We do not rent to smokers at Brookhollow Garden Apartments, Hillcrest House, The Quarters, and Mesquite Square - period. This is not to say all of our tenants don't smoke - some do, and these tenants were already on the property when we made the decision to cease renting to smokers. However we will not take new tenants who smoke at these properties.
Many of the houses we manage carry the same policy. These investors want to maintain their investment as smoke-free or leasing their property is a temporary fix and they intend to return to a house they expect to find unfouled.
Some people (smokers) find it strange or rude that we have made the decision not to rent to smokers in these instances. It is a decision that is purely grounded in the landlord's most obvious motivator - the bottom line. Smokers add cost in that they:
- make apartments smell like smoke, rendering the apartment more difficult to rent
- make carpet smell like smoke which has to be replaced
- stain walls with smoke which then have to be sealed and repainted
- smoke in public stairwells which wafts into neighboring apartments and creates complaints to management which diverts our office staff from other tasks
- litter on the property where they discard cigarette butts, thereby adding to the cost of grounds keeping
Some smokers ask if they can lease an apartment at our multifamily properties if they smoke outside. Again, I get complaints from non-smoking neighbors (see 4 above) about the odor from smokers on breezeways and balconies, so the answer is no. Furthermore, experience has taught me that this is rarely the case - smokers, regardless of their promises, will smoke in their apartment (see 1-3 above).
Some have said that this practice is discriminatory - it is not. Fair Housing law requires that your landlord be blind to the your race, gender or family status - however, it does not require the landlord to accept your choices regarding personal habits. We cannot physically/ethically change our race, our sex, or abandon our children - one can, however, choose to smoke and this is the difference. This is akin to rules stating "we only allow two persons per bedroom" or "we do not rent to felons" - so long as every person is required to meet this rule, the rule is considered legitimate under Fair Housing law.
Each lease that we sign reads "This apartment is to be maintained as a non-smoking apartment" and we mean it. If we discover that you have been smoking in the apartment you lease, at best, your lease will not be renewed, but, more likely, you will be evicted for this lease violation.