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Smoking - what restrictions are reasonable?


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We have a 4 bed house let out to four individual tenants. All have declared themselves as non smokers but are in fact smokers - although they only smoke in the garden. Their tenancy agreement states they must not smoke in the property.

There was a small but potentially dangerous fire a few weeks ago. The likely cause is a discarded cigarette in the recycling bin (I don't know if we will ever know for certain). Understandably I want to now enforce the no smoking clause and am considering writing to them all to tell them that the smoking ban applies to the gardens as well as the house.

My question is - is this reasonable? Has anyone else had any experience of similar situations?

(Also have a question re tenants' insurance which is posted seperately).


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Is this an HMO (house of multiple occupation) and do you have a licence from your local council?

No it is not unreasonable to stop smokers using the garden. You could write into the tenancy agreement that smoking must not take place anywhere on the property.

When I meet prospective tenants if I get a whiff of tobacco I do not proceed with them. They nearly all say they don't smoke when asked - what fibs!

Just don't let to smokers. Plenty of non-smoking tenants out there at the moment.


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Hi Mortitia,

Thanks for your reply. I have checked with the Council and I don't need a HMO licence.

I'm not completely anti-smokers (as long as they stick to the outside) but these have proved themselves to be irresponsible - there were cigarette butts discarded all over the (wooden) decking.

Thanks again, Piglet

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I want them just to my words more carefully than you have been

able to get yourself to do.

Unfortunately, it is often the man with deep conviction in his beliefs

that is not the one who is so quick to anger. It is the man with

shallow conviction that is hasty in expressing his outrage, since more than

trying to convince others, he is trying to convince himself. But the

louder he yells, the more hollow his conviction appears to be.

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I own a few properties and only one of my sets of tenants smokes. We agreed at the outset that they would only smoke outside and this has been abided by. It is my opinion that you may struggle to enforce it now as they are already in posession - it is always better where possible to be very specific at the outset about what they can and cannot do - so if you dont want them smoking in the garden, in future make this a term of the agreement. On another point though, depending on the definition of the "property" in the tenancy agreement, and if the agreement refers to no smoking, then there may be a chance that way. Anyway, best of luck.

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