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How to deal with tenant smoking in breach of agreement


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I own three flats in the same building and live in one of them so have to maintain both a professional and personable rlationship with my tenants. The building is no smoking and when the tenant on my top floor flat signed up (he is an old boy of 70 years) He admitted he was a smoker but would leve the premises to smoke. Every evening we have had clouds of noxious smoke coming into our windows on the floor below and could tell he was obviously smoking out of the window (might just as well have sat in our flat with us!). We decided we should do an inspection so we could find out what he was doing and found a number of ashtrays which were coated with ash.

We now need to write to him and get the matter sorted. he is a fairly sweet and frail old man and we don't want to cause him to much anxiety but we need to make it clear that this is not an option and we have decided will evict him if we have to as this is making our lives a misery as well as clearly breaching our insurance, tenancy agreeement and will cost us dearly when it comes ro redecoration etc.

What I really need is an exampl of the sort of letter I should send him or advice on how I should approach the subject. Although he is a nice man my husband seems to think that all somkers are devious and if he knows that we have rumbled him he'll just try and hide it more. I can't personally see him draggin himself down three sotreys to have a fag every evening (he can barly make the stairs as it is) and ideally we don't want him propping up the front door smoking we actually want him not to smoke anywhere on the premises at all.

Any advice welcome. many thanks from a new(ish) and possibly over cautious landlord

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Needless to say, be as very diplomatic as possible, especially if he is trying to meet the spirit of your concern and the property is showing no obvious consequences. Within the letter you could explain that for health & safety reasons smoking is not permitted in the property (9 out of 10 house fires originate from smoking). Do it in a way that isn't patronizing, explain that should you permit smoking and there is a fire, a court would find you liable for permitting it. You could also refer to the deposit explaining that it's your intention to return as much as possible at the end of the tenancy but would be prevented from doing so if the property needed re-decorating. That sort of thing...

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This is a bit of a tricky one...

I think you have a several choices

1. let him continue hanging out of the window having his fag and tolerate it - or choose another window which wont affect you

2. tell him diplomatically to stop (which isn't going to happen)and he can stay

3. down stairs outside (not going to happen)

4. do as i do at home (well sometimes!) and smoke under the cooker extractor hood in the kitchen(not ideal)

5. ask him to leave (nicely!)

6. buy yourself 20 B&H and start smoking !(if you cant beat them -then join them ?.......no?)

7. purchase a smoking shelter on stilts ....?!

8. allow him to smoke within the flat and put a redecorating and soft furnishing cleaning clause within the ast

not easy I dont know any LL who does allow smoking - but i do know plenty of T who DO smoke at rented properties namely MINE

It is very difficult to police but you are being directly affected so will have to take some course of action !

Clearly this is only a problem due to the age of the gentleman, a younger T would get a resounding "kick him out" from most members on here i would think ....

But that is someone's Dad , Grandad ......

Whoever said being a LL was easy ...

Let us know what you do .



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just wondering if the smoking ban in enclosed public place's would be relevent to this...

do you use your home for work ? if so might be worth while having a little word with your local constabulary and seeing if neighbours that are smoking that cause's you to inhale the smoke are breaking the law by doing this...

just another avenue to go down, he might not listen to his kind landlord and breaking his tenancy agreement, but if he is breaking the law, different matter all together

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Agreed unless this chap is working from home himself (and I'm guessing he's not) then he's not actually breaking the law.

Diplomacy is the key word in this situation and is a very difficult one to give advice on. You just need to decide whether you change YOUR rules for this guy or ask him to leave.

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