When you are looking for a new place to live you consider many factors.
- Does it have the space I need?
- Is it within my budget?
- Is it close to things that are important to me – my work, school, grocery stores, healthcare etc.?
- Is it safe, with low crime rates?
- Does it have desirable amenities that I want – laundry, pool, playgrounds, work out facilities?
But how many times does your checklist include is it smoke-free? That is, does the property you are considering have policies that include preventing smoking inside and outside of the apartments? Is the use of all tobacco products (including vape) restricted on all the property grounds? This would include at the pool, in the parking lots, laundry rooms, playgrounds, work out facilities – everywhere in the complex.
If it does not, you may be faced with a living situation that you may be bound to contractually, that exposes you to drifting smoke. The source of this smoke could be from neighbors who reside above, below and on either side of you. The smoke can pass under thresholds, through registers and from adjoining balconies. You may find yourself at the pool with your children exposed to smoke by fellow apartment dwellers. You may notice that your clothes and furniture retain the smell of smoke, even though you do not use tobacco products.
What should you do, if you prefer to live at a property that has smoke-free policies?
- Look at apartment rental guides to see if they list no smoking as an amenity
- Make sure you ask if a policy is currently in place and what it includes
- Before signing a lease, ask for a copy of the specific policy or language around tobacco. Make sure it includes vaping and other tobacco products and the policy includes all the property grounds and facilities
- Inspect the specific apartment you are moving into to ensure that if there has been smoking allowed in the past, that the apartment has been remediated of all smoke residue that may still linger in carpet, paint and hard surfaces
Where you choose to live is a big decision that you most likely will have to be committed to for a year. Take the time to select a place that meets all your needs and allows you to breathe fresh, smoke-free air.
Need help finding smoke-free properties? Check out smokefree.jocogov.org