Smoking: To allow or not to allow? This is a touchy issue – particularly since smoking is perfectly legal in almost all areas. Does banning smoking cut down on the number of possible rental applicants – or does it increase them?
Over the past few years, a number of cities have issued ordinances that prohibit smoking in or around apartment complexes. While many complexes are forced to ban smoking, many apartment owners have decided to ban smoking, both inside apartments and in common areas around them. This doesn’t leave many places for people to smoke, however, and studies show that people are unlikely to follow rules if they are not left with convenient alternatives to breaking them. In many cases, smokers may decide that they won’t live in complexes that don’t offer convenient places for them to smoke.
Of course, in areas where smoking has been prohibited, the apartment complex owner has no choice as to whether or not to allow tenants to smoke. In most cases, however, this decision is still up to the owner. It may seem like making the choice to ban smoking on the premises may lead to decreased rentals but only about 23% of adults smoke. While many people do not mind when those around them smoke, the understanding the dangers of second hand smoke has made most non-smokers prefer being in smoke free environments.
For an apartment renter who is not a smoker, the presence of a smoker in a nearby unit can be a nuisance and a health concern. Smoke, even when it is confined to the inside of an apartment unit, is able to seep into nearby units. The ventilation and electrical systems between units are not usually completely separate, which means that smoke can drift from the inside of one building into the inside of another. Of course, in communities where smokers are encouraged to smoke outdoors, smoke can enter a neighbor’s house through opened windows. It can also pollute the air outside the units, making it uncomfortable for non-smokers to spend time outdoors. People with breathing conditions, such as asthma, may also see an increase in their symptoms if they live in an apartment near to someone who smokes. Inhaling second-hand smoke is also known to be a great risk factor for developing lung cancer.
With all of the health concerns related to smoking, it’s no wonder that many apartments are choosing to disallow smoking throughout the premises. The truth is that the majority of residents prefer to live in a smoke-free community. A ban on smoking may, it turns out, attract more residents than it may repel.
Do you allow smoking in your apartment community? Are you a frustrated smoker? Have an opinion on this issue? Let us know on our Facebook page!