Tenants fight as smoking ban spreads

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Smoke free ordinances are being passed by many cities banning smoking in multifamily apartment housing. In 2007, Oakland became the first city asking landlords to designate units as smoking and non-smoking. These ordinances being passed by many cities are controversial. Since smoking is legal, many tenants believe that they have the full right to smoke freely in the property rented by them.

Apartment Residential Rental Property Smoking Ban


The rationale behind this drive is the danger with the second hand smoke, which can affect the neighbors of the smokers.

Last year Santa Monica adopted an ordinance banning smoking in indoor and outdoor common areas of apartment and condo complexes. Now this ban could extend to other open areas like patios and balconies. Many apartment property management companies like Related Management are launching no-smoking programs in high-end properties in New York City and are planning to expand to other cities.

The fight might come down to whether such a sweeping smoking ban bumps up against the civil rights of renters. Read story about the pros and cons of extending smoking ban to apartments and condos by CLICKING HERE

Comments (6)

Shelly Whitworth
MorSystems.com - Carmel, CA

It's a tough call, but when even 3rd hand smoke, simply smelling smoke on someone's shirt or hair is even carcinogenic then second hand smoke in an apartment moving through shared vents, cracks, windows etc. is more dangerous than we all thought.

Yes it's legal, but it's also a proven cancer causing carcinogen and pregnant mothers and babies share the air in condos and apts. I'll check out your link!


Shelly Whitworth

Feb 12, 2010 05:37 AM
Niman Singh
SimplifyEm - Fremont, CA
Property Management Software

Definitely a tough call. Thanks for stopping by Shelly!

Feb 12, 2010 05:43 AM
Balboa Real Estate San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA

Everyone has the right to breathe fresh air, and if your smoking is causing someone else to be sick or endangered in any way. I am all for the ban.

How does this affect civil rights? No one is demanding anyone quit smoking, just do it in an outside, designated place where it doesn't endanger anyone else.


Feb 18, 2010 03:45 AM
Niman Singh
SimplifyEm - Fremont, CA
Property Management Software

Hi Deborah,

As a landlord, I am all for the ban as well - anything that improves the quality of the building, and the happiness of other tenants - I am all for.

Unfortunately for the tenants though it is not as simple as stepping outside. Most of these bans also affect outside common areas as well - which means you might have to go pretty far out of the way.

The more I think about it - we are controlling what tenants choose to do behind closed doors - and while I don't question whether we have the authority to stipulate such conditions on our properties - it feels a bit un-American to me.

Thanks for stopping by!

Feb 21, 2010 08:11 AM
Robert Machado
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC - Sacramento, CA
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management

Smokers need to understand that those of us that don't smoke do not want that stuff in our lungs.  Now go outside and 20 yards from me, downwind.

Mar 12, 2010 03:07 AM
Niman Singh
SimplifyEm - Fremont, CA
Property Management Software

Hi Robert, I agree - smokers do need to understand why this these rules get enforced. I think it is important to explain to tenants who don't like this rule that it is not discrimination against smokers, rather it is protecting the rights of those who don't smoke. That's hard to argue against.

Thanks for stopping by!

Mar 12, 2010 07:56 AM