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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    South Carolina

    Is it legal to evict for this reason?

    What is the name of your state? South Carolina

    Here is a case scenario: Mr. X. is diagnosed with certain medical conditions and is legally allowed to smoke marijuana for medical reasons; he has the proper documentation and obtains the marijuana through proper, legal channels.

    He moves into an apartment complex without foretelling to the landlord his situation. Consequently he gets a front apartment where he has a patio which faces the parking lot. So that the apartment unit doesn't stink of marijuana, X. smokes his marijuana in the patio, in plain view of the neighbors, perhaps even the cops (of course they do not arrest him because he has the legal right to smoke marijuana within parameters). So the neighbors complained to the landlord about what they see: someone smoking marijuana and the neighbors smelling it.

    The landlord then kicks the person out of the apartment, even though the tenant asserts his legal rights to smoke it. The landlord's contention: if they would have been told in the first place about this situation they would've perhaps placed him on a waiting list for a rear apartment where he would less likely be seen by everyone else, or they would've not allowed him an apartment.

    Does the landlord have a right to evict such a tenant?

    IMO the apartment complex is correct. If a person has the legal right to smoke marijuana he should choose the correct environment in which to smoke it: an area which should be isolated or where people would not be able to see him smoke that easily. The reason is so that the apartment complex would not have an image of being a haven for illegal drug use. The person should therefore rent a house or a high-rise apartment where people cannot see him, not a garden style apartment first-floor unit. Furthermore, it wasn't until the tenant moved into the apartment that this situation came into light: when someone complained about it. This is the same scenario as if Mr. Y. asked the apartment complex to provide reasonable accommodation by allowing him to urinate outside his apartment because he cannot urinate into a toilet: he would be asking the apartment complex to allow him to break a public decency law in order to accommodate him.

    Am I correct about this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Interesting question and not being a lawyer I really don't know the proper response, but in my apartments I have a no smoking policy. In my case I would just enforce it. In this case if the landlord were to adopt such a policy and if the courts would support it as not substantially altering the terms of the lease he might get away with it. The alternative is to terminate the lease within 30 days if the tenant is a periodic renter, or wait till it expires and then terminate. The Mr. Y case is silly, since if you can urinate outside you can urinate in a commode.

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