Would the adoption of a non-smoking bylaw apply to existing tenants who have already signed a rental agreement with the owner?
This is more complex, as there may be a conflict between the Residential Tenancy Act and the Strata Property Act. Section 14 of the Residential Tenancy Act requires all changes to a rental agreement (except those expressly excluded), be consented to by both parties. Yet the Strata Property Act does not support tenants being exempted from bylaws. It can be argued that an owner transfers only those rights to a tenant that he or she has – so if an owner cannot smoke in a strata lot, neither can the tenant. It is recommended that legal advice be sought before enforcing a Smoking Prohibition Bylaw against a tenant who resided in the complex prior to the Smoking Prohibition Bylaw being passed and registered.
However, it should be noted that if the smoke from a rental unit is causing a nuisance to other residents in the complex, or another resident has a particular sensitivity to the smoke that is considered a disability under the Human Rights Code, the strata corporation could take steps to address these complaints (see Addressing Complaints of Second-Hand Smoke section).