Clearing the Air: Smoke-Free Apartments

When 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.

Is this your neighbor?

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.

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