“This is a Non-Smoking Building”
Make Hazardous Tobacco Use Illegal on Your Property.
Most people know about the dangers of tobacco smoke through cigarettes and cigars. At their worst, carelessly discarded cigarettes can create a risk of fire. Even through normal use, whether indoors or outdoors, smokers not only affect their own health, but the health of others around them due to secondhand smoke. There is another hazard, however, that comes with heavy smoking; one that a chain-smoking resident carries that can become a property manager’s worst nightmare. We’re talking about thirdhand smoke.
Thirdhand smoke is the residual contamination that smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products leave behind on furniture and other surfaces. Walls and ceilings may even adopt a yellowish stain from the nicotine, and the smoke-laden air may increase irritability whenever heaters or air conditioners are turned on. Whenever you’ve stayed at a hotel and been asked if you’d like a smoking or non-smoking room, it’s because hotels control the amount of damage thirdhand smoke does to their rooms by typically concentrating those rooms within a specific block. As a property manager with apartments however, this obviously isn’t an option. The damage done by third-hand smoke makes the space an unhealthy residence that any sane potential tenant would not stay in. According to a study by UCLA and the California Apartment Association, the costs of a restoration of a two-bedroom apartment unit could cost $8,000 a unit; this includes things like deep cleaning or even replacing of carpets, walls, curtains, counter tops, and other such furnishings.
Property managers should strive to provide a smoke-free environment within 10-feet of the apartment premises. Provide a strict no-smoking environment to not only promote the health of your tenants, but also to save precious time and money needed to keep the place maintained. In addition, a smoke-free environment is a common amenity tenants look for in high-quality apartment units; not only can you advertise the unit as smoke-free, you can register your property on registries like Smoke Free Apartments to help attract non-smoking people or families looking for those amenities. And of course, make sure to put the non-smoking policy in your lease. It’s completely legal and should show anyone trying to sneak a smoke-break on your property that you’re serious and, unlike them, not blowing smoke!