013

The short answer is yes, you can require that they not smoke in or on the property.
Visit the Pa attorney general's web page and get a copy of the PA Landlord Tenant Act so you know your duties, rights and obligations under PA law.

Fran and Mark Redding
Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors
1010 stony hill Road
Yardley, PA 19067
215-321-3307 Direct
215-208-7169 Cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 29, 2013
I've shown homes were the walls were yellow from smokers. Everything in the home smelled so bad. It causes a lot of damage. I would not only market the home as non-smokers and I would put it put it in the lease agreement.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 28, 2013
You can put in the lease that smoking is prohibited.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 28, 2013
Yes- you can request non-smokers. Are you concerned from the landlord or tenant perspective?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 28, 2013
Not only may you request you can require no smoking.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 27, 2013
You should check for local ordinances and regulations;
but you are probably Okay:
I wouold include a clause in the Lease Agreement to that effect.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 27, 2013
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