When living in a condo, much of the decision-making power lies with the Home Owners Association (HOA). The HOA can enforce or enact regulations controlling the use of property within the complex.

Banning smoking in a condo complex or restricting it to only certain areas is not illegal. Most HOAs already ban smoking, considering it a nuisance, in their common areas. There is a growing movement to ban smoking inside owner’s units as well.


Judges are increasingly open to the argument that secondhand smoke is a nuisance akin to loud noise. In Colorado, an association amended its CC&Rs to ban smoking inside units. The restriction was challenged and the court rejected the argument that the restriction exceeded the association’s authority. The judge noted that secondhand smoke is a nuisance and upheld the CC&R amendment as proper and reasonable. Christiansen v. Heritage Hills I

In March 2013, an Orange County jury found the Bella Palermo HOA negligent for failing to resolve a secondhand smoke dispute. The HOA failed to ensure the non-smoking family’s right to “quiet enjoyment” of their unit. The family was awarded $15,000 for economic damages and emotional distress. Read full story here.

Download these resources for more information:

Condo Owners Wins Secondhand Smoke Case – Orange County Register

How to Make a Condo Complex Smokefree

Sample CC&R Language

Options for Condo Owners Suffering from Drifting Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand Smoke in Apartment Buildings and Condominiums

Legal Options for Condominium Owners Exposed to Secondhand Smoke

Environmental Tobacco Smoke in Condos: Fact Sheet Smoke-Free Environments Law Project

Infiltration of Secondhand Smoke into Condominiums, Apartments and Other Multi-Unit Dwellings: A Law Synopsis by the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium—October 2009

There is No Constitutional Right to Smoke: A Law Synopsis by the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium-March 2008

Smoke-Free Condominium Policies are Legal & Necessary

How Disabilities Laws Can Help Tenants (Reasonable Accommodation Request)

National Apartment Association: Clearing the Air—Industry Discusses Trends Toward Smoke-Free Housing

Need More Help? Contact the agency listed in your area.