There are numerous myths surrounding operating a smoke-free rental property. Although many property owners and managers would like to commit to going smoke-free, they are often dissuaded by prevalent myths and fallacies. This article will aid you in becoming more informed about the facts of smoke-free housing and provide some helpful tips on making the switch to smoke-free housing and dispel the most common myths.
Myth #1 Smoke-free housing translates to a loss of revenue
The most predominant myth regarding smoke-free housing is that the property owner or manager will lose money. The truth is, that by adopting a smoke-free policy you can actually save money. Statistics show that housing unit turnover costs can be as much as 5-10 times higher where smoking is allowed when compared to smoke-free units. Not only will property owners incur lower costs when getting a unit ready for a new tenant, but they also reduce fire hazards and protect the building and tenants from incurring fire-related losses.
Myth #2 Switching to smoke-free housing will result in an immediate drop in occupancy
While you may lose a few tenants if you decide to enforce a smoke-free policy, the truth is that the majority of renters are actively seeking out smoke-free rental units and are even willing to pay more for a unit that is smoke-free. Not only will you attract more renters to your property by opting to adopt a smoke-free policy, but you can also eventually raise your rates for the added health protection you are offering your residents.
Myth #3 It is too difficult for a property owner or manager to enforce a smoke-free policy
The key to successfully enforcing your policy is to be clear and concise with your communications to residents. You will need to type up your new policy and distribute it to current occupants. Make sure to inform your current tenets about the facts of smoke free housing! Ask them to sign a copy of this policy and retain it with their rental agreement. If you are making the switch from allowing smoking to going smoke-free you should establish a date where you will begin enforcing your policy to give current residents a short amount of time to adjust. It is important that you also clearly define the steps that will be taken should a tenant choose to violate this policy and make sure that you are prepared to enforce them. You can impose a fine, furnish a written warning, or use whatever system you already have in place for other various violations.
As we conduct many indoor air quality tests in the South Florida area, we are happy to provide information like this to help professionals, companies, and home owners who are trying to mitigate indoor air quality related problems. Your building inspection resource, Michael Gaurnier, ACI.