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Tenants' Rights

Understanding your legal rights - and the legal rights of smokers - is the first step to making smoke-free changes to the apartment building where you live.

Here are some important things you should know:

Smoke-free apartment policies are permitted under federal and Michigan laws.
It is important to note that smokers are not a protected legal class, i.e., there is no "right to smoke" under law.
Some Michigan counties and localities now have laws that prohibit smoking in common areas of apartment buildings, such as hallways, laundry rooms, recreation/common rooms, near entrances, and similar types of areas.
Laws do exist that you can use to assert your rights to a smoke-free apartment.
Non-smokers with serious breathing disabilities or smoke allergies have legal protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. If secondhand smoke seriously affects your ability to breathe, consult a doctor to have your condition documented.
If your landlord decides to change or convert the entire building or just some units or portions of the building into a smoke-free policy, they must take caution to grandfather in those smoking residents currently residing at the complex until such time as the smoking policy can be legally changed under the terms of the lease/rental agreement and Michigan law, such as at the time of lease renewal.