Clearing the air about smoking in apartment communities

Tom Simplot, Special to The Republic
The Arizona Republic
October 24, 2014

Heading to the balcony to smoke a cigarette may not be enough anymore. More and more we are seeing apartment-management companies and individual owners banning or restricting smoking.

The reasons for these bans start with a respect for neighbors and the health and welfare of all residents.

The rationale for banning/limiting smoking can be financial as well. The smell of smoke can linger long after the butt is out. It clings to carpets and upholstery and can even permeate wallpaper and blinds. Cleaning these units for a new tenant can be expensive and time-consuming. Many operators also reported additional housekeeping in common areas where smokers would leave ashes and cigarette butts. And we have all seen how smoking can be a fire hazard.

Owners and managers today can enforce smoking rules and impose fines. As always, it’s important to check your lease. Management must also enforce Smoke Free Arizona rules.

•Individual units: In apartment communities, each individual housing unit is considered a private residence, and so smoking may be allowed within the home unless expressly stated in the lease. If your apartment home or condo is privately owned, your owner/manager may have rules about smoking.

•Common areas: According to Smoke-Free Arizona, smoking is prohibited inside and within 20 feet of entrances of buildings and inside enclosed common areas.

•Outdoor common areas: Smoking may be permitted in outdoor common areas such as the courtyards, walkways and play areas. Be aware if there are restrictions around the pool areas.

•Neighborly courtesy: Non-smokers need to be respectful of their neighbors who smoke in permitted areas.

Tom Simplot is president and CEO of the Arizona Multihousing Association.

Read the story online here.

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