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Home · Property Management · Marketing Vacant Units : Clearing the Air: Smoke-Free Apartments

by Matt DiChiara, My New Place

CigarettesWhen renting an apartment, one usually feels as though they are free to do as they wish, as long as it is within the bounds of reason, legality and the terms of their rental agreement.

Whether renting an apartment or owning a house, everyone wants to feel like the king or queen of their respective castles. Smoking, however, is a contentious subject; should one be allowed to smoke in his or her own apartment?

According to a recent article in Units Magazine, apartment owners are favoring a more restrictive policy when it comes to smoking and are seeing happier tenants and a higher demand for their smoke-free apartments as a result. A survey done by the Portland-Vancouver Metro Area Smokefree Housing Project found that 75% of renters prefer smoke-free apartment buildings and half would pay more for smoke-free communities.

Not only do non-smokers wish to live in a smoke-free environment, even those who do smoke recognize the dangers and the undesirable side effects of smoking in their apartments. The survey also found that only 11% of smokers actually smoke inside their own apartments; many cite preserving their loved ones’ health and keeping their apartments clean as primary reasons. Property managers and apartment owners are now citing their smoke-free policies to potential renters as a selling point. Their apartments are cleaner, healthier and do not depreciate as quickly, and they mitigate the risk of the devastating effects of fires.

The issue has even attracted the attention of local city councils. When local governments get involved, however, staunch opposition typically emerges. Smokers do not necessarily have a problem with apartment owners prohibiting smoking, but when a local ordinance is passed, a tenant’s right to privacy is commonly perceived as being infringed upon.

What do renters think? Should MyNewPlace add smoke-free as a search filter option? Do problems often erupt between non-smoking and smoking neighbors?

Send us your feedback or tell us your stories about dealing with this controversial issue.

MyNewPlace.com is an online marketplace for apartment rentals, featuring a free-to-use apartment finder to search its database of over six million listings.

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  • Yes, you should indicate if properties are “smoke-free” but if you do I suggest defining what that means. A smoke-free unit is not a smoke-free building. We’d be happy to partner with you and here’s the terms we use:

    Classifications For Smoke-Free Listings
    *** Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the entire property in an independent building or complex.
    ** Smoking is not allowed anywhere indoors in an independent building or complex.
    * Smoking is not allowed anywhere indoors. However, the adjoining building allows smoking. Measures have been taken to keep tobacco smoke from seeping between buildings by using separate walls, separate ventilation systems, etc.

  • We’d love it if you’d add “smoke-free building” as a searchable option on your directory! We get contacted by tenants all of the time who are looking for smoke-free apartment buildings. Having a “smoke-free building” search option would make their search much easier!

  • It was really helpful. Thanks for covering this issue.

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