Converting to non-smoking buildings in a rent-controlled jurisdiction

We have a rent-controlled jurisdiction in San Francisco, which has presented a challenge for going smoke-free and has also created a bit of a divide for the tenant-rights community (worry that landlords will use this as a basis to evict in a hot housing market and to get rid of their rent-controlled tenants). If landlords were to insert a new provision in the leases about smoke-free units, that would be considered a reduction in services without an attendant decrease in rent-- which is not allowed. It seems like going smoke-free is something that will have to be slowly phased in, especially slow here because of the rent control ordinance. Are there any other jurisdictions that have gone smoke-free that also have rent-control so that we can look to them as possible examples? Any ideas about getting around this hurdle?

Great question.  I would recommend you connect with Serena Chen, the Regional Advocacy Director for the American Lung Association in California with the Bay Area Smokefree Housing Project.  She has experience with this issue in a number of communities in California, and would be a great resource to speak with.

Thank you so much! I just sent her an email!