Keep in mind that in buildings with a "no-smoking" policy, some tenants may still be allowed to smoke if they lived in the building before the policy was introduced. If this is the case, remember that the smokers in your building are still not allowed to ruin your quiet enjoyment.
Quiet enjoyment is a very important principle in the Residential Tenancy Act that gives tenants the right to be free from unreasonable disturbances. If you are being bothered by second-hand smoke, tell your landlord in writing. Within a reasonable period of time, your landlord should take steps to minimize the disturbance. They may not be able to tell other tenants to stop smoking entirely, but they should try to ensure that your right to quiet enjoyment is no longer being violated. If you are a non-smoker and concerned about being exposed to second-hand smoke, make sure to find out the rules for not only your unit, but the entire building.
If you or your guests do smoke, it is equally important that you understand the rules about smoking. Are you allowed to smoke inside the rental unit? Can you only smoke on the balcony? Are there designated common areas for smoking? Remember, you are not allowed to ruin other tenants’ quiet enjoyment.
Whenever possible, eliminate the potential for future conflict. If you have to go to the street to smoke, consider whether this is realistic and safe for you or your guests. If you smoke, don’t rent in a non-smoking building, thinking it will pressure you to quit. Be realistic with yourself.
© 2017 Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre & Justice Education Society