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.
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