Landlord Rights

The Iowa Smoke Free Air Act (SFAA) prohibits smoking in enclosed common areas of multi-unit residential buildings, such as hallways, lobbies, stairwells, laundry facilities and management offices. However, the SFAA does not extend to individual apartment units, balconies or outside property.

Is there a right to smoke?

Smoking is not a legally protected right and there is no state law prohibiting landlords from making an entire apartment building smoke free. Smoking is also not covered under a tenant's right to privacy. It is completely legal to implement an entire smoke free building policy, including in units and any part of a property that the housing provider own or controls.24

Resident Rights

A housing provider could be held legally responsible for drifting smoke. There are several federal laws protecting tenants effected by secondhand smoke. Please visit the Resident Rights page for more information.

The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium has several publications related to secondhand smoke in multi-unit properties including There is no Constitutional Right to Smoke and Regulating Smoking in Multi-Unit Housing.


Reviewed: 12/14/2018