No-Smoking Policies Are Good for Business and Health
There are many benefits to adopting no-smoking rules for both residents and landlords:
- Reduce Property Damage and Save Money: Smoking can result in carpet burn marks, turning the walls and blinds yellow, and lingering unpleasant odors. Compared to smoke-free units, the extra effort of cleaning and repairing a smoking unit can be costly and time consuming.
- Fire Prevention: Smoking is a leading cause of home fire deaths. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, residential building smoking fires resulted in 7,800 fires, 275 deaths, and $361.5 million in property damages in 2021.
- Increase Market Demand: The vast majority of renters want to live in smoke-free housing. No smoking policies can help attract and retain occupants.
- Lower Insurance Premiums: Some insurance companies have penalties for buildings that allow smoking. On the other hand, some companies offer premium credits for buildings that require all units to be smoke-free. Ask your insurer about the cost-saving perks of a smoke-free policy.
- Protect Resident Health: Secondhand smoke is toxic. It is known to cause cancer, heart disease, respiratory illness, and other life-threatening conditions. Research shows that secondhand smoke can move between units through windows, doors, vents, heating systems, plumbing and even electrical outlets. Going 100% smoke-free creates a healthier and more desirable environment for people to live.
Smoking and Landlord Liability
In some states, including Washington, property managers can be found liable if they fail to address problems caused by secondhand smoke. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act, landlords must make reasonable accommodations to protect non-smokers with serious breathing disabilities or smoke allergies. This can include implementing a smoke-free policy, moving the resident to a non-smoking building, or sealing off the unit.