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HUD Letter

In order to help landlords make more educated decisions about smoking policies in their buildings, the Smoke-Free Environments Law Project requested information from the Housing & Urban Development (HUD) field office in Detroit about this issue.

As a concerned tenant, here is what you should know:

There is no HUD policy that restricts landlords from adopting smoke-free policies in common areas or in individual units.
Smoke-free policies are permitted under federal law, including the federal Fair Housing Act, and under Michigan law.
If an apartment owner who has HUD-assisted housing units decides to make the smoke-free policy a condition of the lease, HUD approval is necessary to confirm that the new lease follows HUD's model lease. However, the smoke-free policy can be adopted as a part of "house rules" without HUD approval.
Landlords must also be sure to make considerations for smoking residents already living in their buildings, such as providing a reasonable period of notice, e.g., instituting the smoke-free policy at the time of lease renewal.

You can download the entire HUD letter. Also, find out more about the Michigan Attorney General opinion on the legality of smoke-free apartment policies. You can also download an analysis of the authority of Housing Authorities and Section 8 multiunit housing owners to adopt smoke-free policies in their residential units. Download an up-to-date listing of the public housing authorities which have adopted smoke-free policies in the U.S.