Most landlords insist tenants smoke outside the property and at a distance regardless of where they reside. Smoking is rarely allowed inside the dwelling. The lease will likely state that smoking is not permitted inside the property. Unfortunately for some tenants, this rule is unimportant, and they still prefer to smoke indoors.
How to prove a tenant is smoking weed?
It can be challenging to prove that you have a tenant who smokes inside. Both marijuana and tobacco use leave some telltale signs that you should be aware of to determine if someone is smoking (or has recently smoked) indoors.
Even if people try to disguise it, the smoke from cigarettes and marijuana lingers for quite some time. To eliminate the stench, tenants can use items such as candles, incense, diffusers, or open windows.
If you smell something that resembles smoke or if any of the above items have been abused, you can detect if someone has been smoking. You can probably tell if someone lights candles in their home to mask the smell of smoke because it is not unusual for people to do so. The marijuana and cigarette smoke smell tends to stick to objects such as clothing and furniture.
New stains appear
Both marijuana and cigarettes have an unpleasant odor and can leave stains. The stains are visible on various surfaces, including walls, countertops, curtains, lamps, and light fixtures.
The stains may be yellow or brown, depending on how long smoking has been going on inside the home. Sometimes they are just a few small areas, and sometimes they cover an entire wall.
Even if the walls are freshly painted, smoke stains are easy to spot on wallpaper and paint. It can be a clue that a tenant is trying to hide cigarette or marijuana stains if you see that they have painted over the stains on the walls, either with or without your consent.
Burns in areas such as the sofa or carpets
A joint or cigarette burn can also be nearly impossible for tenants to remove. Burn marks can occasionally be seen on the carpet or furniture. When this occurs, it can be difficult for the tenant to complete repairs.
They can cover the burn with a blanket or carpet, but replacing and repairing the area in question will be costly.
Stains on the frames
We’ve mentioned how tobacco and marijuana smoke can alter the color of walls, but another important point to consider is yellow and brown stains around door frames.
These stains are a reliable indicator of whether a tenant has smoked inside. However, due to condensation, you are much more likely to see these stains on door frames surrounding the kitchen or bathroom.
How do you notify tenants?
You should avoid making unfounded claims that your tenants smoke marijuana or cigarettes indoors, causing uncomfortable tensions and sometimes some legal problems.
For starters, you should make sure that the lease clearly states that smoking is not allowed indoors under any circumstances to avoid prior misunderstandings. Some tenants will choose to break the rules, while others will blithely ignore them.
If you manage to certify that the rules have been broken and the tenant smokes inside the property, it is time to send the warning notice. A sample of this letter would be:
RE: DEMAND TO STOP USING MARIJUANA-RELATED PRODUCTS
Dear [TENANT’S NAME],
As your landlord, I have noticed a very strong odor inside your premises related to the use of marijuana-related products.
Property Address: [ADDRESS] (“Premises”).
As you are aware, it is strictly prohibited to: (check all that apply).
☐ – Smoking on the Premises.
☐ – Vape on the Premises.
Due to the potential for property damage and the danger of secondhand smoke, please discontinue this habit while on the Premises.
Please note that your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated. Contact me if you have any questions about this matter at any of the following:
Remember the clause in the contract
For the claim to proceed and for you to take the necessary legal measures in case the tenant ignores the warnings, it is essential to have a detailed and well-explained clause in the contract. It can be as follows:
“No Smoking. Neither the Tenant, nor guests, nor any other person may smoke inside the dwelling or on the Premises. Tenant agrees to refrain from lighting marijuana, and the use of electronic cigarettes, personal vaporizer or electronic nicotine delivery system within the Premises.
Any violation shall be deemed a material breach of this Agreement. Tenant understands that smoke of any substance will be considered damage.
Damage includes, but is not limited to, deodorization, carpet repair or replacement, wax removal, additional paint preparation, replacement of curtains/blinds, countertops or any other surface damaged due to burn marks and/or smoke damage. Tenant agrees to pay the cost of ionizing the Premises to remove all unwanted odors.”
Writer and content creator interested in Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Jobs and landlord issues. I have a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the Andrés Bello Catholic University, VE, and I also studied at Chatham University, USA. In this blog I write and collect information of interest around agreements, property and mortgage.