Smoke-free Housing - Healthy, Legal, In demand!
If you are living in a multi-unit dwelling where people smoke in their units, chances are you have experienced drifting secondhand smoke. It comes in through shared ventilation systems, patio doors, windows and electrical, and other openings in the walls and ceiling. If you are a landlord you have probably tried to deal with these complaints with limited results. There is a solution. Work to make your apartment building, townhouse, or condo No Smoking. It’s a move that is healthy, legal, and in demand.
Why tenants and buyers should ask for smoke-free housing:
- No Smoking buildings protect you and your family.
Secondhand smoke has been linked to cancers, respiratory problems, heart disease, and strokes. In children, exposure can cause middle ear disease, respiratory tract illnesses, low birth weight, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Smoking is the leading cause of fatal home fires.
The Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office reports that lit smoking materials are the number one ignition source in fatal fires and fires in residential dwellings and account for 72% of structure loss fires.
- Your landlord or Condo Board is permitted by law to introduce a No Smoking Policy for your building.
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) specifies public areas in apartment and condo buildings such as hallways, laundry rooms must be smoke free to protect users from secondhand smoke. The SFOA does not cover private units but owners can choose to voluntarily adopt one. The policy cannot be imposed on existing tenants.
Why landlords and owners should offer it:
- Only 1 in 5 adults in our region smoke. A majority of tenants want to live in No Smoking buildings.
A 2010 Ipsos Reid poll showed one-third of multi-unit dwelling residents were involuntarily exposed to drifting secondhand smoke in their units. The majority said they would prefer to live in a smoke-free building.
- Smoke-free residential buildings reduce your fire risk and insurance rates.
Some insurance providers like the Housing Services Corporation have begun to factor No Smoking policies in its premium allocations.
- The cost to refurbish a smoke-free unit is much lower than a unit with smoking.
It is estimated that costs to clean and turnover a rental unit where there has been regular smoking can be as much as 2 to 3 times more than a non-smoking unit.
We have resources for tenants and landlords that include tips on getting started, tenant surveys, legal opinions, and commonly asked questions about making a multi-unit residence smoke-free. For more information contact Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.
|NEW! For apartment and condo buildings that have introduced No Smoking policies. Call us to get free decals that go on your front and back door to let visitors know you are becoming a smoke-free building. |