When it comes to proving smoking issues, it can be challenging. How can you prove the tenant is smoking if no one sees them?
You might be able to use a couple different methods. The complaints about smoke smell probably came from neighbors. If you can “box” the smoke in, you’ll be able to point the finger at the tenant. In essence, if the neighbor above, the neighbor below, as well as the neighbors on both the left and right sides of the tenant smell smoke, and the smell is strongest towards the alleged smoker, there is certainly favorable circumstantial evidence to suggest that particular tenant is smoking.
Secondly, marijuana smoke leaves an odor in enclosed spaces. Again, if you inspect the property, and it smells of marijuana (but none of the nearby neighbors’ premises do), a favorable inference can be drawn.
Who Is Responsible For Replacing Dead Smoke Detector?
The smoke detectors are clearly tenant responsibility, so I would talk to them and then put a seven-day notice on their door regarding non-compliance, since they are in default on their lease.
Finally, in the event of a smoking complaint, it may be appropriate to have the building manager walk through the hallway (assuming it’s a multifamily building). The manager can smell marijuana from the outside if he walks past the tenant’s door.
At the end of the day, the best proof is what you can see and what someone can attest to. It is always risky if you do not have that kind of proof, but that risk must be weighed against the headaches your other tenants are currently experiencing.