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Smoke Free Rental Policies on the Rise

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I just read an article that discussed the growing demand for smoke free rental properties.  The concept is very interesting and not something that I have thought about before, so I figured it would make a good topic for today’s blog post.

The article states that the demand for smoke free apartments is growing more rapidly than the overall demand for rental units.  Of course, in the case of nonsmoking demand, the percentage growth is getting applied against a much smaller base and therefore you would expect the percentage to be greater.  That said, it’s interesting to think about nonetheless.

There are several benefits of offering nonsmoking rental units.  One is that it can provide a distinct competitive advantage relative to apartments that allow smoking.  This is particularly important in highly competitive rental markets, as well as in cases where the property itself has few, if any, other amenities.  Additionally, it is reasonable to assume that you’d be able to collect higher rents for smoke free apartments because this is a feature that goes above and beyond what the vast majority of other rental units probably offer within any given neighborhood.  Thus, your cash flow would probably be higher.

Also, I would imagine that tenant loyalty would be higher, and that vacancy rates would be slightly lower as well.  Yet another benefit is that your overall liability would likely be lower, as there is less risk of fire.  Another advantage is that the move-out cleanup duties would be much easier and cheaper, as you would not need to worry about trying to eliminate cigarette orders from carpets, walls, blinds, etc.

So, if you are a landlord, you might want to consider offering nonsmoking units.  There are no laws that frown upon this, so you are well within your rights to institute this type of policy.  The only real downside is that you’ll be reducing your overall pool of prospective tenants, because smokers would not be allowed to apply.  But the other advantages seem like they would outweigh this downside in many circumstances.  So, give it some thought.

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