The newsLINK Group - Multifamily Housing and Smoking

Editorial Library Category: Multi-Family & Property Management Topics: Housing, Smoking Title: Multifamily Housing and Smoking Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: The health hazards of smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke are not secrets. Also, there is no such thing as a legal or constitutional right to smoke. No wonder, then, that so many different groups are working to protect the people who live in apartments and condominiums. Editorial: Multifamily Housing and Smoking 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 2 Include words and phrases such as “common area,” “premises,” and “smoking.” Definitions make it easier to understand, put into place, and enforce the policy so that it will protect the community. Scope: Describe the people who must comply with the policy. Number one on the list are the residents, but you should also probably include business visitors and guests. Disclaimers: If someone violates the policy and the landlord doesn’t know about it, you don’t want residents who were harmed by the violation to be able to file a lawsuit against the landlord. Make it clear that the landlord is not acting as the policy’s guarantor. Provisions: Do allow residents to bring a lawsuit against another resident if there is an intrusion of secondhand smoke. That way, the nonsmoking resident can get a court order requiring the smoking resident to stop producing secondhand smoke. Information about implementation of the policy. What should be in this last section? Explain the following: Where the policy will be enforced. This should include common areas, outdoor areas, setbacks from entrances, and the units themselves. How it will be enforced. For example, you can start with a verbal warning. Follow that with warning letters, fines, and (if necessary) eviction. The landlord’s responsibilities, which consist of posting warning signs and enforcing the policy. The resident’s responsibilities, which consist of telling guests and visitors not to smoke and of reporting violations when they occur. The landlord and the tenant often sign these smoke-free leases and agreements together. Federal, state, and local governments support smoke-free policies in multifamily communities. For example, tax credits sometimes depend on whether a community is smoke-free, and if there is a competition, the smoke-free community has an edge over the smoking community. HUD has actively encouraged public housing authorities to have smoke-free policies as a way to reduce health and fire risks from smoking. There is a community trend to require multifamily buildings to disclose their smoking policies to potential residents. This makes it easier for tenants to avoid places where smoking is allowed; it also reduces liability for landlords and property owners, especially if the disclosure also tells potential residents about the hazards of secondhand smoke. Sources: tclc-guide-regulatingsmoking-multiunits-2011_0.pdf. (TCLC is the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium.) Sent to me by Sophie. http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/tobacco/smokefree- environments/multi-unit-housing/secondhand- smoke.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/ Word Count: 986 Copyscape Clear Date:

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