Can a landlord evict a tenant for smoking?
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The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) does not address smoking.

A landlord may include a “No Smoking” clause in the rental agreement. A tenant could even sign it. What would happen if after the tenant moves in the landlord catches him smoking inside the premises?  Probably nothing.

If a no smoking clause is written into a rental agreement and the landlord discovers that the tenant smokes in the rental unit, it is not ground for the landlord to evict the tenant.

A landlord cannot evict a tenant for smoking in violation of a “no smoking” clause in the lease. The “no smoking” clause is void because the RTA does not cover smoking. However, a landlord may have grounds to apply to evict a tenant for smoking if the smoke damages the property or bothers other tenants.

How easy is it to evict a tenant for smoking?

It’s not easy at all! If the tenant fights the eviction and lies about the situation, the landlord more likely ends up losing. The tenant could be very creative and invent many “don’ts” to fight the eviction. Such cases require multiple witnesses who document things impeccably.

It’s 99.99% impossible to evict a tenant from a multi-unit building for smoking because they could say the smell was not coming from their unit. The landlord would need an entire forensic department to prove the opposite.

One of the ways to win the case in the Landlord and Tenant Board is to claim impaired safety: if someone was allergic, had asthma or lung illness and had lived in a three unit building or less. And if that landlord had stated in the ad that no smoking is allowed due to allergies, then it would be a good chance.

I think the best chance for the landlord is to ask them to move out. They just might.

Landlord and Tenant Paralegal Toronto –

If you have any questions please contact CP Paralegal Services:

Phone: 416-671-7670


The image by Lindsay Fox –

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