There comes a day when even the most experienced landlords make dumb mistakes. Today was that day for us, well actually it was the day we realized we made a dumb mistake. It all started with a small package we received from one of our tenants. She was sending us her rent payment as well as a few pieces of mis-directed mail and there was nothing un-ordinary about the large envelope until we opened it... I swear to you it smelled like 400 packs of Marlboro cigarettes.
She hasn't been living in the property long and of course it wasn't until now that I realized that I neglected to have her sign our no smoking addendum! We knew from the beginning that our standard lease does not contain a "no smoking clause" so we have a separate addendum for our tenants to sign agreeing that they will not smoke inside of our properties. Why is this so important? In the past we have had tenants who not only left an entire house smelling of cigarette smoke but also left behind dozens of cigarette butts scattered about. The smell of cigarette smoke can be pretty challenging to get rid of, especially in a home that's over 2200 square feet. Fortunately in that instance we had a signed "no smoking" agreement that allowed us to recoup the costs associated repairing the damage.
Hopefully you can learn from my mistake here. Be sure to have your tenants sign something stating that they will not smoke inside your property. Ideally this would be written in the actual lease agreement but if not, have an addendum and most importantly, use it!