Getting Tenants to Comply With No-Smoking Policy
No-smoking policies are proving to have little or no effect on vacancy rates or turnover. They are also much more attractive to most renters, regardless of age, income or gender. Since three-quarters of renters do not smoke, it makes sense to make the majority happy—and healthy!
Today we’ll give you some ideas on how to enforce your no-smoking policy, and get your tenants to comply without hard feelings or issues.
- First, be sure your lease language includes the reason that you’re going smoke free. For example, you might say “Due to increased risk of fire, increased maintenance costs and the proven risks to health of secondhand smoke, smoking is prohibited in any areas of the property, indoors or outdoors, private and common areas, including entryways, balconies and patios.”
- Be sure to state that “the policy applies to all residents, guests, visitors and service people.”
- Remind residents that their air will be healthier, units will have less damage and they and their families will be safer from risk of fire.
- If you’re phasing in the policy at lease renewal for each tenant, make sure you notify all tenants that some of their neighbors have leases that do not yet prohibit smoking, but they will be covered by the policy at renewal.
- Place “No Smoking” signs in common areas, doorways and other places to remind tenants and visitors about your policy. This will also inform prospective new tenants that yours is a smoke-free property.
- Offer resources for smokers who are ready to quit: the Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800 QUIT-NOW or www.BeTobacco .Free.hhs.gov.
- Inform tenants that if they do smoke in their rental unit, they will be financially responsible for all cleanup costs required to return the unit to a leasable condition, which could be thousands of dollars!
- Visit your rental property regularly and perform inspections at consistent intervals.
Remember, most tenants want smoke-free housing. Providing it will help protect their lives and your property from damage and fires. You’ll save money on cleanup and repairs and keep everyone healthier. You can also avoid potential legal issues from any tenants with disabilities that are exacerbated by secondhand smoke. There are so many reasons to go smoke-free!