By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorChicago–In the past five years, smoking bans have come into effect in many apartment and condo communities as landlords and residents continue to push the cause through a growing and voluntary movement, according to Apartments.com, which recently conducted a national survey of renters on the topic.While the majority of renters surveyed (62 percent) by Apartments.com do not smoke, opinions on whether or not to ban smoking in apartment communities were almost equal on both sides. A slight majority (45 percent) of renters surveyed do not believe that smoking should be banned in apartment communities, while nearly 40 percent support a smoking ban. While many want to live in a smoke-free apartment, they are conflicted about the rights of the tenants. Thirty-two percent of renters surveyed believe that their property management company should not be able to dictate whether or not they can smoke in the privacy of their own apartment, 22 percent believe renters should be allowed to smoke in their space as long as it doesn’t affect others and 14 percent believe renters have the right to smoke inside their apartment, but would prefer to live in a smoke-free apartment community. Smoking bans could affect the majority of renters surveyed as 85 percent do not currently live in a smoke-free apartment community and almost 30 percent said they smoke inside their apartment. When asked what concerned them most about sharing a space with other smokers, renters listed accidental fire as their top concern, followed by smelling smoke in their apartment. However, nearly 25 percent of renters said that smokers living in their apartment community do not concern them.Meanwhile, Quarters at Cambridge, a luxury apartment community in Wichita, Kan., has announced plans to make all the buildings and common areas on its property smoke-free.Residents were surveyed, and a considerable majority stated they would prefer to live in a partially or totally smoke-free community. “There is a growing national trend for smoke-free apartment complexes, and Quarters at Cambridge is on the forefront of this trend in Wichita,” says Fred Hanley, owner of Quarters at Cambridge. “It is expected that the new policy will satisfy residents’ wishes for smoke-free apartment living, as well as reduce maintenance expenses associated with secondhand smoke, and reduce the risk of fires.”Residents will still be permitted to smoke on personal patios, entryways and in their garages.“We’re thrilled to be able to meet our tenants’ desires by providing a smoke-free living environment,” says Hanley.The ban will go into effect on July 1, 2008. Many residents have already signed a voluntary addendum to their lease to limit smoking. A few residents with longer-term leases will be permitted to smoke until the end of their lease. The complex expects to be totally smoke free by June 30, 2009.
40 Percent in Survey Support Ban on Smoking in Apartment, Condo Communities
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