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Smoke em if you got em … just not in your apartment

homer-smoking.jpgCalifornia’s state Senate has approved a bill which would let landlords ban smoking in their rental apartments. The legislation now goes to the state Assembly for its review and vote. If it becomes law, landlords can put the kibosh on smoking anywhere on their rental properties and a violation of this ban would be considered a material violation of the lease, justifying eviction.

Some folks are obviously against this because of a “leave us the hell alone” type of thinking. Senator Dick Ackerman said this bill is against the public will, because “the vast majority of all renters, including … nonsmokers, are opposed to it.” The Western Center on Law and Poverty, meanwhile, is against it because they say the bill is discriminatory against the poor and minorities, “who smoke and rent at higher rates than other segments of the population.”

On the one hand, I’m not terribly offended by this insofar as it’s just confirming the landlords’ right to ban something in units they own. On the other hand, the “material violation” language seems to take it a bit too far. And on still a third hand, at least here in LA, such a ban is meaningless anyway, since the air in a smokey apartment is still probably better than the stuff I get when I stand out on my balcony.