By Mark Glover Sac Bee
California landlords, who have long had the right to restrict pets, noise and even water beds in their units, can now prohibit smoking under a new law that took effect Sunday.
California Senate Bill 332, authored by state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 6.
With Brown's signature, Padilla said, "we will see the availability of smoke-free, multifamily housing grow throughout California."
The new law requires landlords to specify in their lease/rental agreements areas where smoking is prohibited on their properties.
Craig Powell, whose Sacramento company Powell Properties LP owns a handful of upscale apartment noted that many apartment owners already have smoking prohibitions, but the new law will reinforce their stand.
"I think what this does is provide legal clarity … putting (landlords) on solid legal ground if they choose to have those restrictions."
Powell said he has had in-unit smoking restrictions at his properties for nearly a decade without a serious challenge to their legality.
Padilla said he was troubled by the fact that no state laws specifically addressed smoking restrictions in multifamily housing units, such as apartments and condos. The senator said multifamily residences account for more than 30 percent of California housing.
"While more than 86 percent of Californians do not smoke, there is currently very little smoke-free housing in California," Padilla said. "Living in multifamily housing should not compromise the health of renters or their children."