Tenants' Rights Fact Sheet

The evidence is clear that secondhand smoke has many negative health effects. In apartment buildings, secondhand smoke can easily travel from smokers’ units to hallways, common areas, and non-smokers’ units. Children, pregnant woman, and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Non-smokers with respiratory conditions may have legal protection under the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act. The Fair Housing Act allows people with breathing disabilities to seek reasonable accommodations from housing facilities.

In multi-unit complexes with smoke-free policies, residents must abide by the conditions set in their lease agreement or be subject to consequences. Visitors and guests are also responsible for compliance with no-smoking policies.

For information about your rights and actions you can take, read the guide written by the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.

NOTE: This information is provided for educational purposes only and are not to be construed as legal opinion or as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney familiar with North Carolina law.


NCDHHS, Division of Public Health