Steps for Implementing a Smoke-Free Housing Policy




  1. If you are still not sure about going smoke free, conduct a survey of your residents to understand their needs and interest in smoke free policies. (see sample survey)


  1. Decide on the extent of the smoke free policy.  Which areas will be included?  Will the policy cover all the common areas inside and out of the building, the whole building including all individual units, the whole property or only a few buildings?  Choose the best option for your property and tenants.


  1. Create smoke free language to be added into the current property policies and leases. (see samples)


    • Develop a timeline for implementing the policies.  The new policies should be implemented no sooner than 30 days after written notice is given to the tenants notifying them of the changes.  A 90 day notice is recommended.


    • Develop a plan on how to work with existing tenants who smoke in their units. (One option is to grandfather them in until their lease expires).  Remember though, as long as the grandfathered in are smoking in their units, people are still being exposed to second and thirdhand smoke.


  1. Hold a meeting with your staff to educate and gain support for the new policies and procedures.


  1. Send a letter to tenants and place signs around the property announcing the plans for smoke free policies.  (see sample letter)


  1. Hold a meeting with your tenants to discuss the reasons why the property is going smoke free, the new policies and the consequences for not following the policies.  Provide a way to allow your tenants to voice their opinions and concerns both at the meeting and anonymously.


  1. Send a letter to tenants outlining the new smoke free policies, the date of implementation and the consequences for violating the policy.  Have the tenants sign an agreement that they will abide by the policies. (see sample agreement)


  1. Add the new smoke free policies into the property rules and new and renewing leases.


    • New policies for common areas (hallways, walkways, playgrounds, pools, etc.) do not need a lease addendum, only notification of the tenants.


    • New policies within individual units will need a lease addendum.  Should the current tenant not want to abide by the new policy for their individual unit, wait until the lease expires and then add it into the lease renewal. (grandfathering)


  1. Post visible signage around the property to make tenants, visitors and staff aware of the policy.

 10.  Advertise and market your units/property as smoke free in rental listings.  When asked, most tenants want to live in smoke free housing, even those who smoke.  



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