Fresno

Smoking in your apartment? By 2022, Fresno renters could face eviction if caught lighting up.

Come the new year, Fresno apartment renters may not be legally allowed to smoke in their own homes anymore. 

Fresno City Council is taking up an ordinance for introduction on Thursday that would prohibit all smoking on the premises of multi-unit rental properties, excluding designated outdoor smoking areas. 

Council Vice President Nelson Esparza and Councilman Tyler Maxwell are sponsoring the bill, which would also prohibit vaping and cannabis smoking, along with cigarette use. 

The designated outdoor smoking areas, which would be the only places at multi-unit rental properties where residents could light up, would have to be at least 20 feet away from any outdoor recreation area – such as swimming pools and picnic areas – or areas primarily used by children, such as playgrounds. 

The ordinance is designed so as to punish smoking tenants by treating a smoking offense within their units or non-designated common area as a breach of their rental contracts. 

Anyone who breaks the proposed ordinance would be liable to the landlord and any tenants of the property who suffer damage from the smoker’s actions. 

Nabbed smokers will face penalties from the city in the form of fines. $250 for the first violation, $500 for the second within a single year, and $1,000 for the third and each subsequent within a year.

The ordinance would also set up a smoker report hotline. People would be able to report violators through the FresGo app and online portal as well as calling the Code Enforcement Department. 

If passed, the ordinance would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.