Smoke-Free Homes & Cars
Smoke-free Apartments & Condos:
Owners & Managers
Call (702) 759-1270 to order FREE smoke-free signage for your apartment complex. We have signs available for smoke-free buildings, smoke-free common areas, and signage for your leasing office requesting prospective tenants to ask about your smoke-free apartments.
Why would a landlord or property manager want to prohibit smoking?
Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Approximately 70,000 people die annually from the diseases caused by secondhand smoke.
Multi-housing developments present a particular challenge for dealing with this significant health problem because tobacco smoke from one unit may seep through cracks, be circulated by shared ventilation systems or otherwise enter the living space of another tenant (Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights [ANR], 2004).
In addition to the health benefits to employees and tenants, limiting smoking can also significantly decrease maintenance and turnover costs for landlords and property managers.
Landlords and property managers can minimize or eliminate most of these costs by prohibiting smoking in common areas and individual apartment units (Technical Assistance Legal Center [TALC], 2009).
Is it legal for a landlord or property manager to prohibit or restrict smoking?
Yes, it is legal to restrict or eliminate smoking in individual units and common areas of multi-housing developments.
Landlords have legal rights to set limits on how a tenant may use a rental property. For example, they may decide whether tenants are allowed to have pets and the hours the pool is open. A “no smoking” policy is similar to a “no pet” restriction in the lease or pool hours in the common area.
It is important to note that a landlord is not unlawfully discriminating against smoking tenants or violating a smoker’s fundamental right to privacy when banning smoking in common areas or individual units. Claims to the contrary have no legal basis (TALC, 2009).
There is no law that prohibits designating areas or individual apartment homes as smoke-free (NRS 202, 118, and 207). People who smoke are not protected by state or federal anti-discrimination laws, nor are they considered disabled under state or federal disability rights laws (Task Force for Smoke-free Housing, CA). An argument commonly heard is that an individual has a “right to smoke”- when in fact, there is no constitutional or other legal right to smoke (Tobacco Control Legal Consortium [TCLC], 2005).
The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium created a fact sheet specifically for apartment owners and managers in Nevada that outlines the legal issues of creating smoke-free homes. Download the Multi-Unit Housing Smoke-Free Policies Legal Issues - Nevada PDF 187KB fact sheet.
What are the advantages of smoke-free apartment buildings?
- Save on maintenance costs.
- Secondhand smoke covers walls, ventilation systems and other exposed surfaces with a dirty, yellow residue.
- It is very difficult to remove the smell of smoke in rooms where smoking has occurred. Oftentimes it involves repainting, as well as replacing carpets, drapes and appliances.
- Attract and retain tenants.
- Many people appreciate apartment buildings in which smoking is permitted only in designated outdoor areas.
- Reduce cigarette butt litter.
- Reduce fire danger.
- In one year, cigarettes caused over 1,400 fires in California homes, apartments, and mobile homes with an estimated $18 million loss in property and contents (Drifting Tobacco Smoke, Information for Tenants of Apartments and Condominiums, Task Force for Smoke-free Housing, CA).
- In 2003, an apartment complex in Green Valley suffered $50,000 in damage from a cigarette being placed in a trash can (Las Vegas Review Journal, April 15, 2003).
- Insurance rates may decrease.
Download the Adopting, Implementing and Enforcing Smoke-Free Policies Tips for Landlords/Property Owners PDF 201KB fact sheet for suggestions that will make a transition to smoke-free easier for your facility.
Download the Model No-Smoking Policy Lease Addendum PDF 202KB for your tenants.
Additional Resources for Apartment Owners and Managers
If you own or manage smoke-free apartments and would like to be included in the Smoke-Free Housing Directory email TobaccoProgram@snhdmail.org or call (702) 759-1270.