Major Apartment Building Owner Snuffs Out Smoking

Non-smoking apartmentsThe Towbes Group of Santa Barbara, owner of 2,000 apartment units spread across 13 complexes in California, recently announced that tenants can no longer smoke in any of the units. (Current tenants that smoke were given a grace period to comply.)

Towbes’ move was at least partly motivated by a California law passed last fall that gave apartment house owners a statutory right to ban smoking inside tenant units. Very possibly owners already had this power, but the law provides a clear-cut defense against potential lawsuits filed by angry apartment-dwelling smokers.

The president of Towbes explained the company’s decision in terms of maintenance costs. On average, he said, the cost of cleaning up after a smoker moves out is about double that of a nonsmoker. Scraping the walls and deep cleaning of countertops and other surfaces is often necessary to get rid of the smell of smoke left by a heavy smoker. Further, efforts to insulate smoking units from nonsmoking units are costly and not always effective.

It’s interesting to consider other business aspects of a smoking ban. For example, would a no-smoking rule result in a smaller pool of tenant applicants? Some potential tenants will look elsewhere if a building doesn’t allow them to smoke inside. On the other hand, nonsmokers will be drawn to nonsmoking buildings. Since smokers are a minority these days, perhaps there’s a market advantage to going nonsmoking.

Many states prohibit smoking in workplaces, but no state prohibits smoking inside apartments. (There are no federal no-smoking laws. Wikipedia has a nice map and chart showing state smoking bans.)

How do you feel about apartment house owners issuing smoking bans? And what about a law prohibiting smoking inside units? One upscale California community has moved in this direction. Several years ago, the city of Calabas, CA enacted an ordinance that requires 80% of the units in every apartment building to be non-smoking.

Remember, Rockwell Institute is happy to answer all your real estate education questions.




 Rockwell Institute--in business since 1974
Major Apartment Building Owner Snuffs Out Smoking
share
The Towbes Group of Santa Barbara, owner of 2, 000 apartment units spread across 13 complexes in California, recently announced that tenants can no longer smoke in any of the units. (Current tenants that smoke were given a grace period to comply. ) &… more
Restaurant Review: Wanta Thai
share
For today’s restaurant review, we visited a relatively new spot: Wanta Thai which opened at the end of 2011. Although Wanta Thai has a Redmond address, it’s just up the street from our office here in Bellevue—close enough for a quick lunch outing… more
Stumped by an Exam Question? Best Bets for Guessing…
share
Contrary to popular belief, multiple choice questions aren’t always the easiest. Take a multiple choice question that’s open to more than one interpretation, throw in a couple of tricky answer choices, and if you’re not entirely on top of the… more
Marketing Tips for Realtors: Learn How to Write Great Listing Ads for…
share
Say What? Ads That Sell You’ve got the listing, but now you need to attract buyers by writing a killer real estate ad. There are lots of ads out there, so how are you going to make your ad (and your client’s property) stand out? Tony… more
Book Review: Home Seller Secrets
share
This month’s book, Home Seller Secrets: What Top Moving Realtors Already Know That Every Home Seller Should by B. Worthmoore, isn’t really a book for real estate agents; it’s for home sellers. Still, you may want to pick up a few copies anyway,… more
Test-Taking Tip: Give Yourself a Tune-Up
share
Do you listen to music when you study? Over the years, different theories have touted the benefits of listening to classical music during study time to enhance mental performance. You may recall the Mozart Effect the idea that classical music… more
What's Your Favorite Real Estate Tech?
share
A couple of months ago we surveyed our Fundamentals class asking why people were going into a real estate these days. (You can see our blog entry summarizing the results here ) With the real estate market picking up a bit, we’re inspired! .. more
Stop Right There! Your Job’s Not Done Yet
share
Finally! You’ve worked hard, handled negotiations and last-minute problems, calmed your client’s nerves, and juggled all the paperwork. The sale finally closes and you get your commission check. Is your job done? If you answer “yes, ” you’re missing… more
Instructor of the Month: Martin Welc
share
Welcome back to our Instructor of the Month series. This month, we’re talking with Martin Welc, who chairs the Real Estate Department at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA. Rockwell: How long have you been teaching? Martin:… more
Test Taking Tip: Exam Day Eating Strategies
share
We all know that good nutrition helps us live a healthier, longer life. But you may not know that that there are some foods that should be eaten—and avoided—because of their impact on your test-taking performance. In other words, the food choices… more