How damaging is cigarette and marijuana smoke to a unit?


New Forum Member
Feb 15, 2015
I have a one bedroom rental unit. It seems a lot of renters are not trustworthy. Current renters claimed not to be smokers but that's not the case as I saw him smoke outside. It also seems one of them is smoking in the unit to one degree or another. Odour treatment is only about $500. I wounder how much a risk this poses to the unit? I don't know how often the smoke. It could be once a week for all I know. But I'm concerned. Talking to them will not help as obviously they will deny. All I can do is assume there is some smoking but I can't prove it. Should I tell them to leave? How much could it cost me financially in practice?


Frequent Forum Member
REIN Member
Jul 12, 2009
We had a similar situation. I approached the tenant and reminded them it’s a non smoking unit and the smell stays in the unit and is offensive to other tenants. The very fact that we could smell smoke was sufficient evidence of smoking and the tenant admitted to the smoking. That’s a violation of our no smoking lease and is cause for termination. The tenant didn’t want to be terminated. We told the tenant we need to remediate immediately and ozone treat both the upstairs and downstairs unit, and he would be charged for it. Fortunately, the upstairs unit was empty for the next 2 weeks. The smoking tenant had to move out for 2 days while the ozone treatment was completed. The tenant paid the 400 dollars and continued to smoke, but likely smoked off the premises so at least no more smoke inside the house. Our lease clearly states no smoking in the premises. The tenant had 5 mos left on the lease and moved out at the end of the lease. Having to pay 400 dollars and moving out for 2 days proved to be a sufficient deterrent to stop the smoking on the premises. If you don’t stop the smoking, non smoking tenants will smell the smoke and not rent your place, or move out, which will cost you money. Your diligence in screening tenants will prevent most of these issues from happening. Such as not renting to people who smoke. Calling their previous 2 landlords will help.

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Likes: Tina Myrvang


Inspired Forum Member
Sep 19, 2007
Collingwood, ON
Do they pay their rent on time ? I'm much more concerned about that. Yes it's annoying when they smoke & not suppose to in the apt however, if they are good tenants, pay top rent & on time , I'll pick my battles. When a tenant moves out we have it cleaned & painted anyway. Smokers or not. Just the cost of doing business.
Likes: Tina Myrvang


Senior Forum Member
REIN Member
Oct 22, 2007
Two tenants chain-smoking in a 1000 square foot unit can make the place bleed yellow within 6 months. This will require oil-based primer on every surface of the property in addition to a full repaint. Where a regular 1-coat repaint could have cost you about $1500, primer plus two coats (including ceilings and cabinets) could easily cost over $4k.

A full repaint after every tenant is only a normal cost of doing business in the case of long-term tenants. Wall paint could easily last 5 years and ceiling paint 10 years if you have responsible tenants. If your tenants normally stay 3 years or less, you should not have to repaint after every tenant.