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It’s hard out there for a smoker these days. Depending upon your perspective, that may be cause for celebration or a sad state of affairs as fewer places are amenable to cigarette smoking. Smoking in restaurants and bars all but vanished save for a few hold-out states in the early 2000s, and very few employers are permitted to (or allow) smoking onsite. The latest frontier for anti-smoking efforts has been in residential areas, including apartment dwellings and condominiums. Arizona (a state in which 1 out of 5 adults smoke cigarettes according to the latest CDC statistics) passed the Smoke-Free Arizona Act which does regulate what HOAs can and cannot do with regard to smoking.

HOAs Have the Option of Banning Smoking in All Units

While the thought of banning smoking within the confines of a homeowner’s individual property might have been unthinkable not that long ago, increased concern about secondhand smoke and other nuisance issues have made such bans a reality.

In Arizona, HOAs do have the right to create rules within their CC&Rs (and possibly rules) which do indeed ban smoking in all areas, including within individual unit.  Practically speaking, as smoking becomes less popular and increasingly considered a nuisance, an HOA-wide no-smoking policy can become a much-welcomed boost to property value and a way of life for some communities. But other communities may find such a rule quite antithetical to the popular lifestyle enjoyed by its residents.

Smoking Rules in Common Areas and Patios/Balconies

Arizona does allow HOAs to permit smoking not only in units but also on patios and balconies, even if units are right next to each other under some circumstances.

That said, HOAs are prohibited by state law from allowing smoking within any enclosed public common areas, such as a clubhouse, enclosed common room, laundry room, fitness room, main office, lobbies, and hallways. Smoking is also prohibited within 20 feet of any entrances to these areas as well as open windows or ventilation systems.

HOAs may, however, allow smoking in outdoor public areas such as pools and sporting courts, so long as the area where smoking is permitted is not within 20 feet of open doors, windows, or ventilation systems into enclosed common areas. Again, however, HOAs may choose to prohibit smoking in these areas as well via amendment to the CC&Rs.

Contact an Arizona HOA Lawyer for Further Help

At Goodman Law, our sole focus is on meeting the legal needs of HOAs, including creating and implementing HOA policy and responding to homeowner concerns. Contact us today to discuss any legal challenge your HOA is facing.