There are many advantages to adopting a no-smoking policy for your apartment buildings, including:
In a recent Minnesota survey, 47 percent of current renters were “very” or “extremely interested” in living in smoke-free buildings.
Property owners have the right to ban certain behaviors on their property to preserve its value and to protect tenants. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office have upheld the right of landlords to include “no use of tobacco” clauses in their leases.
Making the transition to no-smoking policies works best with some planning.
Apartment interconnections are diffuse and difficult to seal. Air-sealing and ventilation modifications cannot completely eliminate the transfer of smoke between apartments. In some situations, closing off large openings and upgrading to continuous ventilation that is balanced between units can produce improvement in reducing smoke transfer.
Basic policy language:
Due to the increased risk of fire, and the known health effects of secondhand tobacco smoke, smoking is prohibited in any area of the property, both private and common, whether enclosed or outdoors. The policy applies to all owners, tenants, guests, and servicepersons.
The term “smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, or other tobacco product in any manner or in any form.
I hereby acknowledge the above smoking policy as part of the lease or month-to-month agreement. I agree that I will not smoke in the areas of the property listed below. In addition, I will be responsible for enforcing this policy with all of my visitors, guests, and relatives who visit the premises. If I fail to abide by this policy, I agree to move within 30 days.
Secondhand smoke is harmful to everyone but especially to infants and young children. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to get ear infections, bronchitis, asthma, and pneumonia. Environmental tobacco smoke has also been linked to emphysema, strokes, and lung cancer in adults.
The following organization can provide assistance in planning and implementing a no-smoking policy in rental housing:
Reprinted with permission from the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department.