Legal FAQs for REALTORS®
— Landlord-Tenant Issues
I manage rental properties for a client who doesn’t want people smoking on his property. If we deny a potential tenant’s application because he or she smokes, will this violate any federal fair-housing laws? (Updated Feb. 6, 2015)
No, this will not violate federal fair-housing laws. Federal fair-housing laws make it illegal for the landlord to choose tenants based on their race, color, sex, national origin, religion, handicap, and familial status. However, people who smoke are not a protected class. A landlord can refuse to lease to potential tenants who smoke as long as the landlord consistently enforces such prohibition.
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